Skip to the main content

The Immigration Story of Kenneth RC Appleby (Scottish Immigrant)

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.

Culture : 
Country of Origin: 
Port of Arrival: 
Creative Commons: 
Accession Number: 

Story Text: 

I decided to emigrate to Canada in 1953 as work in shipbuilding in Dundee, Scotland, was very unstable at that time.

It was a very emotional parting as I was leaving a wife and two children, a boy, Raymond who was to be three on November 3, 1953, and a daughter, Kathi, who would be two on November 9, of that year.

I took the train (The Flying Scot) to London on October 23, 1953, from Tay Bridge Station in Dundee, Scotland, then train to Southampton to embark on a new life in a new country, Canada.

I had been corresponding with Management of Canadian V ickers Shipyard in Montreal prior to my departure and had secured a job as a ship’s Plater (my trade in the Caledon shipyard, Dundee, Scotland, where I started as an apprentice in 1940.

Prior to a departure I had been fortunate to purchase a used cabin trunk, of the kind used by ship travellers in the glory days of ship travel . It had a rounded top to avoid being placed upside down and was equipped like a magnificent wardrobe with hanging rods for clothes and drawers for all other accessories.

We departed Southampton October 24 at 12.50 p.m. for LeHarve, France, then out into the Bay of Biscay en route to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

During the voyage I met a bunch of Canadian provo marshals on their way home to Canada from Germany to various other postings, some to Comox, British Columbia.

Seas were very rough with monstrous waves, but I never missed a meal sitting during the voyage. My new-found friends taught me a card game I had never heard of before cribbage and managed to take a few of my Canadian dollars - but not very much.

We were officially landed at Pier 21 on November 2, 1953, the day after my 30th birthday. After the lengthy train journey from Halifax to Montreal, I was met by the son of a former friend of my mother-in-law, who had come to Canada many years before and married a Canadian. He got me settled in the YMCA on Drummond Street, Montreal, until I could find other permanent lodgings.

Next morning I traveled by street car, then bus to Canadian Vickers Shipyard where I worked for 13 months before returning to Scotland.

My wife and I were later, in 1957, to return to Canada permanently, this time as a family. Our first home was in Timmins, Northern Ontario, where I started as a gild miner.

I returned to Canada in 1957, sailing on the RMS Ivernia from Tilbury Dock in London on February 1, 1957 to Halifax, Canada.

We landed in Halifax on February 8, 1957, then by train to Montreal, then to Ontario Northland railway to Timmins, arriving February 12, 1957 to begin work at the Hollinger Gold Mine.

Unfortunately I could find no passenger list of my voyage or the RM Ivernia for your records.

My wife and children sailed from Liverpool on the Empress of England’s Maiden Voyage. They were officially landed at Quebec City, but disembarked at Montreal, where I met them to join them for the long train trip to Timmins.

I have enclosed a photo of me taken in 1953 and also one of me and my granddaughter and great granddaughter during a visit to Timmins at our daughter’s home in 2005, to celebrate our 58th wedding anniversary on Xmas Eve.

Kenneth Appleby