Kebalo, Peter

Regimental Number: M608324
Rank: Sapper

Peter was born on March 3, 1913 in Slater, Manitoba. He was the oldest in the family of seven children; four boys and three girls. Peter was raised on the family farm and worked on the farm when he wasn’t attending school. In August 1933, it was almost impossible to find work in the farming industry. Peter’s mother gave him a cream cheque worth $4.57 which he cashed and decided to move west. He traveled by hopping freight trains until he reached Grande Prairie where he was approached by a farmer looking for someone to assist with the harvest. Peter finally located a family that was originally from his hometown of Slater, the Kockalyk’s, who were living on a farm in the Bezanson area. The Kochalyk’s hired Peter. As he liked the potential of the area, he decided to file a homestead application on land; however, he was told that he had to be a resident of Alberta for three years before he could apply. In the interim, he found work at Jack Fitzpatick’s sawmill. In 1936, he then reapplied for a homestead in the Fitzsimmons area. House parties were the favorite form of entertainment and Peter was an accomplished violinist who loved to play. In 1940, he bought a truck and started to haul grain and lumber. The following year, he bought a new 3-ton truck and did some hauling on the Alaskan Highway from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson, BC.

In April 1942, Peter married Alberta Vinet. They had two children, Karen and Bobby.

On May 28, 1943, Peter enlisted with the Royal Canadian Army at Calgary. He received basic training at Calgary, Wetaskiwin and Halifax; however, he was granted “leave” to attend to his homestead when necessary. Peter was employed as the Regiment Police Officer for over a year and was discharged on September 25, 1945 in Calgary. Sapper Peter Kebalo served in Canada and received the War Medal 1939-45.

Once discharged, Peter bought Burns Fraser’s a farm in the Teepee Creek area where he farmed and hauled grain. By 1947, Peter fabricated a sawmill on wheels that could be easily moved from farm to farm. A neighbor, Don Brown had a tractor with sufficient power to run the sawmill so the two worked together in a partnership. Peter eventually remodeled the sawmill into one that was self-propelled. The Kebalo’s sold the farm to Bob and Margaret White and the sawmill in 1962 and moved to High Level where Peter once again filed for a homestead. They farmed for 13 years and then sold the farm and bought a house in High Level. Alberta passed away in 1980 and was buried in the Glen Leslie Cemetery near Bezanson.

Alberta passed away in 1980 and was buried at the Glen Leslie Cemetery. Peter passed away on July 3, 2000 in Langley, BC and was buried at the Langley Lawn Cemetery.

Contributed by Wanda Zenner

Smoky River to Grande Prairie
Wagon Trails Grown Over