Fonds - Felix and Kathleen Noel fonds

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Felix and Kathleen Noel fonds

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  • 1939-2002 (Creation)
    Felix and Kathleen Noel
    Salmon Arm

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Physical description

3.5 cm textual records
57 prints, photographic

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Biographical history

Felix Herve Noel was the seventh (7th) child of twelve (12) born to Albert and Regina Noel on March 6, 1916 in a farmhouse at Beauvallon, Alberta. When Felix was approximately seven (7) years of age, the Noel family moved to St. Paul, Alberta.

Kathleen (Kay) Viola Bryce was the third (3rd) and last child born to Elizabeth Jane and William Charles Bryce on August 15, 1919 in a farmhouse at Davisburg, Alberta.

In 1939, Kathleen married Felix Noel at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Midnapore, Alberta. Felix was French Canadian and Catholic, while Kathleen was Protestant. Although Kathleen’s parents and maternal grandmother were at first opposed to the marriage, they reconciled and her parents hosted a reception following the wedding ceremony. The couple made their first home on the Bryce family farm. Louis Charles Albert Noel, their first child, was born in September, 1940.

Felix signed up for active duty with the Canadian Arm Forces (Calgary Tank Regiment) on March 6, 1941. He trained in Barrie, Ontario as a radio operator and went overseas in approximately May, 1941.

On August 19, 1942 Felix crossed the English Channel at Dieppe, France as a radio operator on Churchill Tank #6, “Bert.” Felix was among the captured and taken prisoner there by the German forces. He was held as Prisoner of War in Germany until WWII ended in June 1945.

While Felix was away, Kay and Louis continued to live with her parents and elder sister, Estella Elizabeth Bryce, on the Davisburg farm. Kathleen helped with the farm work and packed parachutes for the DeWinton Elementary Training Flying School No. 31 - the British Commonwealth Royal Air Force also located in the rural Davisburg, Alberta area, just over 2 miles north of the farm.

The couple had six children, three boys: Louis, Maurice, and Ron, and three girls: Darline, Lydia and Vivianne. After the War II, they farmed at Davisburg, northeast of Okotoks, Alberta. On July 1, 1964 the family relocated to the Salmon Arm area after purchasing the Silver Creek Store (with fuel pumps) from Mr. Frank and Mrs. Elsie Pow.

In November 1964 a fire started in the area under the living quarters of the store and caused severe smoke damage. The family moved to a rental property four miles north of the store. Felix constructed a large frame building just north of the store to house the contents of the store during repairs. When the store was repaired and reopened, the large frame building was later turned into a garage and shop and Felix hired Ed Wilby to do mechanical work. The garage and fuel pumps were operated in conjunction with the Silver Creek Store.

Felix and Kathleen Noel sold the Silver Creek store business in 1968, and leased the fuel pumps to the new owners, the Wilsons from England. Felix became a licensed realtor selling real estate in Salmon Arm in the 1970s. He was active in many realty organizations and local community affairs. He spent more than five years on the Board of the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union including two terms as President. Felix was the first elected Chairman of the Columbia Regional District and served in that capacity for three years as well as serving on the executive of the Royal Canadian Legion. Felix held a continuous membership in the Legion from 1949 until his death in 2002.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of personal and legal papers, papers related to the Noel real estate holdings, postcards, papers relating to Felix’ time as Prisoner of War, family photographs, travel diaries, and personal diaries. The fonds are divided into ten series.

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MS 115

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  • English

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