Always good for a laugh was grocery store owner Ernie Ardley

Flipping through old photographs provides a historical glimpse

Mr. Harry Dreany was once the town’s pharmacist and operated the only “drug store” (as they were then called) in town.

Mr. Harry Dreany was once the town’s pharmacist and operated the only “drug store” (as they were then called) in town.

He was also a very talented photographer and often sold his photos at his store.

Harry had an eye for capturing through the lens anything of interest; especially if it happened near his place of work. (He also took lovely scenic shots).

Since his place of work was close to Ernie Ardley’s Red and White grocery store, Mr. Dreany was seldom without an interesting subject.

Ernie Ardley was the king of tomfoolery and was always happy to oblige Harry; especially if he had his camera.

Mrs. Dreany – Ivy to those who knew her – assisted her husband at their place of business, and always appearing the epitome of sophistication, dressed in her smart-looking white starched nurses uniform.

Recently, I was given a wonderful collection of photographs taken in the 1950s, by none other than Harry Dreany.

Sometime after the deaths of Harry and Ivy, many of the photographs went to a man named Ted Hedley, who I am told is believed to have been a Dreany relative.

At a later point, Mr. Hedley generously gave many of the photos to Marie Augustine of Youbou.

Like many of us who are interested in local history, Marie could not bear to see a photo destroyed, so she welcomed the new collection.

Eventually, she gave them to her neighbour and friend, Verle Leaky. Also a follower of the  “I can’t throw away a photo” rule, Verle recently passed many of the photos on to me.

As the most recent keeper of these priceless snapshots of time, I will use some in this and upcoming columns before eventually turning them over, one last time, to the Kaatza Station Museum and Archives.

There, they will be conserved and filed, along with the countless other photos and artifacts received in a similar fashion, then made available for public viewing or research.

Thanks to Mr. Hedley for ensuring these valuable old photos did not end in the rubbish bin.

Please think about donating to the local museum your old photos (of everyday life in our communities) before it is to late.