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John Charles Skan and Herbert Sidney Skan BICA boys Sept 1925

by Murray Skan
(Port Perry, ON)

UK Outward Passenger List SS Alaunia September 1925 with group of BICA boys

UK Outward Passenger List SS Alaunia September 1925 with group of BICA boys

My father ( John ) age 14 and his brother (Herbert) aged 16 arrived in Quebec City on the Alaunia September 25, 1925 from Liverpool, England. Their immigration record lists their destination as British Immigration and Colonization Association, Montreal Quebec. It also lists the occupation they plan to follow in Canada as "Farming".

Their father who ran a tobacco shop in Kings Heath, England ( near Birmingham) passed away and their mother decided to put the two older boys, Herbert and John, in the care of an organization. My dad said they did not want to be there so they were sent to Canada.

John ended up in Drummond Quebec with his brother going to the Ottawa area. They did not see each other for 35 years. They did not know where the other had been sent.

Herbert's inspection record shows he was well pleased with his home. My father was placed with a family in Drummond Quebec who did not treat him well. He was moved from Drummond Quebec to the Ottawa area in July 1926 where he worked for 5 different families until being moved to Omemee, Ontario in November 1927. He stayed and worked as a farm hand until going to war in 1939.

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Feb 10, 2017
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The Skan Brothers
by: Deborah

It's terribly sad that the brothers didn't know of each other's whereabouts and weren't able to keep in touch through their lives. Some other BICA brothers were able to do so. Do you have any idea why they didn't? John and Herbert should have been able to get addresses through BICA if BICA had been kept up to date. In 1929/1930 BICA were in a bit of a mess. But sometimes, the boys left a home and moved on on their own and didn't tell BICA where they were.
Would their mother not have had information about their whereabouts?
In a couple of cases, I heard that boys were pretty unhappy with being pushed to go to Canada because the family was in some difficulty and maybe they couldn't care for their children as well as they'd like so a job in Canada seemed like a good option.
Whatever the reason, it's sad they were out of touch.

Feb 03, 2017
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Edward in Canada
by: Murray

My father and Edward never met in Canada. My dad was not aware Edward had come to Canada until my dad went back to England in 1971 for a visit and another relative told him. I believe Edward had passed away before 1971 but not sure. From what I understand Edward was only in Canada for a couple of years.

Feb 02, 2017
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Edward Skan
by: Deborah

So they must have connected at some point.

Feb 01, 2017
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Edward Skan
by: Murray

Edward was my fathers younger brother. I have a comment that he returned to England and worked for Lord Montague at Ragley Falls.

Feb 01, 2017
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Edward Skan
by: Deborah

So it must have been his mother and the address is the same as the one given in John and Herbert's records.

Feb 01, 2017
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Edward Skan 1927
by: Deborah

Murray, do you know if Edward Skan is any relationship to your father and his brother.
Edward Skan traveled to Canada, again with BICA, on the SS Montrose Sailing from Liverpool Sep 2, 1927 arriving Quebec City, Sep 10th, 1927.
He was 14 years old and born in Birmingham. His father was F.M. Skan, 43, Institute Road, King’s Heath, Birmingham.

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