Spectrum 128. It was a dangerous country, in the wintertime

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Tono kōrero mai

Ninety-year old Mrs Prairie Violet Eyre-Walker of Blenheim, talks to Jack Perkins about her childhood on the prairies of Canada towards the end of the 19th century. Her father was the only doctor in the area 250 miles north-west of Winnipeg. She was one of eight children in the family. Her parents emigrated from England in the 1880s and she was the first white child born in north-west Manitoba.

She talks about her childhood sweetheart, who she left behind when the family left Canada when she was 11. He never forgot her and they kept in contact until he died aged 85.

She has little memory of Indians but recounts some of her parents many memories of contact with them. She describes their prairie home, coping with the very heavy snowfalls and harsh winters, and how household tasks were carried out.

She recounts how she and her little sister nearly died after being caught in a blizzard, and close encounters with wolf packs.
Her family was all musical and they performed concerts for the district.

She explains how her father operated on her mother on the kitchen table and they all contracted diphtheria followed by scarlet fever, but survived.

The family left Canada in 1895 after her mother's health had deteriorated.

Produced by Jack Perkins.
Technical direction by Mike Judd.

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Year 1975

Reference number 30181

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Genre Biographical radio programs
Radio programs
Sound recordings

Credits RNZ Collection
Eyre-Walker, Prairie Violet, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Perkins, Jack (b.1940), Producer
JUDD, Mike, Studio engineer

Duration 00:27:39

Date 1975

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