Fonds 118 Bill LeMarquand fonds

Bill LeMarquand fonds. — 1926-1992. — 1.5 cm of textual records, 2 photographs, 4 sound recordings.

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Agency History

William LeMarquand was born in 1908 on Honeymoon Island (Jersey Islands) in the English Channel, the seventh child in a large family. Because of the paucity of land on Jersey, Bill was attracted to the idea of homesteading in Canada where 160 acres of land could be purchased for $10.00, the equivalent of two English pounds at the time. He emigrated to Canada in 1926, sailing on the Alaunia on June 26, and was met by his brother George who had been clerking in Edmonton since 1921.

The two brothers homesteaded at Thorhill, north of Edmonton. In 1949, they were attracted by the Lassiter Project north of Wanham when it was opened up to non-soldiers. Here Bill bought a half section of land for the $10.00 homesteading fee. In an area where many farmers had failed, he worked two farms into production. His farming guide was the Llewellan Moon Sign Book and Planetary Guide for “farming with the moon.” He respected the earth and was willing to work with the land and not against it.

Bill retired from farming in 1965, and turned his profit into rental properties. He loved carpentry work and renovating old houses. Bill moved to Sexsmith with his brother George and, after George’s death in 1972, traveled back to Jersey to see the family he had not seen for 47 years. In 1976 he moved to Pioneer Lodge in Grande Prairie where he became active as a volunteer with the Golden Age Center and the Queen Elizabeth II hospital. In one of his peak years he logged 1,500 hours of volunteer work at the QE II, and in 1981 he was awarded Volunteer of the Year.

Bill passed away in 1992, at the age of 84, while he was still a resident of Pioneer Lodge.

Custodial History

The records were passed on to Grande Prairie Regional Archives by Jean Lowe. Mrs. Lowe was the administrator of the Grande Spirit Foundation, which operated Pioneer Lodge, and the executrix of Mr. LeMarquand’s will.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of records relating to the LeMarquand family in the Jersey Islands, ships’ records for Bill’s immigration to Canada, papers from his homestead at Thorhild and his farms at Wanham, and news clippings detailing his volunteer career after retirement. The sound recordings include an oral history of Mr. LeMarquand and some communications from the family in the Jersey Islanders. The photographs are of Bill with his first automobile in 1940 and of Bill in retirement, when he received the Volunteer of the Year award.

Table of Contents

Series 118.01 LeMarquand family records
Series 118.02 LeMarquand personal papers
Series 118.03 News Clippings
Series 118.01 LeMarquand family records. — 1951-1981. — .5 cm of textual records, 1 postcards, 2 sound recordings.The series consists of death announcements for some LeMarquand family members, poems and letters written by Bill’s brother, George Raymond LeMarquand, regarding the politics of farming in the Peace Country, and a few paper souvenirs of Bill’s trip to Jersey in 1973. The postcard is of a Jersey summer community. The audio tapes are from Bill’s sister Eve and her husband, telling a little about the LeMarquand family in Jersey.
Series 118.02 LeMarquand personal papers. — 1926-1992. — .5 cm of textual records, 2 photographs, 2 sound recordings.The series consists of papers relating to Bill’s immigration to Canada, his homesteads in the Thorhill area of Alberta and the Lassiter Project near Wanham. A Farm Auction poster is in over-sized storage. There is also a sheaf of 1961 receipts relating to farming, and some correspondence relating to Canadian citizenship and his career as a volunteer The two audio tapes are one oral history describing homesteading with the Lassiter Project and one of Bill singing old folk songs.  A transcript is available here: Bill LeMarquand (118.02.01)
Bill LeMarquand and his first car, 1940
1 photograph; b & w; 2 x 3
32 year old Bill LeMarquand in his first car, a topless model A in front of a small frame house.
Location: 0118.02.4
Bill LeMarquand, Volunteer of the Year, 1981
1 photograph; colour; 4 x 6
Head & shoulders portrait of Bill LeMarquand at about 75 years of age
Location: 0118.02.5
Series 118.03 News Clippings. — 1926-1992. — .5 cm of textual records.The series consists of news clippings about Mr. LeMarquand. They concern his history as a pioneer, his activities after his retirement, and a dispute regarding the operations of the Golden Age Centre in which he was personally involved.
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