Remembering Christmas in the mid-1920s

A little boy’s Christmas memory from more than 90 years ago is featured on the Star’s editorial page today

A little boy’s Christmas memory from more than 90 years ago is featured in the Star this week.

“It was Christmas Eve in our house on the Matsqui Prairie. I will always remember those words from my dad,” said Ernie Poignant, still drawing at the age of 98. Poignant, who first created the cartoon for the now-defunct Maple Ridge Gazette in the mid-1970s, included it in a fundraising book he self-published in 2013 titled Poignant Moments.

He’s offering the cartoon as a gift to Star readers this year.

“I hope people get a kick out of it. After all, Christmas is about family and special memories,” said Poignant, a noted amateur historian in Abbotsford.

Recalling the genesis of the cartoon, Poignant said the gentle reminder from his father in the mid-1920s resonated with him for decades — especially around the Christmas season. The cartoon, in an era before electricity, depicts an exchange in front of the Christmas tree with his dad, Albin, while his grandparents, Carl and Hulda look on. The family lived in what was then a Scandinavian settlement in north Matsqui, which is now part of Abbotsford.

After the tree was lit, the family then enjoyed meatballs, hard tack crackers and pastries as gifts were handed out. Poignant says he remembers receiving “a wind-up toy train and track.”

The following afternoon the family had a traditional Swedish Christmas meal.

“There was no turkey. We’d have ham and some fish,” said Poignant.

After drawing cartoons for several publications and newspapers for more than 60 years, Poignant remains active with his pencil and paper. As part of Canada Day celebrations this year, he entertained people of all ages at Mission’s Heritage Park with his interactive Initial Drawings.

”I can’t move like I used to, but I’ve still got all my marbles,” said Poignant, who will be celebrating Christmas this year with his family around an artificial tree with electric lights.

Star editor Gary Poignant is Ernie Poignant’s son.

 

Just Posted

Liberals’ Kootenay-Columbia candidate stands by Trudeau despite scandal

Robin Goldsbury says the prime minister’s racist photo is a learning opportunity

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Inclusive Employer Award goes to local landscaper

Chris Holt hires people with special needs to do garden maintenance

UPDATED: Man pleads guilty in Baker Street death

Miles Halverson is guilty of manslaughter in the death of Matt Reeder

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Nanaimo beekeepers take down nest of invasive giant hornets

One nest eradicated at Nanaimo’s Robins Park, but there are still Asian giant hornets around

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

B.C. Premier John Horgan worried about ‘rise of racism’

Asked to comment on Justin Trudeau’s ‘blackface’ incidents

Human case of West Nile virus reported on Vancouver Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed case reported in August

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Photos surface of Conservative candidate at B.C. event with people in blackface

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

Most Read