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Memoir Collection

Joan Margel

I was born in the "Last Best West" into an extended family who cleared the forest as it emerged from "fur to farm" near Dunvegan on the Peace River. The rich memories of living in a log home and attending, then teaching, in a log school have given me much to write about.

Leaving the farm we moved to the village of Rycroft during the boom to build the Alaska Highway.

Wanting to experience city life, this "bush baby" left Alberta and taught school in Windsor, Ontario, where I met and married my husband Joe. With our two sons, we returned home to Rycroft to establish a T.V. business, which changed our community forever. We later moved to Edmonton with our four children - two sons and two daughters - where Joe taught electronics, while I taught school successively in a vibrant suburb, a disturbing inner city location, and in a hospital of disabled children.

All this came to a halt when my husband developed serve asthma. In the next dozen years we became "snowbirds" looking for relief, while tasting the culture in the sunbelt, ranging from south east Asia, south USA and Central America. We also enjoy visiting our ten grandchildren who all live near us in Edmonton.

Joe got better while I interviewed over seventy elders of the Rycroft area whose tapes are safely deposited in the Provincial Archives. Now I am preparing for the Sanctuary Project field study by the University of Alberta. The staff will film the headstones of the dozen closed Ukrainian Churches in my home country. Now in its second year, this historical project will document about one thousand Ukrainian churches and cemeteries on the Prairies.

Student & Academic Services for The Alberta Women's Memory Project - Last Updated October 11, 2012

Joan Margel