Robert Ernest Lundberg: a (photo)journal of life...

This is being written down by Murray, starting in April 2015. Most is written in the first person, but Murray is adding details and links by researching.

This Web site is coded so that it can never be found by search engines - it is for close family members only. There is some confusion about names and dates, so suggestions and corrections are welcomed. Additions to it, either text or photos, are also welcomed - email Murray at

Photos enlarge in a new window when you click on them.

November 29, 1922 - born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, to Doris Alma Wraight, who was born in England on May 4, 1901, the youngest of 9 children of John James Wraight and Sarah Aslett.

Adopted by Erik Maurice Lundberg and Jentina Charlotta Lundberg (nee Wahlberg), at Montreal, Quebec. Notes. Jentina came to Canada in 1903, and Erik some time later. They met in Montreal, I think while skiing. They were early members of the Mount Royal Ski Club (which started in 1917).

From 1924 to '27, we lived in Chauvin, Alberta, where my parents had a restaurant. Dad's brother John Lundberg lived 14 miles north of Chauvin at Roros, had some big white mules - one kicked me in the face. His wife was buried at a big white church on the hill, the Battle River Church - he called her "Molin", apparently a pet name, as her real name was Amelia Catherine Lundberg.

I don't know where this picture was taken - the big building in the background is a garage and I don't remember Chauvin having a garage that large.

This picture was taken beside our cafe, behind the Chauvin Hotel, in about 1926.

Fraser Mills. Dad worked there as a millwright. I went to Millside School for Grade 1 in 1928, speaking only Swedish. Mom spoke several languages - Swedish, French, German and others.

Next, we moved to Endiang, Alberta, in 1929. We lived with my uncle Henning Wahlberg, who had a restaurant there, for about 4 months.

I remember part of that trip, which was made in Dad's Star sedan - parts of the road through the the Fraser Canyon hung off the cliffs on wooden trestles and were very scary. The photo shows the Fraser Canyon road at that time (late 1920s, by A. Curtis, BC Archives A-04683).

From 1929 until 1935, we lived in Chauvin again. Mom and Dad had 2 more restaurants this time. This picture of me was taken outside the first restaurant, probably in 1929.

This photo, with Dad, Mom and a seated customer, was a professional photo taken at our second restaurant (the first one on our second time in Chauvin) in July 1931. The clock above Dad was passed on to me, then to Murray and then to Steven. Dad went bankrupt in 1935 and lost everything - even our furniture was sold off. Part of the reason for his downfall was that during the Depression he never turned down a hungry man who wanted a free meal.

As of 2015, I still have a few of the dishes we used in the restaurants.

This postcard probably shows Chauvin during the period we lived there.
The first building on the left was the power plant;
then the first large building was the post office.
In the middle of the street in the distance was a WWI cannon mounted on a concrete base.
The furthest building is the railway station. There was a mounted buffalo in a glass case on the railway station grounds. I think it eventually went to Edmonton.
On the right, the big building is the Chauvin Hotel - our last cafe was in the hotel.
Next is the Bank of Montreal. The main street was a cross street that ran between the hotel and bank.

The town has a walking tour brochure online that shows some of the other places I knew, like the theatre, which is now a seniors centre.

This picture was taken before my time, but not much had changed. The Catholic church is in the distance, the Chauvin Hotel is the biggest building on the left, and the brick building on the right is the Bank of Montreal.

I remember stories about babies being buried behind the church after being born to nuns who had gotten pregnant by the priests.

1935, back to Maillardville, BC - I went to Central School up on the hill, on Austin Road. Miss Bournes was my teacher. Dad worked at Jubilee Hotel for about a year until an opening for a millwright came up at Fraser Mills. Worked as a ditch-digger for the municipality for a short time. Lived in a chicken coop for a while, rented from a family also called Lundberg (Oscar and his son Frank). It was a small farm below Rochester.

While were at Fraser Mills this time, Mom and Dad ran another restaurant, in the Fraser Mills clubhouse. They ran it for a long time - maybe 4 years. This is one of their waitresses, Marge Woods, with Dad outside the clubhouse in 1940. She was a really nice girl, and worked for Mom for a long time.

In 1938, my grandmother, Maria Wahlberg, died. She lived with us for many years, and pretty much raised me while Mom was running the restaurants. I don't know when she first came, but she was with us in Chauvin and then came back to BC with us. She was buried in Coquitlam - one of the first 25 people buried in what is now the Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery. We had no money for a headstone, and I never went back until 2013.

1938-1939, I attended T. J. Trapp Technical High School in Grade 10.

In 1939, I attended (Vancouver?) Technical School in Vancouver for 28 weeks - two 14-week courses in aircraft mechanical/structural basics, based on spruce-framed biplanes. Program paid $7 per week. The first 14 weeks may have been at T. J. Trapp. Hand-filing a metal block to the correct shape in the early part of the classes was a mind-numbing 2-week job!

I signed up for the RCAF in Vancouver 2 days before my 18th birthday in 1940 - the recruiter said that by the time the paperwork got to Ottawa I'd be legal. We were shipped by train to Toronto, where we spent about 6 months doing basic training at Manning Depot. The photo, which was sent to my parents, is dated May 23, 1941.

St. Thomas with 65th Entry, training as aircraft mechanic, specializing in hydraulics on Harvards. Pissed off at not being able to go overseas because my skills were needed in Canada. Sent to jail for 3-4 days for getting a bad sunburn and impeding the war effort, more trouble for going under the fence for an adventure. St. Thomas was strictly mechanical training school.

One of my best friends was Tom McCready (sp?)

Summerside: "The airfield was constructed by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) between 1940–1941 and was named RCAF Station Summerside. It was home to No. 9 Service Flying Training School (SFTS), a flight school that operated under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Relief or emergency airfields were located at nearby RCAF Station Mount Pleasant and Wellington. Airmen were trained on Harvards. In July 1942 No. 9 SFTS moved to RCAF Station Centralia." I recall 135 Harvards being at Summerside. One crash-landed on the ice and then sank through the ice - we recovered it, totally disassembled it and rebuilt it.

Centralia: "RCAF Station Centralia was a Royal Canadian Air Force training base located just outside the village of Centralia near Exeter, Ontario, Canada. It became one of the largest training stations in Canada. Flying schools were established across Canada as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during World War II. Centralia was the location for No. 9 Service Flying Training School (SFTS). Service Flying Training Schools provided advanced training to pilots who had graduated from Elementary Flying Training Schools (EFTSs). Trainee pilots flew the Avro Anson and North American Harvard. No. 9 SFTS had moved to Centralia from RCAF Station Summerside, Prince Edward Island, in July 1942.[1] Relief landing fields for Centralia were located at Grand Bend and St. Joseph." Dad recalls few Harvards. I remember that the beach at Grand Beach prohibited Jews - posted "Gentiles only", I think. Few airmen went to Grand Bend as there were many Jewish boys in #9 SFTS.

One of my girlfriends, Connie Lomas and me in 1943. I spent a lot of money on custom suits - even had a custom-tailored uniform. I wasn't allowed to wear the uniform on parade - it was for going into town.

I met Joan Hansan, who was married to an RCAF officer, Holgrave, and had a daughter. Joan and I moved to London, Ontario - lived in one of the apartments at 504 Talbot - downstairs front. Owned by Roy Smith.

On May 2, 1944, Valarie Jentina Lundberg was born in London.

On April 12, 1945, Brian Eric Lundberg was born in London.

After leaving RCAF, I worked in a lumber yard and then a paper box plant on Princess Street in London, making egg cartons.

Moved to BC in 1946, worked for CNR at Port Mann for about 6 months, living with cousins, Ingrid and Dick Rushton.

Moved to Maillardville, worked as a janitor at Austin Heights High School, which provided a cabin to live in. Joan left me in 1946 while I was working at the school. Joan took the kids to Mrs. Hull and I paid their board there. Joan moved to an apartment by herself.

1948, started working with Morris Belkin in his paper box manufacturing plant on Kingsway. Belkin bought the plant I had worked at in London, and hired me because of my experience with the egg carton machine. The Kingsway plant burned in the mid-1950s and Belkin's was moved to Richmond. Morris Belkin arrived in Vancouver via Calgary on a cattle car during the Great Depression, tending the animals to pay his way. Once settled, he launched what would eventually become Canada's largest paperboard packaging company. He died in 1987, shortly after selling Belkorp's papermaking operations for $235 million.

June 5, 1948, I married Marguerite Sadie Waneta Hayes at Vancouver, BC. Carl Fagerlid was my witness, Marguerite's was her best friend, Betty Hustwait.

We went on a brief honeymoon to Blaine and White Rock in our 1932 Ford coupe, spending the night at a White Rock hotel.

We had bought the 1932 Ford coupe from Pattison on Main for about $300, using Marguerite's money, as I hadn't saved any. The car had a rumble seat, and Valarie and Brian used to ride in it.

Marguerite Hayes had come to Vancouver during the war (1941?) to work as a rivet-catcher in the North Vancouver shipyards, living with her aunt and uncle on her mother's side (Sinclairs). She then went to work for Hammond Furniture (seen in Marguerite's photo to the left) as a sander. She worked on the bedroom suite I still use. We met at a dance at the Sons of Norway Hall on Hastings Street that Albert Gravelle and I had gone to. She made 1 cent an hour more at Hammond than I did at Belkin's (she was union and made 71 cents/hour, I was non-union and made 70 cents).

Marguerite on the left with some of her Hammond furniture co-workers and friends - Betty Hustwait, Margaret Paddison and Phylis Jackson.

As a wedding present, Mom and Dad had given us the empty lot next to their home on Nelson Road. I spent a lot of time digging the basement for our new home, and then Dad changed his mind about giving it to us.

Henning, Henning's second wife, Mom and Dad, with their dog Bonzo (a great dog), Valarie and Brian in front, at Mom and Dad's home on Nelson Road.

Valarie and Brian with our little female spaniel, Dutchie, on our 1937 Ford 5-passenger coupe in about 1949. The sweet little dog died out at Carl and Joan's of a massive ear infection that stunk terribly - I didn't have a pot to piss in and couldn't afford to take her to the vet. One of those things that makes reminiscing tough

August 4, 1949, Robert Arthur Lundberg born at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.

October 27, 1950, Murray Wayne Lundberg born at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.

Madore: rented ... ?
- bought 931 Madore across the street for $5,000 from Frank ...

In about 1952, we got a collie puppy that we named Shep. He was great with kids - always with the boys when they went wandering. Nancy Ball was walking with Tracy and him along Newton Road in about 1961 when he got hit by a Palm Dairy truck - he was very badly injured and died soon after.

May 31, 1953, Shelly Joyce Lundberg born at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.

This picture of me with Mom and Dad, Robert and Murray, and my Mayflower, was taken at Mom and Dad's place on Nelson Road in 1953 or '54. The Mayflower was an awful car - not enough power to make it up some of the steep hills in New Westminster - and I didn't keep it very long.

In 1955 we moved from Coquitlam to Newton, to an unfinished house at 7303-122A Street. It was a subdivision (actually a single line of homes) in between farms - a great place for kids to grow up, with pastures and animals and forests and a great little "swamp". This shows the house in about 1958, with my 1955 Studebaker Champion and Marguerite's Daybreak Blue 1956 Studebaker Commander. The boys had a bedroom on the top floor at the right, the girls were at the back left. After a few years, I turned the garage into a rec room.

For a few years after moving to Surrey, we drove out the valley to visit former neighbours on Madore, George and Joan Bartell - he drove a Dairyland truck. They bought a beautiful acreage on the highway (which is now North Parallel Road since the freeway was built) just below the irrigation dam and pump station near the Vedder River.

In 1958, we took our first family trip to Alberta to see the Hayes family, in Marguerite's 1956 Studebaker Commander.

On September 23, 1957, Tracy Waneeta Lundberg was born at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. This picture was taken when Tracy was 26 days old.

This picture was taken in late 1957 or early '58.

Our second collie, after much discussion among the family, was named Sheptu, but was usually called "Little Shep" or just "Shep".

On March 14, 1963, Dad (Erik) died, possibly at Royal Columbian Hospital of a stomach ulcer. See his obituary and funeral home memorial book.

In 1963, we adopted Mona Kelly (born April 21, 1963).

In about 1963, I bought a company that rented about 30 little plywood kayaks on the beach in White Rock, based in a chain link compound at the Chevron gas station across from the tunnel under the railway. We named it RMR Kayaks. Shelly often took care of the compound (the actual rentals), and Robert and Murray took care of the boats on the beach. We added a 1955 Chevy panel truck, some big fiberglass kayaks made by Pioneer (quite crude by today's standards), and did quite well with the business. I bought the house next door to the gas station and did quite well on it - bought it for $5,400 and sold it for $11,000. Sold the business in 1967 because we were too busy.

In about 1964, I started making resincraft items in a shop I had a carpenter build in the back yard. The company became Canadian Heritage Resincraft, and 1967 was an extremely busy year. The Smiley Face to the left was the biggest-selling single item by far, though half-round paperweights were huge at 95 cents each. We had very professional displays made up for a few items. All the kids worked with me to some degree. I sold the business to a guy named Schwartz and got totally screwed - he disappeared owing us a lot of money ($4,000?). The kids were supposed to get some of the money from the sale but never did.

On December 31, 1970, I bought a new American Motors Javelin - a bronze-coloured demo with 7,143 miles on it. The list price was $5,282.31 - I paid $4,866 plus license and fees, minus $1,266 for the 1965 Mercury Comet I traded in, with 95,113 miles on it. See the purchase contract.

In about 1970, we got a purebred standard dachshund that we named Corky. His registered name was Kanaka Chief, a name that we came with with - Kanaka Bar was a gold mining location on the Fraser River that we went to occasionally.

In 1970 or '71, we adopted Michael James Shaneborn. He was born on February 10, 1965, and we fostered him as a baby in about November that year. We adopted him so he could start school as a Lundberg.

On January 11, 1977, Murray and Donna and made an agreement to buy the Surrey home, for $47,000. They moved in on March 1, 1977, selling it for $67,000 when they bought in Fort Langley in August 1980. It was probably demolished in 2014, shortly after Murray and I went for what would be a final look - it was derelict and boarded up.

On March 1, 1977, we moved to 1056 Stewart Avenue, Coquitlam, where we stayed until 1983.

For a few years starting in about 1977, I leased a placer gold claim on the Fraser River just below the highway bridge at Spuzzum, and spent a lot of time there. When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980 (May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m.), I was on the claim and heard the bang. I loved that spot, and had some some wonderful times there. I remember a loon sailing across and looking into my pan, and a weasel suddenly appearing between my legs as I was bent over panning and scaring the hell out of both of us! The rafters used to announce that "an old gold miner" might be around the next corner, and when I was, the people would get all excited and take pictures. In this picture, Murray and Warren had come down and I was showing Warren how to pan. It was a really steep trail down to the river, and I tied some ropes to help me get up. I almost bought a few acres there for $1,500 but decided not to.

February 3, 1979, Mom (Jentina) died at Coronation Municipal Hospital, Alberta, at the age of 91.

On September 22, 1979, Robert married Bonnie Gay Lambert in Burnaby. In the top row from the left are Murray, Donna (3 weeks away from delivering Andrea), Robert, Bonnie, Marguerite and me. Along the bottom from the left are Michael, Mona and Tracy.

Fort Langley: 9241 Marr Street, 1983-1999

On January 8, 1983, Shelly married Richard ("Dick") Startz in Coquitlam.

In the Fall of 1992, Marguerite got a purebred collie puppy from a breeder in Langley. He had some sort of defect as far as showing went, and the breeder gave him to Marguerite. He was also named Shep. This picture was taken at the Fort Langley house.

In 1999, we bought 3165 Shannon Place in Westbank (West Kelowna as of December 6, 2007) for $268,000.

On May 6, 1997, I bought a black 1991 GMC Sonoma X/C pickup. It had 115,500 kilometers on it and they were asking $9,995 for it. They reduced it to $8,700 plus fees and taxes, minus $2,000 for my gray 1990 Dodge Spirit with 223,000 km (?) on it, but wouldn't include any warranty with it. See the purchase contract. I traded the truck in on a 2004 Chevrolet Optra on March 8, 2008.

May 18, 2006 - Murray met me in Vancouver and we took a bus to Seattle to board the cruise ship Vision of the Seas. Murray was working on it as a speaker while we sailed to Alaska and back for 7 days. When we got to Skagway, Cathy drove down to meet and us and we went up to their cabin at Carcross for the day. He put up a Web site about the trip.

In about 2006, I finally got the 2 medals I was eligible to receive for my Air Force service - the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and the War Medal 1939-45.

On March 8, 2008, I bought a grey 2004 Chevrolet Optra with 28,462 kilometers on it. I paid $9,499 minus $1,500 for my 1991 Sonoma pickup which now had 267,231 km on it. See the purchase contract.

My first "4 generations of boys" picture, with Brian, David and Matthew, taken at Valarie's 65th birthday in 2009.

On November 23, 2011, I bought a black 2005 Ford Taurus with 74,850 kilometers on it. I paid $6,499.88 plus fees and taxes. See the purchase contract.

On October 12, 2012, Marguerite died in the Kelowna General Hospital.

September 14, 2013, Murray arrived for a trip that included some looking around the Faser Valley, a cruise from Vancouver to San Diego on the Norwegian Sun, and a visit with Shelly and Dick in Santa Barbara. Murray posted about it almost daily on his blog.

We went to a few places we used to know, and one day ended up at the Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery in Coquitlam, where my grandmother, Maria Wahlberg, was buried in 1938. We met the cemetery caretaker, and he showed us where the unmarked grave is - in the picture, he and I are looking at it. I had ordered a marker for the grave a few weeks earlier but it hadn't arrived yet.

On May 17, 2014, Meredith married Matthew Grant in Santa Barbara, and several of us went down to help celebrate. In this photo, Glynis, Warren, Tracy, me, Matthew, Meredith, Shelly, Robert and Sari, at Shelly and Dick's home.

On August 31, 2014, Andrea married Jason Wiles in West Kelowna, and lots of family members came for the celebration. Among the hundreds of photos taken that weekend was this one of the four generations of boys - Steve, Brock, me and Murray.

On April 22, 2015, I put a deposit down on a suite at the Westwood Retirement Resort, and on the 25th, listed the house for sale for $419,900. This picture of Tessie and me was taken on April 29.

Murray working on this page at my kitchen table very early on April 30, 2015.