Grandpa Turner

John Bernard Turner, 1867-1944

John Bernard Turner, 1867-1944

I never knew Grandpa Turner. The old folks, together with Uncle Bert and Aunt Joan, moved to the west coast sometime in 1941, several months before my birth. Grandpa passed away in February 1944, just a few weeks before I turned two. One of my earliest memories related to him is the picture of his gravesite.

His full name was John Bernard Turner. He was the second son of John William Turner and the grandson of another John Turner. It was his grandfather who married Ann Tate, daughter of Archibald Campbell Tate, in 1809. And thereby hangs a tale.

John Bernard was born on Sept 13, 1867 in Manchester, England, and the family had several addresses in Lancashire before he emigrated to Canada in April 1926. His father was a florist in Liverpool and a member of the Royal Horticultural Society. Perhaps this explains John Bernard’s love of gardening.  At the time my father, Bernard Theodore, was born, their residence was in Preston.

His granddaughter Verla wrote this recollection of him:

One of the things I always remember about Grandpa was that he never wore a belt; he always held up his pants with binder twine. He was an older gentleman when he came to Canada, so while the younger members of the family farmed, he did the farm chores. He cared for his large garden which he loved to do as he had been a gardener in the old country. When his temper flared, he would take out his anger on his garden. I used to tell him he had such a beautiful garden because he was always mad at Grandma. I remember him as a strict man, but gentle and cheerful.

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