Fonds 475 Billy Wood Family fonds


[ca. 1950]-1984. — 6 video recordings.

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Biographical Sketch

William “Billy” Frederick Wood was born in Kent, England on August 19,1903. He immigrated to Canada in 1924 with his uncles and worked for his uncle in the wholesale grocery business in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia for two years. For the next couple of years Billy journeyed west each fall on the harvest trains, while working at a grocery in Glace Bay the other months of the year. After contracting pneumonia one winter, Billy’s doctor advised him to go the mountains. Since he had a cousin in Bezanson (Bill Hall), Billy decided to come to the Peace Country. He took a train to Edmonton then on to Kinuso where he worked at the fish camp for a few weeks to earn enough money to continue his journey. Billy stayed with his cousin Bill Hall for a couple of years working as a trapper in the winter and a harvester in the fall.

In 1930 Billy acquired his own homestead in the Goodwin area (SE 3-72-2 W6th). He made his living trapping muskrats living in the sloughs on his land and the school section. In the early 1940s, Billy worked for Lewis McLaughlin of Bezanson working on the road and cooking for the crew. He then sold his homestead to August Kirner, and moved to Grande Prairie to do armature winding for Cliff Fee. Around 1945, Billy started his own battery repair, fix-it, and gunsmith shop.

Mable A. Dryer and her family had come to Glen Leslie from Hanna, Alberta in August 1931 when farms in southern Alberta were not producing very well. The John Dryer family had nine children and rented the Morrison farm until they bought the Voz land in Grande Prairie in 1941. Mable attended the Somme School until she was 14 years old when she was needed at home. Mable also worked outside of the home before she was married, doing housekeeping. Billy and Mable were married on August 19, 1945 and had four children: James (died 2011), Verna, Winston, and Barbara (died 1953). Billy retired from his business in 1966 after an accident with a gun he was repairing.

Billy was involved in community life as a volunteer firefighter with the Grande Prairie Fire Department from 1946 to 1972. The department awarded him a lifetime membership. Billy was also an amateur radio operator under call sign VE6BL.

Billy died August 24, 1989 in Grande Prairie at the age of 86 and is buried at the Grande Prairie Cemetery. Mable died in 2000 at the age of 82.

Custodial History

The films were donated by James (Jimmy) Wood, son of the creator, William (Billy) Wood.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of 8mm film and a VHS transfer showing scenes from the life and activities of the Billy Wood family from the 1950s to the 1980s.


Table of Contents

Series 475.01 Family Film
Series 475.01 Family Film. — [ca. 1950]-1984. — 6 video recordings.The series consists of five reels of 8mm film taken by Billy Wood from the 1950s to the 1980s. The series also includes a VHS tape of the films. The film shows scenes of the life of the family life of the Woods family and friends, and community life in Grande Prairie. Subjects include children, pets, sports, scouts, farming, volunteer firemen and fires, hunting, boating, church, parades, logging, road scenes, flying model airplanes.
Volunteer Fire Department and Community Life, [ca. 1950]
8 mm film
This film shows a fire, hose laying contests, snowman, duck hunting, boating, a religious celebration, and a picnic.
Location: 0475.01.01

View a digitized copy of this item here.
Family Life, Parades, and Logging, [ca. 1950-1952]
8 mm film
This film shows family life including children playing, birthday parties, and the arrival of a new baby, roasting hotdogs, river scenery, a rodeo, Shriners, a parade with elephants and a carnival, a Grande Prairie County Fair Parade, logging and a sawmill, and a fire.
Location: 0475.01.02

View a digitized copy of this item here.
Family Outdoor Activities and Volunteer Fire Department, 1952-1955
8 mm film
This film shows children and dogs playing, motorcycle tricks, a hose contest, a day at the Menard’s farm, a firemen’s picnic, dancing, machinery, children practicing their printing, New Year’s fireworks, a snowman and skating, opening the fire hall, tobogganing, a pony ride, scouts, and baseball.
Location: 0475.01.03
Volunteer Fire Department, Family Life, Model Airplanes, and Roofing, [ca. 1960]-1976
8 mm film
This film shows fire department activities, skating and playing in the snow, chopping wood, machinery on the road, kids playing on a swing, flying model airplanes, driving and street scenes, a helicopter, roofing, and various birds and animals including swans.
Location: 0475.01.04

View a digitized copy of this item here.
Family Gatherings, Model Airplanes, Sports, and Canfor Fire, 1976-1984
8 mm film
This film shows flying model airplanes, family gatherings, including a 1978 family reunion, a skateboarding show, baseball, a fire at Canfor, fishing, and children playing with a dog.
Location: 0475.01.05

View a digitized copy of this item here.
Billy Wood Family Film, [ca. 1950]-1984
Video Cassette
A video recording of the 8 mm films in this collection (475.01.01-.05).
Location: 0475.01.06
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