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My great grandfather, Arthur Trawin, wasn't the first of my ancestors to immigrate to Canada but we know the most about him. Although he died before I was born, I have heard my Mom and her relatives talk about Great Grandpa Trawin (originally pronounced "tra win").

ARTHUR TRAWIN October 12, 1895 - November 4th, 1976.

Arthur, the youngest of eleven children, was born to Henry and Sarah (Bastow) Trawin October 17th, 1895 in Witheridge, North Devon County, England. He took his schooling in Witheridge until the age of 15.

At this time in history, just previous to World War 1, there were no jobs for young men like Arthur and family businesses were passed down to the eldest son, which eliminated him from inheriting the business. However, an older brother, Frank, had immigrated to Canada around 1905 and purchased a homestead in Belgrave, Saskatchewan District. Frank returned to England during the winter of 1910 and told his family about the vast fertile land in Canada and of his many experiences. Arthur, being a young and impressionable lad, became very exited about Frank's new home and begged his parents to let him return with Frank (28) and his sisters, Annie (29) and Sarah (25). His sisters were going over to Canada to keep house for Frank and get teaching positions. Their mother made them promise that they would take very good care of her "baby".

Arthur, Frank, Annie and Sarah left from Avonmouth, Bristol, England aboard the S S Royal George steamship of the Royal Line on March 22nd, 1911. Frank travelled first class which cost him £100 and the other three travelled third class, costing them £25 each.

During the trip the ship's surgeon had to examine each passenger (a total of 890) to ensure that they all met the regulations for the Canadian Immigration Act of that time and would not be barred from entrance. Each passenger was examined and "believed not to be insane, epileptic or consumptive or idiotic, feeble-minded or afflicted with a contagious infection or loathsome disease" and to see if he or she were" deaf, dumb or blind or otherwise physically or mentally defective". The passengers were not allowed to leave the ship until the surgeon had presented his report to the Canadian authorities.

The Royal George docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia at 7.20am, March 28th, 1911. The uneventful trip had lasted five days.

From Halifax, the foursome travelled by train to Melfort, Saskatchewan where they loaded their belongings on to a wagon and journeyed 15 miles to Frank's homestead (SE36.46.18.W2nd)

Great Grandpa Arthur farmed with Frank until 1919 when he enlisted in the 15th Canadian Army Corps. He was sent overseas to serve at Ripons, Yorks. (This was the last time he saw his family in England).

Following his discharge he returned to the Belgrave district and purchased SE.25.46.18.W2nd. In the early 1920's Frank returned to England and Arthur rented his land until he purchased it in 1939. Arthur married a teacher, Jessica Anna, daughter of John and Catherine Gordon (Mitchell) Robertson of Kinistino, Saskatchewan. They raised a family of four children: William, Ellen Margaret (my grandmother), John Henry and Jean.

In December 1944, Arthur and Jessie sold their land at Belgrave and moved to the Naisberry district, where they continued to farm. This farm known as Trawin Seeds Ltd, located a couple of miles east of Melfort on the old Star City Road, is still being farmed by Arthur's son's, Bill and John, and John's son's Ross and Brent. They grow pedigree seeds and operate a seed cleaning plant.

Great Grandpa died of cancer at the age of 57 on December 27th, 1957. Grandpa Arthur had some heart problems and had a pacemaker for a number of years. He died quietly at home on November 4th, 1976.

My Mom's memories of her Grandma are of fresh home-made bread with home-canned raspberries and her standing on the big rocker rung while Grandma rocked a younger grandchild as she sang "God sees the little sparrow fall" or "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". Mom says Grandpa was a quiet man with a full head of dark hair (even to his death) who was always whistling. He loved music and had a good record collection with his favourites being classical or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and his favourite movie was "The Sound of Music". She can still see him playing ball or riding his motorbike at the age of 80.

Memories contributed by Devon Robb, Grandson of Margaret (Trawin) Groat, Canada

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