Welcome back to our May issue of our 50 in 50 blog series where we highlight 5 different artifacts from the Transcona Museum's collections every month. There will be a total of 50 artifacts discussed by the time we reach our last post in October 2018. This series is done in commemoration of our 50th Opening Anniversary of the Transcona Museum. For this month's edition, we will be discussing selected items in our textile collection.
#21 - TH88.8.1
Like many museums, we have a number of wedding dresses in our collection. This wedding dress has civic history to Transcona. This was the dress worn during the first wedding held in the City of Transcona, held on June 16th, 1961. Transcona officially became a City on June 10th, 1961. The wedding was covered in the Transcona News as seen in the following article dated July 6th, 1961:
Along with the dress and the news article, we also have a number of photograph taken at the wedding in the Archives (as seen in the photograph above).
#22 - TH2016.18.1
Pennant, HMCS Transcona
When this pennant was donated to the museum, the donor said it was purchased at a military memorabilia store. The store had said that this pennant was actual flown on the HMCS Transcona. We have found no corroborating evidence to support this claim, however, we have never come across another pennant like this one. The HMCS Transcona was a mine sweeper ship active during the Second World War. The ship was named after the Town of Transcona, as the town had established a War Efforts Committee to sponsor both the ship and the crew.
#23 - TH126.96.36.199-7
This uniform was worn during World War II by Captain Paul Martin of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. He began his six years of service as a wireless operator and later became a dispatch rider. He also participated in the D-Day Landing on the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944. Later that year he was sent to England for Officer Cadet Training and received his commission from King George VI in person. By the end of the war he had risen to the rank of Captain. For his six years of service he earned five medals. The France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal (for the Battle of Britain), The Canada Volunteer Medal with Class, the War Medal and the Canada Decoration.
After the war Paul Martin returned to Transcona where he became very involved in community politics. He spent 16 years as town councillor before being elected Mayor of the Town of Transcona in 1958 and 1959. In 2015 Paul Martin was awarded the French Legion of Merit Medal by the French Government.
#24 - TH74.15.1 Hat, Derby
This hat was owned by Joe Blostein. According to our records, it was purchased by the donor in Rivers, Manitoba around the year 1900. Joe originally moved to Transcona around 1914 and he opened the town's first tailor shop. In 1936, Joe opened a department store at 135 Regent Avenue West (later known as "Blostein and Son") which operated until 1992. The hat was worn in Transcona during parades and other events.
Uniform, Jacket Police
This police jacket belonged to Alex Taylor who was Police Chief in Transcona. Alex came to Transcona in 1923 and worked at the CN Transcona Shops in the Boiler Shop before joining the town's Public Works Department. In 1930 he transferred to the police department and was appointed the Chief of Police in 1944, a position he served in until 1953. In addition to serving as Chief of Police, he was also the Fire Chief, Weed Inspector, Health Officer, Building Inspector, License Inspector, and Welfare Officer. After he retired, he became a Justice of the Peace until he passed away in 1961.
Alex Taylor Drive in Transcona is named after him.
Come back in June to learn about #26-30
Diane Truderung, ed. Transcona 100, 1912-2012: Transcona's Story- 100 Years of Progress. Altona, MB: Friesens-Book Division, 2012.
Grace Kenjac Fonds, Transcona Museum.
Transcona Museum Archives.
Transcona Museum Collection.