My Great Grandfather, Palmer Reese And Great Grandmother Essay

1875 Words Feb 10th, 2015 8 Pages
My family has a long history of divorce and instead of being a cynic; I wanted to delve into the complexity of divorce throughout history in Canada. My great-grandfather, Palmer Reese and great-grandmother, Clara Sterna fell in love in Winnipeg, Manitoba during the late 1920’s; they married and had three girls, Ruby, Laura and Shirley Reese. However, in 1935 Palmer left his wife and children to seek out work in Ontario working on the roads, and found a new French Canadian partner. Although, they never officially divorced and rather separated because my great grandmother was too stubborn to allow it! Clara was a single mother during the war, with little support and education (grade nine, but she was very proud of that). After Palmer left, Clara moved to a small town on the outskirts of Winnipeg, called Oakville and raised three girls all on her own. Reese did occasionally send letters and small lump sums of money, but nothing equitable to modern day child support. Although, in 1950, Reese sent a cheque for five thousand dollars, and Clara used this to pay for the entire mortgage. They lived a humble life, the girls worked at a very young age to sustain the household, working at the General store, the bakery and eventually traveled to the city to find stable paying jobs. The life as a single woman during the early 20th century was tough, and very rare.

During and post Word War II, divorce and separation were uncommon throughout Canada, in particular Manitoba. Manitoba,…

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