'Never a dull moment' raising 10 kids

Thelma (Jackson) Sadowick, the youngest of five children, was born in Rosetown, Sask. in 1932.

Thelma said, "My mother was born in Ontario and my father was born in Ireland. We lived in a hotel that my maternal grandmother owned in Fisk, Sask. As children, we never had any pets because they were not allowed at the hotel. I never knew what I missed by growing up in a hotel until I was older and had a family of my own.

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"My father was a blacksmith and during the hungry thirties (a time of mass unemployment and hunger marches) he always said that we would never go hungry and we would have three meals a day because someone would always need a horse shod or the ring on a wooden wagon wheel would need fixing.

"My dad used to feed people in exchange for their labour but I never understood. To tell you the truth I didn't know there were hungry people in the world until many years later when my kids went to school and brought home stories about school mates with no lunch and no mittens in the winter."

The family moved to Flin Flon, Man., when Thelma was three years old. She said, "When I went to school, we walked both ways. No one had a telephone or a television in their house so we just went outside and played kick the can, hop scotch, hide and seek and we all knew how to play Ante-I-Over and walk on stilts. I was pretty good on stilts and I would walk all over just for fun.

"I was the baby of the family; I didn't have to do any work because I was so spoiled.

"When I was 12, we moved to Prince Rupert where my dad worked as a welder on the war ships.

"At the age of 14, I moved back to Flin Flon to live with my sister until I was 17. I moved to Prince George in 1949 and lived with my parents who were now living on Burden Street. My mother worked as a cook for the City Caf on George Street and I landed a job as a waitress. I think the only reason my mom gave me the job was so that she could keep an eye on me.

"I met Frank Sadowick, who was born in Roblin, Man in 1923. We got married in 1950 and we moved to Roblin to live with his parents on a farm. I had never been on a farm and this was the first time I had ever seen a milk cow, chickens or pigs. I learned how to gather eggs and feed the pigs.

"We lived on the farm for two years and during that time I had two of my ten children. We moved back to Prince George in 1952. Frank bought a truck and a sawmill; he drove truck in the summer and worked in the sawmill in the winter.

"We lived on the Hart, sold the property and moved to Six Mile Lake and then Tabor Lake. When we sold the property on the Hart, they built the Overwaitea store where our house used to be.

"We were married for 40 years before Frank passed away in 1990 because of cancer.

"We had ten children: Emily, Franky, Richard, Betty, Mervin, Leone, Thelma, Doris, Frances and Gordon. I have 25 grandchildren, 44 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren and I am proud to say that this makes five generations. I have four children over the age of 65. It is hard to believe that some of my children are now receiving their Canada pension. I had to wait a long time to collect mine.

"We had five boys and five girls and they were the best kids in the world as far as I was concerned. My sisters and brothers are now all deceased. My life went by fast and it hasn't always been easy but I got through it all with the help of my family. The children always stuck together and never tattled on one another. When they were all adults, we would sit around and reminisce and then the stories would come out - things I never knew about. I suppose that is why I now have white hair.

"When I look back, I was proud that I was raising ten children. It was always fun to watch them take their first step and then watch them learn to walk. The older ones helped look after the younger ones and there was never a dull moment. Their dinner was always on the table when they came home from school and they all had lots of things to talk about."

Thelma, who has always been full of energy and a bit spunky, volunteered in the Blackburn school library for three years and now enjoys floor curling on a regular basis at the Pineview Hall and at the Brunswick Street senior centre. She finds time to work on her counted needle point projects, crochet and knitting socks all of which she finds very relaxing and productive. She used to spin her own wool which took longer than knitting the socks.

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July Birthdays that I know about are: Bonnie Pauley, Scott Pauley, Marilyn Shelest, Jack Tremblay, Meg Imrich, Joan Buchi, Fred Buchi (95), Evie Padalec, Gloria Thorpe, Della Walker, Mildred Green, Lavinia Ouellet, Gary Kwast, Roy Green, Bernice Carrier, Carole Pitchko, Helen Sarrazin, Henri LeFebvre, Richard LeFebvre, Eugene Fichtner, Delores Baza, Phil Girard, Catherine Gladwin, Karen Kryzanowski, George Lipke, Barbara Mulock, Mary Taschner, Pat Sexsmith, Alice Westra, Red McKenzie, Karen McKenzie, Leonard Duperron, Doris Bolduc, Eileen Slusarenko, Isobel Blair, Carmen Foucher, Bob Collison, Mary Radke, Elmer Braun, Dyanne Hoff, Pam Hoechrel, Reina Mcafee, Ernestine Schreiner, Linda Moore, Kathleen Boyes, Shirley Dewald, Joyce Kennedy, Ta Mackay, Alan Nunweiler, Ben Wilson, Pete Goodall, Gervin Halladay, Ken Schroeder, Norma Raycraft, Leone Sadowick, Dyanne Hoff, Carol Hunter, Robert Wright, Linda Letawski, Dorcas Raines, Garry Doucette, Garth Grunerud, Mavis Kenmuir, Cyril Beaulieu, Connie Halvorson, Robert Whitehead, Wally Worthington, Joan Castle, Ted Heyninck and Gail Gromball

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July Anniversaries: 64 years for Wil and Elsie Wiens, 61 years for Heinz and Ruth Kwiatkowski, 58 years for Rudy and Velma Wortman, 57 years for Don and Joyce Grantham, 54 years for Walter and Joyce Hanik, 53 years for Dawn and Clarence Wigmore, 49 years for Tony and Dodie Bond, 48 years for Linda and Andy Horwath, 40 years for Chuck and Sue Chin and 16 years for Eugene and Hilda Fichtner.

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