The Williamsons of Widnes

A Family of Many Blessings and Gifts

 

FAMILY INFORMATION

Home Page & Introduction

 

19th Century Histories

 

20th Century Histories
- A Nolan's Story Of Widnes
- A Summer in Bella Bella

- Ashley & Eileen Cooper
- Letter to Jimmy O'Donnell
- Leslie and Mary McLellan
- Nelson & Doris Chamberlain

- Monica Hopwood
-Nicholas & Charlotte Williamson

- Nicholas & Florence Williamson
- Phyllis Williamson

- Sydney and Muriel Williamson
- Michael and Ruth Nolan

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21st Century Histories

 

Family Trees

 

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Related Families

 

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Nicholas Garnett Williamson (1917-1994) & Charlotte Rachel McDougall (1920-2014)

Nikki Springford, coordinated and edited the wonderful story of her parents, her brothers Peter, Paul and Neil, and her sister Michele so that we could enjoy the stories of several generations of these beautiful families

Nicholas Garnet WilliamsonNicholas (Nick or Obbie) Williamson was born May 16, 1917 in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, and died in Vernon B.C. on August 22, 1994. Nicholas grew up in West Vancouver.  He was the second child of Nicholas Williamson and Florence (Floss) Eleanor Williamson (nee Hough).  His older brother John (Jack) Williamson was born February 4, 1908 in St. Helens, Lancashire, UK.  His father Nicholas was born in Widnes, Lancashire, UK and his mother Florence was born in St. Helens, Lancashire, UK.  Nick’s father worked for the Post Office, in the Telegraph office and was also a musician, playing the violin.  He began his musical career in Widnes at the age of twelve, playing the O’Donnell violin which has been in the family since the late 1700's and remains so to this day.  Floss never worked, staying home to raise her two sons.  The history of Nicholas and Floss is to be found on this website, under ‘20th Century Histories’.

Charlotte Rachel McDougallCharlotte Rachel McDougall was born February 29, 1920 in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, and died in Vernon B.C. on June 11, 2014.  Charlotte grew up in West Vancouver.  In those days, if you were born on February 29th (Leap Year), when registering the birth the parents had to choose either February 28th or March 1st to be the official date of birth.  Charlotte’s parents chose March 1st so, forever more, Charlotte celebrated her birthday on March 1st.  Charlotte was the eldest child born to Albert Donald McDougall (Oct 1883 - Oct 1926) and Marguerite Eva McDougall (nee Scribner Jan 28, 1892 - Feb 14,1967).  She had two younger brothers, also born in Vancouver; Lloyd, born November 11,1923 and Evan, born February 24, 1925.  Charlotte’s father Donald was a carpenter by trade, the Site Manager on most jobs he worked.  He worked for a large company building grain elevators and other such structures.  It was while away working in October 1926, near Winnipeg, that he died.  He’d had surgery to have his appendix removed and died due to complications from the surgery.  Charlotte’s mother, Marguerite (Marg) was a stenographer and during the first world war she worked in North Vancouver at the Wallace Shipyard.  Her first child, Charlotte was born four years after Donald and Marguerite married and, Marguerite never returned to work after Charlotte was born.

Evan, Charlotte & Lloyd ca 1934-35Until her father’s death, Charlotte and her family lived in a home at 1471 Fulton Avenue in West Vancouver.  It was built by her father and was completed in 1923.  It is still there today.  Charlotte has some memories of her father building the house.  After her father’s death, Charlotte, her mother and brothers moved to live with Marguerite’s parents Lloyd (Pa) Rowe   Scribner (1864 - 1940) and Blanche (Ma) Mabel Scribner (nee Christie) (1864 - 1943), on Belleview Avenue in West Vancouver.  Marg had been fine living alone with the children when her husband Donald was away at work because she knew he would be returning.  However once he died, Marg could no longer cope being on her own with the children, thus the move to her parents home.
     Evan, Charlotte and Lloyd 1934 or 1935             

Marg married a second time, when Charlotte was 9 years old, to Pierre (Pete) Ambrose Meuse (1885 - 1963) a wonderful step-father to Charlotte and her brothers.  Pete was a widower and had five children himself.  Three sons, and two daughters.  The sons, Merrill, Roland and Gerry Meuse, stayed in Nova Scotia with their family and the girls, Evelyn (1917 -     ) and Aileen (1919 -     ) eventually came to live with Charlotte and her family.  Pete was a halibut fisherman, fishing the coast of B.C.  After he and Marg married, they moved to Prince Rupert which is where they were living when Pete’s daughters came to live with them.

 They eventually moved back to the house Marg still owned on Fulton Avenue where they lived until 1947.  In 1947 Uncle Pete (as he was called by his step children and Grandchildren) and Marg, bought a home in Halfmoon Bay B.C., on the Sunshine Coast.  A winding road, Hydaway, went down through the forest, from the highway to the property sitting right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.  A paradise to be sure.  Pete and Marg lived in the main house and, with a bit of help, Uncle Pete built a wee cottage on the property. 

 For several years all of Charlotte’s children spent at least a month each summer at Halfmoon Bay.  All have fond memories of the large family gatherings, of the woods, beaches, floats and row boats.  Neil and Paul in particular developed a long term attachment to the ocean and to boats, an attachment which figures prominently in their lives today.  It was a wonderful place for children to spend their summers.

 Charlotte’s nieces, Donna and Kyndree McDougall, lived for a few years in the cabin built by Peter Meuse.  Thus they figured prominently in the summer time life of Charlotte’s children.

 Marguerite and Peter lived in their waterfront home until they sold it around 1961or 1962 and bought a home on the highway almost directly across from Hydaway Rd.  They chose to move to the house on the highway because the long walk from their house by the ocean, to the general store was becoming too much for Marg.  She had to carry groceries (they had no car) in all kinds of weather and, living on the highway would make her life just that much easier.

                 
              Pete and Marg's Home - Halfmoon Bay                 The Cottage with Nick's 1949 blue Meteor (burned oil badly)
                                                          Uncle Pete built the cottage home.

Pete died from cancer, in hospital in Pender Harbour in 1963.  Marg moved to a small suite in New Westminster in 1966 to be closer to Charlotte and Nick.  She too died from cancer, February 14, 1967 at the age of 75 in hospital in New Westminster.

                                    Albert Donald McDougall                       Marguerite Eva Scribner                          Pierre Ambrose Meuse

Both Nick and Charlotte grew up in West Vancouver.  When asked how they met, Charlotte responded “I sort of knew Nick for years”.  They hadn’t attended school together, so it seems they likely spent time in the same area of West Vancouver and just gradually came to really know one another.  Nick left school at an early age, at the request of his father “time you helped to support the family”.  Charlotte Charlotte and Nick ca 1936stayed in school longer, attending Hollyburn Elementary and then Inglewood High.  Nick worked at J.W. Kelly Piano Company as a radio repair man, later it became Kelly’s on Seymour. 

 They were married in a small chapel in Bellingham Washington on July 2, 1936 and honeymooned on Bowen Island.  They stayed in a cottage owned by friends of Nicks’ brother Jack.  After the honeymoon they lived in a suite above the Hollyburn Pavilion.  Nick’s parent’s lived in the suite next door.  It was while living in that suite that their first child, Nicholas Pierre (Peter) was born, on May 26, 1937.

The first house they owned was 1348 Clyde Street in West Vancouver, and while living there, their next three children were born.  Lloyd Paul (Paul) born September 15, 1940, Neil Evan (Neil) born December 17, 1942 and, Nicola Rachelle (Nikki) born September 3, 1946.  The story goes that when Nikki was born, her three brothers held a parade, pulling their wagons and banging pots & pans in celebration of the birth of their baby sister! 
         Charlotte & Nick ca1936

Staff Sgt. Williamson ca1943During World War II, Nick signed up for the Royal Canadian Air Force.  At that time, they had Peter who was three and a half years old, and Paul who was three months old.  Nick went back east for a few months of training, and then on to England.  He began as a LAC (Leading Air Craftsman) then became a Corporal, then a Sergeant and eventually a Flight Sergeant (the same rank as a Staff Sergeant in the Army)

Nick worked in the radio section as a Radio Service Person and didn’t care for the job much it seems.  There was heavy bombing which is the only information his family ever gleaned from his time in England during the war.  He eventually was sent back to Canada for more training, becoming a “Drill/Discipline Man” training recruits in Toronto.  His pay consisted of $90.00 per month for Charlotte and the boys and $50.00 per month for himself.  Their house payment, at the time, was $25.00 a month.
 Flight Sgt Williamson -ca1943

 When Nick returned to the West Coast from Toronto in 1944, he was stationed in Bella Bella, 400 miles north of Vancouver, on the Coast of British Columbia.  Nick went to Bella Bella in April of that year, and Charlotte was left home alone with the three little boys.  In the summer of 1944, Nick found a “shack” they could all live in.  The shack had been a bunkhouse during the construction of the RCAF station.  In preparation for the arrival of his family, Nick had to buy lumber, a sink, a window, and the like to have it all refurbished on their arrival.

The tar paper covered shack was small, 20' by 24' and positioned on pilings right on the beach.  At high tide, the water was right beneath them.  There were three rooms, a kitchen/living room and two bedrooms.  There was no running water so water was fetched by Nick in three huge tins every morning and brought back to Charlotte. Nick rigged up a cooler under the house, It was a large tin he got from the cooks at the RCAF station.  As tall as a garbage can, it had contained KLIM (powdered whole milk).  He placed it firmly under the shack at the point most distant from the high tide.  It was sunk about 8" into the sand and then banked with rocks.  About ½" from the top of it, he drilled a hole, put a thin rope through the hole and tied it to a post.  Voila, a cooler!  Charlotte kept butter, eggs and fresh milk (when it was available) nice and cool.  She said she was the envy of Swede Bay!
  Nick & Charlotte - Bella Bella -1944

 Paul has many memories of Bella Bella.  He remembers little bits of the trip up and back on the Union Steamship.  He can still hear the water slapping underneath the floor boards at high tide.  He recalls his fourth birthday there in September.  He remembers watching the whales go by, and how excited he was when he had the occasional ride in the air force’s fast crash rescue boats.

Back in West Vancouver, after the war, Nick bought himself a Dump Truck and went into the trucking business for a brief period of time.

                                                       
                                                                  
  Nick's Dump Truck 1945

Later, having bought a lot in the 1500 block of Kings Avenue in West Vancouver, Nick & Charlotte were going to build a new home.  They sold the house on Clyde Street before the new home was built and the new owners needed to move in sooner than expected.  That led to Nick & Charlotte and the four children moving into a typical wood frame shingled military married quarters hut on the beach side of Ambelside Park in West Vancouver.  There were a number of huts there used for returning veterans who had families.  It was a wonderful place for children, nestled between a large park and Ambelside beach.  Paul has clear memories of playing on the beach, and loving the waves caused when the CPR ferries passed on their way from the Vancouver inner harbour to the Victoria inner harbour.

 In 1947 the family moved to Victoria B.C.  They first moved into a small house at 2617  Mt Stephen Avenue (built by Nick’s father) while Nick’s father built them a larger home at 1224 Haultain Street, which they moved into in 1950.  At the time, Nick was working for Kelly Douglas.  Some time after the move, he got a job with B.C. Electric, driving buses and quit Kelly Douglas.  At the time, there was a popular song titled “Sixteen Tons”, the chorus of which was:

                                            You load sixteen tons, what do you get?                                       
                                            Another day older and deeper in debt.                                        
                                           St Peter don't you call me, 'cause I can't go;                                         
                                            I owe my soul to the Company store

 Nick’s son Neil recalls his Dad use to tell them it was a wimpy song.  He loaded “twenty tons of stuff” at Kelly Douglas and then drove two blocks to the H.B.C. and had to unload it by hand!  A slight exaggeration I’m sure.

                      
                                
 Charlotte with Peter, Paul, Neil and Nikki - taken in early 1947

Charlotte was a stay at home Mom until the fall of 1950 when she went to work at Henry Birks.  She chose to go to work because of things the children wanted for Christmas, Nikki a doll buggy and the boys, ice skates.  As well, they needed a few things for the new house on Haultain Street, such as drapes.  Charlotte felt she should work to help with the expenses.  Though Nick had a good job, and they managed quite well, his wage wasn’t quite enough to pay for all the extra things a family needed or wanted.

 

Nikki with the doll buggy she received Christmas 1950

     Photo taken in yard at Haultain St house, summer of 1951

 

Over the years they moved a few times, selling the house at 1224 Haultain Street in 1951 and renting a home on Chambers Street while looking for a home to buy.  Eventually buying a large home at 2532 Vancouver Street a few months later, in 1952.  It was a wonderful home for a large family, with room for a suite on one side of the house, which they rented out for a period of time.  French doors led into the livingroom from the front hall to the right, and a big wide staircase led to the bedrooms upstairs.

 In September of 1953, Nick & Charlotte’s nieces, Donna and Kyndree McDougall came to live with them for a few months.  Their parents, Charlotte’s brother Evan & his wife Joan had recently separated and needed time to sort out where the girls would be living, and with whom.  At that time, Charlotte had to quit her job at Henry Birks in order to care for the six children they now had in their household.  The following spring, Donna and Kyndree moved with their Mother, to the cottage at Gram & Uncle Pete’s in Halfmoon Bay.

 Victoria was a great place for the children to grow up, and their Grandparents (Nicholas & Floss Williamson) lived nearby so there were frequent visits with them.  Nikki often stayed overnight at their house and has wonderful memories of those times.  She slept on the couch in the livingroom and before bedtime she would snuggle under the covers sharing Licorice Allsorts (Grandma Floss’ favourite) with her Grandma and sing songs.  Grandma would sit in her big armchair singing “I’ve Got A Loverly Bunch of Coconuts”, “Toora  Loora  Loora”, as well as many other old songs to the delight of her granddaughter.

Nick’s father, Nicholas Sr., taught Paul to drive his 1947 Austin 8.  This was a positive step, except that Paul was only 12 at the time.  When Nick found out that his son Paul was driving his Grandfather about town, he was rather displeased.

 Christmas was lovely in that big old house on Vancouver Street.  Charlotte would prepare an amazing Turkey dinner to which the Grandparents were always invited of course.  Nick would carve the turkey and Grandma Floss and Nikki would hover nearby, waiting for a piece of the delicious golden brown skin!  Some years Uncle Pete and Grandma Meuse (Charlotte’s parents) would join everyone there as well.

Nikki recalls one Christmas in particular, coming down the big staircase and rushing into the livingroom expecting to see “Punkin Head” under the tree.  Punkin Head was all the rage that year and every little girl wanted one.  Instead, under the tree sat a Teddy Bear with a note addressed to Nikki from Santa!  The note said that “Sandy Bear” didn’t have a Mommy and no one had asked for him for Christmas.  Santa went on to say he sent Sandy Bear to Nikki because he knew she would make the best Mommy to poor little Sandy Bear.  Needless to say Nikki was delighted that Santa had picked her to be Sandy Bear’s Mommy and to this day remembers that as her best “Santa present” ever.

 It was in Victoria while they were living in the Vancouver Street house that for the first time Nick and Charlotte took a fairly long holiday alone, leaving the children at home.  Peter was in his mid teens and was in charge.  As the paternal grandparents lived close by, they kept a grandparently eye on the children.  Nick and Charlotte drove to San Francisco in their 1939 supercharged Graham sedan, visiting many of Charlotte’s American relatives.  The children survived.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter, Paul, Neil & Nikki at Beacon Hill Park

  in Victoria B.C. 1949

 

 

They lived in the Vancouver Street house until Nick’s Mother Florence (Floss) Williamson died.  Shortly after her death, Nick’s father Nicholas Sr. Wanted to move back to the Mainland.  Nick and Charlotte sold the house on Vancouver Street, and the family moved into Nicholas & Floss’ home on Graham Street where they lived until 1957.  By this time, Nick had left B.C. Electric and was working as a Driver Examiner for the Motor Vehicle Branch.  Charlotte had returned to work and worked for Francis Jewellers.  In 1957, Nick was transferred to Port Alberni, north of Victoria.  After a few short months there, he was transferred again to New Westminster. The Williamson clan lived in a rented house in New Westminster at 810 4th Street for exactly one year, while Nick and Charlotte looked around for a house to buy.  It was while living in this home their youngest child, Michele Marguerite Eleanor was born, on February 19, 1958.  The family was now complete.

 

 

Nikki & Michele in the back yard at 810 4th Street

New Westminster - 1958

 They eventually bought a home in Coquitlam, 951 Austin Avenue, which they moved into on October 31, 1958.  It was a great place, with a huge yard, lots of tall trees and space for plenty of flower beds.  Charlotte planted a lovely rose garden on the west side of the house, in the front and to the east side were massive flowering plants like Spirea, Bridal Wreath, Hydrangeas, etc.  A huge patch of rhubarb grew just outside the backdoor allowing the family to enjoy plenty of Charlotte’s stewed rhubarb and rhubarb pies!

 There was a circular driveway in the front, allowing access to the property either from Austin Avenue or Blue Mountain Road.  As well, there was a straight driveway off Blue Mountain, on the east side of the house, leading into the carport at the back of the house.

 There are a couple of things about the house at 951 Austin Avenue that stand out in Nikki’s memory.  The house had been built by Mr. Greenwood for his rather short wife.  He built the kitchen counters quite low to suit her which was great for Nikki as well, but not so good for Charlotte who was quite a bit taller.  It just took some getting used to.

 One summer, Nick decided to put a decorative frame around all the windows and the front door.  As the boys weren’t around, Nikki was recruited to assist.  After showing her how to use a compass to draw the design on the boards (and letting her choose the design which was rather a ‘gingerbread house’ style), she completed the task and Nick cut them out.  Together they painted the boards, putting the finishing touches to them once they were placed around the windows and door.  The end result was rather pleasing to the eye, and she remembers feeling quite proud of her work.  Mostly due to the praise she received from her father for a job well done.  A bit of the window trim can be seen in the two photos below.

 

    Left to right back row - Neil, Peter & Paul.  Front row - Michele & Nikki taken it the side yard at 951 Austin Avenue - 1962

Uncle Lew Simons (Charlotte’s uncle), Nick, Charlotte, Michele, Nikki, Nikki’s friend Judy Stafford, and cousin Jay Simons, son of Charlotte’s cousin Paul Simons, taken in the front yard of 951 Austin Avenue - 1962
 

 

                                           Michele in backyard of
                                           951 Austin Avenue, in front
                                           o
f the beautiful bamboo - 1963

                                                     

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                             

Nick was still with the Motor Vehicle Branch in New Westminster, and Charlotte began working for Reid Jewellers, also in New Westminster.  By this time, Peter was out on his own, working as an Air Traffic Controller at the Vancouver Airport.  Paul had graduated from High School in New Westminster and was working full time.  Neil and Nikki were attending Como Lake High School in Coquitlam and Michele of course was just eight months old when they moved to Coquitlam.

Paul worked in Vancouver for a year, and then spent 18 months working in logging camps on the remote west coast of Vancouver Island.  With the money he earned there he took a six month trip to Europe, where he made the decision to go to university.  He enrolled in the University of Victoria, along with his brother Neil, in 1962.   Nikki went straight to work after High School, married the following year and began her family.

During the next several years, Nick continued to work as a Driver Examiner.  Charlotte left Reid Jewellers and went to work at Woodlands School in New Westminster, later transferring to Alder Lodge in Coquitlam, not far from their home.

During this time, late 1958 and into 1959,  Nick and his son Peter got their pilot’s licence.  He and Peter spent many hours flying together, often going for the ‘Sunday fly’ instead of the ‘Sunday drive.’  Flying off to Kelowna for a cup of coffee was rather a normal occurrence for the happy fliers.  Peter had a Piper Tri Pacer, (a small four seat airplane)  which he kept at the Abbotsford Airport, a short drive from Coquitlam.  Around this time, the Abbotsford airport decided it was time to have a flying club.  Nick became the first president of the flying club and was quite involved with the Abbotsford Air Show.

 Everyone in the family spent time flying with Peter.  In fact, after Peter completed his solo flight for his pilot’s license, little sister Michele was his first passenger.  Nick and Charlotte said after Peter buckled her in, they could barely see the top of her head, because she was so small.  He and Nikki even flew to San Francisco, an all day flight in his plane, where they visited with their cousin Jay Simons and his family. Jay is the son of Charlotte’s cousin Paul Simons and his wife Dorothy.

 
Peter's Airplane - "CF-IEB

On Saturday August 28, 1965 a terrible tragedy struck Nick and Charlotte’s family.  Their eldest son, Nicholas Pierre (Peter) was murdered in English Bay in Vancouver.  Paul was in Montreal at a conference of the Canadian Union of Students.  He was the president of the Alma Mater Society (the student’s associations) of UVic.  As the outgoing western regional representative on the board of C.U.S. he was due to go on to a second conference in Halifax.  Instead, he flew back home to Vancouver at the end of the first conference.

 As it happened, Neil who was by then teaching in Greenwood B.C., was at the family home in Coquitlam just about to return to Greenwood after summer vacation.  Nikki who was married and expecting her first child, lived not far from the family home.  So, both Neil and Nikki were able to be there with their parents and with Michele who was just seven and a half years old at the time.  Two young men were arrested one week later and were found guilty of the murder the following February.

 Nick and Charlotte stayed in the house on Austin Avenue until Michele was nearly fourteen years old.  At that time, Nick had taken a transfer with the Motor Vehicle Branch, to Vernon B.C.  The move was to be for only two years, at which time Nick would be able to apply for a transfer back to the Lower Mainland.  However when the opportunity came to apply for a transfer back, the family was quite settled in Vernon and chose to remain there.

 Nick actually moved to Vernon a few months before Charlotte and Michele joined him, buying a home in preparation for their arrival.  The day Charlotte and Michele moved, in January 1972, Nikki walked down to the house to say good bye to them, pushing her youngest child, Kyndree, in her stroller.  Her son Kirk was in school at the time.  While they were having a short visit, Nick’s brother Jack arrived to say good bye as well.  It was a cold day with snow on the ground which seemed to match the mood of everyone there.  Nikki remembers very well, struggling to push Kyndree’s stroller in the deep snow on the sidewalks not yet cleared.

When Nick and Charlotte moved to Vernon, there were regular visits from their children still living on the coast (Paul and Nikki) and Neil from Greenwood, with their families. Paul and his family regularly skied at Silver Star Mountain, and all enjoyed many congenial evenings in "The Snug", the cosy timbered bar with a fire place Nick built in the basement of their home. Paul's work took him from time to time to Vernon, and he always stayed with his parents while Nick was still alive, and with Charlotte after she moved into her apartment on Okanagan Ave.

 Nikki and her children, Kirk and Kyndree,  spent nearly every Christmas in Vernon during the children’s early years, often flying up on Christmas eve and having the excitement of the pilot announcing Santa’s location from time to time.  Summers were also enjoyed, especially by the children who often spent a week or so with Nick, Charlotte and their Auntie Michele.

 After moving to Vernon, Nick continued his hobby of minor renovations and woodworking projects.  One such renovation actually wasn’t small but a wonderful transformation of the unfinished basement in their home.  With some help from Charlotte, Michele and some friends in the trades, a fabulous version of an English style pub was created and named “The Snug”.

 Everyone in the family can recall many happy occasions celebrated over the years in that special room that even had a dance floor!  There was also a beautiful guest bedroom built downstairs.  The walls of the entire room (including the closet) were lined with wood reminiscent of living quarters of the past no doubt.

 
Fireplace in the Snug

During his retirement, Nick advanced the level of his woodworking and built some memorable pieces.  When there was no shortage of small tables for setting plants on the sundeck, signs, or shelves, the arrival of Michele and Glenn’s first child seemed to set the hobby on a new course.  At the news of the new arrival, Nick promptly went to the local lumberyard and picked up the necessary wood to build a small crib!  Past experience with his older grandchildren told him it was important to have a comfy place to sleep when they came to visit.  Why buy a crib when you could build one?  The crib was nestled in the corner of the upstairs guest bedroom long before Scott’s arrival and got plenty of use by Scott and his little sister Alyson.  Granddaughters Leah and Leslie also used the crib whenever they came to visit. 

Nick also built great toy boxes with the grandchildren’s names on them and others that could be wheeled around when picking up all the toys.  The best project of all was the “Spitfire”.  One day when Michele was visiting, she mentioned this “cute rocking airplane” in the waiting room of her doctor’s office.  Within a few days, Nick and gone to the office to have a look and made a plan in his head how to build something similar.  The end result was a major hit and a much-loved item that was treasured for many years.  Michele thinks it may have been the seed that started Scott on his current occupation as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. 

After retirement, Nick and Charlotte travelled widely, even before that retirement. Nick drove to Expo '67 in Montreal towing a travel trailer. They enjoyed a number of cruises - one through the Panama Canal and another to Alaska. Charlotte has travelled to see her relatives in the Maritimes and her relatives in California.  In 2009, about to turn 89 years old, she even travelled to New Zealand to see her granddaughter Laura and her great grandson Liam.

 The family lost Nick suddenly on August 22nd 1994 as a result of an aneurysm.  Charlotte continued to live in the family home for just over two years before moving into a condo with a stunning view of Silver Star Mountain and the Orchards of the Bella Vista area of Vernon.  She kept herself busy volunteering with various groups like the John Howard Society and participating in Tai Chi and fitness classes. 

Since 1995, Charlotte and Michele have been lucky enough to do a small amount of travelling together as well.  They have been to Nova Scotia to visit cousins twice (most recently in 2007) they have had several weekend trips to Victoria and the Vancouver area. In 2008 Nikki joined them for a weekend trip to Halfmoon Bay where they visited Charlotte’s stepsister Evelyn and re-visited Marguerite and Pete’s homesites.  Charlotte has joined Michele several times on an annual road trip to watch Alyson play in a female hockey tournament in Castlegar. 

When asked recently about the move to Vernon, Charlotte had this to say: “Coming to Vernon turned out to be a good move.  We bought a bungalow, walking distance to Michele’s school, in a nice neighbourhood.  Nick’s office was in the Court House and Dellview Hospital (where I would work) was close to our General Hospital.  I settled in easily and found the staff friendly.  The patients were all elderly, many of them still mobile but suffering from dementia.  I stayed there until 1980 (8 years) and retired at 60.  Nick worked until 1981, retiring at 64. 

I started going to exercise classes, and I also took up Tai Chi for ten years, and loved it.  Son Paul is sure that Tai Chi is partly responsible for my present physical fitness, however I think it is due to genes on my father Don McDougall’s side.  When I went back to Prince Edward Island to meet family many years ago, there were my father’s cousins in their nineties and all still quite active.”

 At 90 years young, Charlotte recently moved to an independent living centre where she still has a comfortable two-bedroom suite but no longer has to cook or clean.  She joins her neighbours each day in an exquisite dining room where she receives her meals in good company.  She continues to attend fitness classes twice a week, meets with fellow members of the BC Government Retired Employees Union once a month for a luncheon and joins former co-workers from Dellview Hospital once a month for a “coffee klatch”.   A music lover like Nick, Charlotte enjoys the wonderful performances the North Okanagan Community Concert Society brings to town several times a year.  Nick and Charlotte held season’s tickets for many years and the first year after his death, Michele went in his place continuing to do so ever since.

 

Family Photo Gallery

 A few photos of Nick & his boys (he seemed to like posing with cars):

                           
                                   Nick with Peter 1938                                     Nick 1941                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                        1951 Packard - ca 1958 or 59               1962 Chrysler in driveway at 951 Austin Ave.

 
Paul & Neil with 1934 Graham - taken in 1945

 

A few photos of Charlotte (posing with family)

 

                             

                                             Charlotte with her step-sisters,
                                              taken in the "Snug" Oct 17, 1981
                                              (Michele’s wedding day)

 

 

 

 


 

 
Charlotte with her brothers, Evan, Lloyd and step sisters Aileen (centre) & Evelyn at far right


Charlotte with Mother Marguerite, brother Evan in Mother's lap and Lloyd

Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren of Nick and Charlotte Williamson
There are nine grandchildren (six granddaughters & three grandsons), and three great grandsons

     

Charlotte with her daughter Michele on right,             Nikki, Paul and Neil, taken at Paul’s in
and her granddaughter, Alyson (Michele’s                       New Westminster, March 2010
daughter) on the left.  Taken at the 2010
Olympic Torch Run in Vernon

  

 Four out of the six granddaughters: Leslie, Alyson,           
Kyndree and Leah.  Leslie & Leah are Neil’s daughters.
Alyson is Michele’s daughter and Kyndree is Nikki’s
daughter.  Missing are Paul’s two daughters, Laura
 & Charlotte photo taken at Charlotte’s 90th birthday party





Paul, Nikki, Charlotte, Neil & Michele
taken at Charlotte's 90th birthday party, March 2010

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

  Nick and Charlotte's eldest
  grandson Kirk, Nikki's son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Back Row: Kirk, Charlotte and Kyndree.  Front Row: Ben, Michele, and Max.  Kirk & Kyndree are
Charlotte's grandchildren (Nikki's children), Michele her youngest daughter and, Max & Ben are
Kyndree's sons, Charlotte's great grandsons.  Photo taken in Sept 2008.



Nick and Charlotte's great grandsons Ben and Max   Kyndree, Ben & Max & Dolphins in Cuba - 2009
Nikki's grandsons, sons of her daughter Kyndree
Photo taken December 2007

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  





          Michele and her husband Glenn - August 2010 

 

 




Michele with son Scott on the 'Spitfire'
built by his grandpa Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glenn with Scott. (Michele and Glenn's son)
Summer 2010

 


Nick & Charlotte's great grandson Liam in his Leonard Cohen hat.  Grandson of Paul, son of Laura

    

     

Nick and Charlotte's granddaughter Laura,
Paul's eldest daughter

 
   Charlotte with Paul's two youngest, Charlotte & Peter - taken 2009

 

 

 

 



Nick and Charlotte's grandson Scott, with their great
grandson Max on his shoulders and their grandson Peter,
son of Paul.

Nick's 75th Birthday - May 1992
The gang as we were then .......



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Nick & Charlotte Meet their 1st Great Grandson Max - 1993

 

 

 


Nick and Charlotte's 50th Anniversary - 1986
   with her brother Evan & his wife Fran.


Charlotte's 75th Birthday - March 1995


Charlotte 90th Birthday with Kyndree - March 2010

Nikki, Charlotte and Neil at Charlotte's 90th Birthday 2010