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Phylliss Bertha Lillian Manning

My mother, Phylliss, was born in Edmonton, Middlesex, London, England. Her parents were Thomas Arthur Manning and Lillian Florence Herd. She was only 3 when her father died of TB. Because her mother was placed into a sanatorium related to why her husband died, my mother and her sister were placed in a group home for orphans. Apparently, there was no one in either family that was able to look after these two children.

A couple of years later, when her sister Vera turned 6, her sister was moved to an orphanage. My mother was left all on her own; she had lost all her family. My mother told me that she just stopped eating, because of this. She was then moved to the orphanage to be with her sister. This was an unheard of concession to a child at that time, so I can only image that there was much concern about my mother’s health.

arrow This is a picture of my mother, Phylliss Bertha Lillian Manning.

When my grandmother got out the sanatorium, she picked up her two children and migrated to Canada. This was in 1921 when my mother was about 6. They left London England and arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia. My grandmother had made arrangements to be a housekeeper for a Nello Randall in Whitevale, Ontario. Whitevale is a small town in Pickering Township. It is just outside Markham.

Nello Randall had 6 children from a previous marriage and it was not long after my grandmother arrived that Nello and my grandmother married. They had four children before the depression hit. According to my mother, the depression hit Whitevale quite hard. There was no work to be had and my step-grandfather was often out of work.

Mom and Grandma

arrow This is a picture of my mother and her mother in, I believe, Alantic City.

When my mother was a young teen, she worked on a nearby farm. One day she was rolled against the stone foundation of the barn by a cow. She suffered damage to her spine and was put to bed for year to recuperate. She did recover and as a young adult, she came to Toronto to find work. I am not sure of all the jobs she had in Toronto, but I do know that she at one time worked as a maid Lowther Avenue, a street not far from where I currently live.

My mother met people in Toronto with whom she formed long term friendships. I know she hung around with my father’s sisters Esther and Bea. Also, part of this group the Brunner cousins of the Nokes family. There was Art, Don and Helen Nokes. There was also a Bill Twigg, a Gordon Meagher, a May and a Dorothy. I do not have their last names of these last two women, but I know Dorothy married a guy called “Smithy” (because his last name was Smith.) I have pictures on this page of these people.

I have some pictures of these people below.

arrow This picture of, from the left, Bea Brunner, Bill Twigg, my mom, Don Nokes, Helen Nokes and with Gord Meager in front.


arrow This is a picture, from the left, of Dorothy, May and my mom.
arrow This picture of, from the left, mom, Aunt Bea and Aunt Esther.


arrow This is a picture, from the left, of Bill Twigg, Gordon Meager and Don Nokes.

This is a good picture of the group my mother hung out with. The men in the back are Art Nokes, Don Nokes and Bill Twigg on the right. On the left in front is Helen Nokes, then my mother is in the center front and my Aunt Esther is on the right. I cannot name the rest of the people in this picture.


I know there was some other women my mother hung out with, but I do not remember what their names where. I remember as a child going to picnics with her group of friends and their children. On the Brunner page, under Sammon Avenue, I have pictures of some of these children. Go to Sammon Avenue

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