Lock, Thomas James “Jim”

Thomas James (Jim) Lock was born on August 21, 1918 in the village of Bowden, Ab. At age 17 he left home and “rode the rods”, from Montana to Lethbridge, then to Swift Current and Moose Jaw, Sk. Jim got lucky – he got a job in Moose Jaw washing bottles for Johnstone Dairies for 15 cents an hour, ten hours a day. He got promoted to delivery man, a job that he held for 3 years until his horses ran away and dumped the milk wagon upside down right on main street Moose Jaw! Jim left everything and walked across the street into the recruiting office and joined the Army, the South Saskatchewan Regiment.

In February, 1941 Jim transferred to the R.C.A.F and went overseas to England in 1942. He was stationed at Topcliffe Airforce station where he met and fell in love with a local Yorkshire girl, Margaret Thompson. Jim first saw her when she opened the NAAFI canteen door, telling his other fellows “That’s the girl I’m going to marry”. They met in September and were married in June, 1944 at Brotton in Yorkshire, England. Their first child, Wayne was born in England in June, 1945.

Jim was discharged in January of 1946, and returned to Bowden, Ab. After a few months leave Jim went to work for the Midland Pacific Elevator as a grain buyer. Margaret and baby Wayne finally got to Bowden in August of 1946 arriving on a War Bride’s sailing. Jim and family were transferred to Sexsmith in 1952. They had 3 children then, Terry and Sherrill were born in Bowden and Shirley in Sexmith. Their last child, David was born in September, 1961.

Jim went in to the Auction Mart with Roy Tink in 1956-1957. In 1958 they purchased Charlie Gathercole’s Real Estate and Insurance Office, running the business, Sexsmith Insurance and Real Estate until they sold in 1978.

Jim was very active in the community being the first elected Mayor, President of the Legion, Masons, and School Board, as well as Exalted Ruler of the Elks, and Director on the Alberta Real Estate Board.

Jim passed away on January 25, 2003 in Grande Prairie and is interred at the Emerson Trail Cemetery in Sexsmith, Ab.

Sources: Wagon Trails Grown Over  p. 621