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The Immigration Story of Elsie Bell and Helen Edna Gardner (Scottish immigrants)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

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Elsie Bell Gardner and her daughter, Helen Edna, aged 22 months arrived in Canada to join her husband Hamor Gardner. Elsie and Hamor married in September 1916 during WW1 in her hometown Edinburgh, Scotland. Hamor was from British Harbour, Trinity Bay and their first visit there remained in my Grandmother's mind as it was such a contrast to Edinburgh. Hamor and Elsie and their daughter moved to Shelbourne, Nova Scotia for work and then on to Kitchener Ontario. Hamor became a Detective Inspector with the Ontario Provincial Police and Elsie Bell Gardner wrote fiction, The Maxie Books, from 1928 - 1937. Elsie Bell Gardner also wrote a column for The Empire newspaper and was an alderman for Burlington Ontario in the 1930's. During World War Two she worked in the munitions factory in Toronto to help the war effort.

Hamor died in 1948. Elsie continued to work and lived with her daughter, Helen Edna Collins (nee Gardner) and her family. Elsie lived a good long life and passed away in October 1994 aged 99.

Hamor Gardner won the Miltary Medal in October 1918 for bravery in the field. Details of Hamor's military service are in The Rooms

Information about Elsie Bell Gardner can be found on a few sites. Here is one:

I hereby authorize the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 to use the above information as indicated on this form.