Fonds - McGill, Cunningham family fonds

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McGill, Cunningham family fonds

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  • [190-]-1967, 1995 (Creation)
    McGill (family)

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Physical description

5.3 cm of textual records;80 photographs;1 medallion

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Biographical history

Jeremiah "Jerry" Percival McGill was born in Nanaimo on July 4th, 1879. McGill worked for the Fire Brigade as a driver on the horse drawn Fairweather Steam Pumper. Later, he worked for Mahrer & Wolfe Liquor Wholesalers until Prohibition in 1917. In 1901, McGill married Jessie Thomson, grand-daughter of Captain John Sabiston, Nanaimo Harbour's first pilot. McGill was custodian of the Bastion for forty years and a night watchman for over twenty years. McGill was a Chief Factor of Post No. 3, Native Sons of Nanaimo and he enjoyed singing and performing in local theatres. Jessie McGill (nee Thomson), was born in 1882 in Glasgow, Scotland. Jerry McGill died June 23, 1943; Jessie McGill died in 1972. The McGills had one daughter, Constance Bell McGill. She received her nursing diploma from St. Joseph's Hospital, Victoria, in April 1924. In 1927, she married Cecil deTrafford Cunningham. Their son, Raymond, was born in 1930. Cecil deTrafford Cunningham was born Jan 20, 1897 in Wapella, Saskatchewan. Cunningham worked in the Nanaimo office of the Federal Government's Department of Customs. After hours, he pursued painting and received a diploma from the John Hassall Correspondence School of Art of London, England in 1924. As a painter, Cunningham's subjects included Vancouver Island, the Rockies, the Nass Valley, totem poles and native villages and Cape Breton. He was also a keen caricaturist. In 1979, the British Columbia Archives purchased eleven paintings. A larger collection was donated by Raymond to the Westminster Abbey in Mission, B.C. Constance Cunningham died suddenly from high blood pressure in 1941. In 1946, Cunningham married Violet Symonds. This second marriage was also short lived; Violet died in 1959. Cecil died in Victoria on Feb. 25, 1973. Raymond Cunningham became a Roman Catholic priest and eventually retired to Lantzville, B.C.

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The Cunningham family lived in New Westminster, B.C.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of the personal papers of the McGill and Cunningham families. Fonds is arranged in the following series: 1) Photographs; 2) Certificates; 3) Correspondence; 4) Sketch book and art work; 5) Diaries and 6) Miscellaneous.

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BCAUL control number: NCAI-226

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