Betty Rutherford

Betty Rutherford was born in the London suburb of Carshalton, Surrey, June 17, 1919 to Ernest Rutherford and Dora Danks. Ernest was captivated by the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian government advertisements for settling the Canadian west. In 1912, he arranged to work for the Bank of Montreal in Canada. He returned in the early years of the First World War and briefly served in France. While he was in England, he married Dora Danks in 1917.

Ernest returned to Canada and in 1931 brought the whole family over. They arrived at Quebec City on 26 April 1931.

Betty met Judd through her younger brother, Jim. Judd was a scoutmaster in Jim’s scout troop. Dora and Ernest had misgivings about the whirlwind romance, so they sent Betty back to England in the summer of 1939 for a few weeks. But the enforced separation simply made the bond stronger and Betty and Judd married in 1940.

Betty and Judd had four children: Heather, 1941; Reg, 1944, Frank (now Kevan), 1948 and John (now Jon), 1950. In 1953, on the recommendation of Judd’s physician to seek a dryer climate and Judd’s desire to seek different employment, the family moved to Calgary, Alberta. Betty lived there, alone after Judd become hospitalized and died in hospital, until 1986 when she moved to Victoria, BC, Canada. At that time, Victoria was still considered to be the closest city in Canada to the British way of life. Jon had previously moved to Edmonton and Reg left Calgary for Saudi Arabia for two years in 1985. And Heather had moved with her family to Denver several years before. With no family left in Calgary, Betty decided to move west. It helped too that Kevan had already established himself on Vancouver Island and was available to be a part of her new life.

She died in Victoria in 2013 just prior to her 94th birthday.

One thought on “Betty Rutherford

  1. Couple of ideas to incorporate here or elsewhere:

    Ernest’s service in France was brief because he wounded (apparently not very seriously, at least I never heard that it was life-threatening, but enough to take him back to England for the duration of the war)

    When the family arrived 1931, Ernest got impatient with the long line for immigrants and, because he had lived in Canada before, took everyone through the line for returning residents, an action that had repercussions many years later as Betty had a bit of struggle to claim her Canadian citizenship — she had never legally entered the country

    In 1939 the whole family went back to England for the holidays (Jim came on a later sailing, I think because of his school not being quite finished). On the return voyage, Jim again lingered behind and took a later sailing — one that turned out to be the last passenger ship leaving before the outbreak of the war.

    The family had made several trips to Victoria on holidays over the years of living in Calgary, and Betty fell in love with it, always vowing she would retire there. We were home from Saudi before she moved, but our entreaties for her to stay — what will our children do without their grandmother to visit? — fell on deaf ears, and she followed her dream to move to Victoria.

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