Recording is an interview with early Burnaby resident Elsie (Brown-John) Ansdell conducted by Burnaby Village Museum employee Eric Damer, September 18, 2012. Major themes discussed are: settling in Burnaby and the early years of the Brown-John family.
Elsie (Brown-John) Ansdell’s father, a trained carpenter and cabinet maker, Victor Brown-John came to Canada from Wales in 1910. He cleared three lots at Napier and Gilmore Streets and built a two-roomed house. In 1912, he was joined by his wife and two eldest sons, Victor and Archie. Twin boys, Frank and Roy, were born in 1914 in the Burnaby home and their fifth son, Clive, was born in 1915.
From 1916 to 1919 Victor John-Brown left Burnaby to serve overseas. Elsie Brown-John (later Ansdell) was born in 1921. Her younger brother, Gwyn "Jerry" was born in 1923.
In 1925 Victor Brown-John suffered a fatal accident while working as a longshoreman in Northern British Columbia.
Elsie attended Kitchener Elementary and North Burnaby High School. She married during the Second World War and moved to South Burnaby to raise her family whilst continuing to work in various department stores both in Vancouver and Burnaby.
Eric Damer is a lifelong British Columbian born in Victoria, raised in Kamloops, and currently residing in Burnaby. After studying philosophy at the University of Victoria, he became interested in the educational forces that had shaped his own life. He completed master’s and doctoral degrees in educational studies at the University of British Columbia with a particular interest in the history of adult and higher education in the province. In 2012, Eric worked for the City of Burnaby as a field researcher and writer, conducting interviews for the City Archives and Museum Oral History Program.