Posts tagged #alderman

Hector McKinnon

Hector McKinnon

Hector McKinnon

Dates: b. Nova Scotia, 1878 d. 31 July 1929

Cemetery Location: Block J, Row 25, Plot 19

Profile:

Born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, in 1878, Hector McKinnon was the eldest of six children, his family immigrating to Canada from the Isle of Barra, Scotland, in 1821.  His father, Archibald McKinnon, settled his family in Wellington, Vancouver Island, where he worked in the mines.

In 1894, Hector moved to Revelstoke to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and married Delia Morgan on 6 August 1906. They had four children: Archie, Margaret, Mary and Jim. 

Hector purchased the Revelstoke Cigar Store on Mackenzie Avenue in 1907, renaming it the McKinnon Cigar Store. He then took over the premises vacated by L. Brown on First Street in 1908, and in July 1911, commenced the construction of a grand, three-storey concrete and pressed brick building (the McKinnon Block). By February 1912, the new business block was finished, complete with bowling alley and poolroom and apartments for rent on the upper floor.

Several years later, he purchased land at the junction of the Columbia and Illecillewaet Rivers in 1917, and established the Standard Dairy, in operation until flooding in the 1960s.

Hector was alderman from 1910 to 1913, and served as mayor of Revelstoke for ten terms between 1915 and 1929.

In May 1917, Hector led a ceremony to honour the town’s men serving in World War I.  Maple trees were planted around the Revelstoke courthouse to mark the event. Less than a month earlier, Hector’s own brother Leo had been killed in the Battle of Vimy Ridge on 9 April 1917.

Tragically, while serving his tenth term as mayor, Hector was seriously burned in a barn fire on his property on 30 July 1929, and died of his injuries the day after, aged 51.  The St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church was so crowded, both sides of Fifth Street were lined with mourners unable to fit into the church for his funeral.

A memorial ceremony in honour of Hector McKinnon was held in Mountain View Park (now Queen Elizabeth Park) on 21 May 1930. The memorial was officiated by Dr. W.H. Sutherland, MLA, who referred

“to the abounding energy that characterized the make-up of the late mayor, and enabled him to perform outstanding service to the district, as a civil servant; to the city as Mayor and Parks Board President, and to his family as a successful dairyman.”
Aerial view of Standard Dairy.

Aerial view of Standard Dairy.

McKinnon Store.

McKinnon Store.

Anselmo (John) Pradolini

Pradolini family, c.1935

Pradolini family, c.1935

Dates: b. Orsaria, Udine, Italy, 18 March 1875 d. 1948

Cemetery Location: Block J, Row 17, Plot 25

Profile:

Anselmo Pradolini arrived in Canada in 1903 with his brother Gaudenzio and five friends from the Italian Alps. They came directly to Revelstoke to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway as masons, and within a few months, Alsemo began the construction of his home at 613 Fourth Street East (affectionately known as the ‘Pink Castle’). His wife, Rosa, and brother, Achille, arrived from Italy in 1904.

Anselmo left CPR to set up his own contracting business, with Achille in charge of cement work. The first house they built was 220 Fifth Street East for A.E. Miller, principal of the new Central School. In 1906, they built Revelstoke’s first concrete block home at 601 Fourth Street East, for the Porta family.

Some of the buildings constructed during his partnership with Mr. Foote included: the Revelstoke Court House; Selkirk School; Guy Barber’s Jewellery store; C.R. Macdonald’s Drug Store; the Howson Block; and the stone facing on the King Edward Hotel – all completed before World War I.

Anselmo served as alderman for several years and as the first Italian mayor of Revelstoke from 1934 to 1936. He was a charter member of Rotary, president of the Board of Trade in 1931, and active in the Italian lodge. He also helped fellow Italians bring out their family members to Canada, filling out government forms and guaranteeing employment on their arrival, even helping some to establish their own businesses.

Alsemo had a love for music and built a bandstand at Queen Elizabeth Park, where on fine Sunday afternoons, local residents would dress up and to listen to the Italian Band.

When a gang of criminals started an extortion racket targeting Italian families in Revelstoke, Anselmo helped track down the local offenders.

Anselmo and Rosa had four children: Linda, Mario, Elio and Alfredo, who died at the age of one.  Anselmo and Rosa both died in 1948.

Rosa & Anselmo Pradolini with children

Rosa & Anselmo Pradolini with children

Man on horse-drawn sled with view of Pradolini house in background (far right)

Man on horse-drawn sled with view of Pradolini house in background (far right)