Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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PETE AND ETTA BALLANTYNE

After the parents, Thomas Trotter and Naomi Ballantyne died, and the other four members of the family had long since left home, Pete and his sister Etta, continued to farm at Brookdale on 32-12-16, southeast of town. Sometime after the Rogers brothers, Stan and Alex, came to the district, they began renting the Ballantyne farm.

Pete had always farmed with horses, and had a good driving horse and buggy until he bought a car.

In fact when the family lived west of Brookdale, Pete would drive his horse as far as Hamiota Fair on occasion. He never really enjoyed living in Manitoba and always wanted to return to Ontario. He found the Manitoba winter a great drawback. For many years he used to spend part of the winter in Winnipeg where he was well known at the Grain Exchange there, and later in Brandon. When Pete went to Winnipeg, Etta would move to Carberry and stay in an apartment with friends. The farmhouse had no adequate heating system or conveniences for winter living.

Pete and Etta sold the farm to Ronald and Charlie Simpson in 1959, and bought a house in Carberry. Pete continued to live in that house after Etta died in 1963, and stayed there until ill health forced him to move to the Carberry Care Home where he died in October 1980 at the age of 96.

Etta was a most hospitable person. She was always ready to offer callers a cup of tea and something to eat. She was an excellent cook and her "Flapper Pie" was a treat to be remembered.

But she did say that a loaf of bought bread from Barrett''s bakery was a better treat than candy. She must often have wished for an easier way of doing her work but was never heard to complain about having to use the very out-of-date rocker washer.

Even when she was dying in the hospital, she asked her visitor, Doris Drysdale, to stay for supper saying, "Blanche will get something ready." Her sister Blanche, had come to be with her. In fact Blanche came regularly from Vancouver to see Etta and Pete.

Etta did dressmaking for friends. She took part in many of the three-act plays which the literary group of those days put on each winter. She was always given one of the leading roles because she had splendid talent for acting. She used to snowshoe across the fields to Brookdale to attend play practices.

Her genuine kindness and original wit willlong be remembered. She once remarked that she judged a man by the size of his wood pile!Etta was a charter member of the O.E.S. at Brookdale having joined the lodge in Neepawa in 1921. She was always an active member of the community until ill health prevented her from helping. She died in Carberry Hospital on April 30, 1963,and is buried in Carberry Cemetery

 

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