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Rusty Relics Museum: Thanks for the memories, Eddie Stockton

“Dad was a quiet but very interesting man. He loved collecting things and cataloguing them. He enjoyed documenting history and was an accomplished photographer.”
Jerri Laird - Eddie Stockton
Jerri Laird at the Rusty Relics Museum displaying her family treasures.

CARLYLE — Recently, the Observer was honoured to interview one of the children of longtime Carlyle resident, Eddie Stockton. Jerri Laird and her husband Ian have lived in Wawota since 1974. They are retired schoolteachers and have three children, Tyler, Megan and Allison. They have five grandsons and three granddaughters.

Jerri had just visited the Rusty Relics Museum who greatly appreciated her donation of a treasure trove of history belonging to her father. Eddie was one of four children born to Walter and Mary Stockton in 1924. He and his brother Russell owned and operated Stockton Electric on Carlyle’s Main Street for decades which eventually became a furniture, giftware and appliance store. The family business was sold in 1992 and that building is now the home of Carlyle Sew and Sews, owned by Tanya Robertson.

In 1946, Eddie attended Ryerson Polytechnic Institute (now Ryerson University) in downtown Toronto and obtained training in radio technology. He married Joyce Redman in 1947 and they had two children, Jerri and Teddy. Teddy, now 64, resides at the Moose Mountain Lodge. For 17 years after Joyce’s passing, Stockton’s companion was his long-time friend Shirley Kells. She was the widow of Gordon F. Kells for whom the Carlyle High School is named after. Eddie passed away in 2010.

Laird was more than happy to reminisce about her father and provided some fond recollections. “Dad was a quiet but very interesting man. He loved collecting things and cataloguing them. He enjoyed documenting history and was an accomplished photographer.”

Stockton was a jack of all trades and was very good at whatever he did. He owned an extensive gun collection although he never went hunting. Together with his brother Russell and others including Les Hewitt and Harold Brown, he helped form the Carlyle Flying Club in 1956. He was on the local school board for many years as well as the Carlyle United Church. He was on the Carlyle Memorial Hall building committee.

Every year, Stockton flew to a fly-in fishing camp with his friends Gerry Ferguson and Walker Read. He and his golfing buddies would also fly to the occasional out-of-town tournament. In fact, when in business, he and his brother would fly to neighbouring towns to provide repairs and service to many of the appliances they had sold. He enjoyed woodworking and Jerri still has many of the works he crafted including a Victorian doll house. Stockton played hardball and was a Carlyle Minor Ball Coach. He enjoyed skidooing and the family had a cabin at White Bear Lake.

In addition to the boxes of newspaper clippings and documented scrapbooks, Laird also provided the museum with several Edison Blue Amerbol Records. These tube-like wax cylinders held music that can be played on a phonograph. And of course, oodles and oodles of photographs. Stockton did not travel about town without his trusted pocket Canon Camera. If there was an elevator being torn down, a new house being built or an old hotel being demolished, he was there to document the historic occasion.

Included in one of his many envelopes were pictures dating back to the 1950s. Many of the high school photos from this collection were of many residents that are still alive today. Some of the recognizable faces included Frank Faber, Ralph Lothian, Donna Macdonald (Purvis) Berniece Wilson (Krieger) Don Pontius, Boyd Cochrane, Wilma Young (Lothian) and Don Jarvis.

With his university background and insatiable appetite for learning, Stockton was one of the first residents to film various functions and celebrations before videotaping them in later years. His services were always in high demand and according to his daughter he never charged a penny for his time.

Added Laird, “My dad had a dry sense of humour and always liked a good laugh. He was always inventing things and was very creative. I remember tobogganing down the big hill at the Kenosee Lake Golf Course. It was a quick trip down and a long walk back. He attached a tow rope to his truck axle to winch us up to the top. Dad was very inventive and adventurous.” 

The Rusty Relics Museum appreciated this Stockton donation of history and will be eagerly spending hours and hours cataloguing each and every one of these cherished memories. One more set of family treasures is being added to the local museum for the enjoyment of everyone. Concluded Laird, “Carlyle is so fortunate to have the Rusty Relics Museum. The Stockton’s are more than happy to contribute to its history.”