Flitton Family History Chapter 3
The following is a sketchy and draft outline put together by Bob Flitton in the mid 1990s.
Arrival in Canada
The Flitton family arrived in Montreal in 1893. Their personal belongings and furnishings were shipped directly to Vancouver, carried by ship around the southern tip of South America as the Panama Canal did not then exist. Letitia’s brother Willie immigrated to Canada at the same time. Ralph Henry’s grandchildren recall his comments that a partner did him out of his interest in the flourmill. It is believed that he, the youngest of four brothers. He was a ‘remittanceman‘ encouraged by his family to leave England and settle in Canada. He was not known for his work ethic. The grandchildren were known to say about him “Old Bill from Cedar Hill, never worked, never will.” Ralph Johnston Flitton remembers he was “an arrogant son-of-a-bitch”.
Letitia Flitton was accustomed to servants and maids and never learned to cook. Ralph Henry and the boys did all the cooking. Ralph Flitton married Marjorie Eleanor, daughter of Robert Abraham a Scottish, and Christina Mary Abraham, nee Fraser. They lived in Montreal, Quebec. He was often seen crossing intersections on the diagonal “to save leather”. He was a quiet man and a fan of Robert Burns. GAD took a job at the Hastings Mill on Georgia Street on Burrard Inlet in Vancouver. He later traveled on the Union Steamships and his story about the experience was published in the Vancouver Sun at the time. He also worked in the mines in the Yukon and headed up to the Klondike in 1898, but quit before he tackled the Chilcoot, probably learning that the rush was over by that time.
Ralph moved to Victoria in 1896 and later convinced his parents to follow. He worked for German/Jewish furniture manufacturer by the name of Wyler and learned the trade. Victoria was a burgeoning City. The Savoy theater opened May 22, 1899 and featuring “vaudeville and purveyors of comedy.’ The Royal Theater featured Big Symphony and the Choir of Metropolitan Artists with seats prices ranging from 25 cents to a dollar. The British Columbia Workman, a newspaper endorsed by the trades, warned “because men organize and stand together, they are strong. Women do likewise, or they will always be at a disadvantage.” Newspaper subscriptions were $2.50 a year. The E & N railway ran daily trips to Nanaimo, leaving at 8:45 AM. Pither and Leiser were wholesale liquor agents at Fort and Wharf in what was later known as the Dogwood Building.