Memoirs of Angus Davis: A Mining Legend

Gentleman of Rossland, BC c.1899 : Gentleman of Rossland, BC: L-R Mr. Ainby, Unknown, Mr. Angus Davis, Unknown, Rossland BC c.1899
Gentleman of Rossland, BC c.1899

“I think his first wife died, and then he met my mother, and they married in the 1920s. She was a nurse, who worked at St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver. She was in the graduating class of 1925, and her first daughter Mary (resulting from the union with Davis Sr.) was in the first class of St Paul’s in 1950”, said Angus Davis Jr., president of the board of directors for the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History, and fourth born son of Angus and Maria.

Maria was a woman who had been born out of wedlock in northern Italy, and she had been adopted into a Canadian family. After experiencing trouble at home, she fled to a residential school in Kamloops, where she was taken in by the Catholic nuns. They encouraged her to study nursing, once she grasped the English language, and eventually, she excelled in her field, according to Davis Jr.

“My mother had a strong character. She had a rough time, but eventually she became a nurse” he said. “Boy she was loud, but she was neat.”

It was because of Maria’s occupation that she met Angus. An engineering friend of Davis Sr. who had been a patient of hers told him that he had found the woman for him. Intrigued, Davis Sr., went to see this mysterious woman for himself. They were formally introduced, went out on a date at a restaurant called the Homesman, and they fell in love. Two weeks later they were married (c. 1922-1925). The union produced four children with Davis Jr., being the youngest and now at 87 years old, the patriarch of the family.

“She married an old man (Davis Jr. was born in 1937, and Davis Sr. was 60), and during the Second World War, he was sent to Hazelton by Cominco to run the Red Rose mine, for the war effort. They needed a lot of tungsten, and he was there for four years, while my mother stayed in Nelson”.