Fonds PR3808 - John Johnston fonds

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John Johnston fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the records.

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    • [1900]-1964 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    1209 photographs.

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    John Henry Johnston was born in Vegreville, Alberta in February 1922. He was the youngest of Henry Johnston and Georgina (nee Young) Johnston's three children, following older sisters Louise and Georgina. The family moved to Vermillion when John was in grade school, then later to Jasper Place in Edmonton when John entered junior high.

    In 1941, after receiving training under the Dominion Provincial Youth Training program, John enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as a wireless operator. During the Second World War, John was an active service member in London, England, working as a telecommunications officer. After the war, John reenlisted with the RCAF and pursued additional telecommunications training in Centralia, Ontario between 1946 and 1947.

    After graduating from training in 1948, John returned to Edmonton to work for North West Air Command. After a few months in Edmonton, John was asked to relocate to cover the wireless operations of the RCAF base in Whitehorse. John remained in Whitehorse until late 1949, eventually returning to Edmonton. Upon his return, John met Hazel Gregory, a nursing student at the Edmonton General Hospital (EGH). Hazel's family was originally from Hythe, Alberta, but relocated to Grand Prairie when Hazel's mother remarried in the 1930s. John and Hazel began dating shortly before she graduated from nursing school in May 1950. After graduation, Hazel worked at the Charles Camsell Hospital and Central Alberta Sanatorium, while John continued to work for North West Air Command.

    John and Hazel married in April 1951 at the Robertson (now Robertson-Wesley) United Church in Edmonton. In the early years of their marriage, they lived on a variety of military bases in Canada where John worked, including Whitehorse, Ottawa, Victoria, Winnipeg, Trenton, Comox and Quebec, and travelled extensively in Europe. John retired from active service after 30 years, and joined the Commissionaires (a security firm that hires Commonwealth veterans) where he worked for 10 years.

    In December 1989, Hazel passed away, and John moved into an adult living community in the Capilano neighbourhood of Edmonton. He took on an active role in the community, supporting and advertising for the Reform Party, and participating in the community Glee Club. It was through the Glee Club that John met Lisa Klem, whom he married in December 1997.

    John passed away in March 2011 at the age of 89.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of the photo albums John Johnston kept between 1941 and 1964 featuring photographs of his life, work and travels. Subjects include John’s training for military service between 1941 and 1949 in Montreal and Ottawa; John and his wife Hazel’s early years dating in Edmonton; Hazel’s work at the Charles Camsell Hospital and Central Alberta Sanatorium as a nurse in the early 1950s; John and Hazel’s travels across Canada and the United States after their marriage in 1951; John’s work with the Canadian military in Whitehorse and Ontario; and Hazel’s family in Hythe and Grand Prairie between 1900 and 1940.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Records were donated to the Provincial Archives by John’s stepdaughter Rosanna Hansen (nee Klem) in 2014.


    Arrangement note: Records have been arranged in original order.

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        The material is in English.

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        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        File list is not available.

        Associated materials

        For more photographs of the Charles Camsell hospital, see the Charles Camsell Hospital fonds (PR0383) and Charles Camsell Hospital Historical Society fonds (PR0034).

        For records relating to the North West Air Command, see the North West Air Command series (CA ON00093 2017/5-1-3) held at the National Defence Headquarters Directorate of History and Heritage archives in Ottawa.


        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Information found in the biographical sketch sourced from records in the fonds.

        General note

        Includes accession PR2014.2129.

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