Thursday 16 September 2021

Living with a pandemic 52

Well, we thought we were coming out of the worst of the pandemic at the beginning of summer. Alberta went so far as relaxing testing and quarantining requirements. Everything was to open up by the end of August and we were to have the “best summer ever.”

I had hoped by now, after writing about the pandemic for over 16 months, that this post would be about celebrating the end of it. Funny how Mother Nature always takes a different course. Maybe not so funny now.

Read the whole post on my sister blogsite, Mother Nature’s Tests.

Tuesday 14 September 2021

My Parents’ Resumes

An interesting exercise that brings together some family information might be to write a resume for parents or grandparents or for individuals even further back.

Many of us have used resumes or curriculum vitae to show prospective employers what our education, background or work experience was (or is). Over the years, of course, these documents got bigger and contained more detailed information about jobs held or projects worked. Now they provide a great summary to show family members what we did to support our families.

If you don't have a resume your parents wrote, try to do it yourself with data you may have in your files.

You may be fortunate to have photographs of parents, etc. taken at their workplaces, perhaps with co-workers. You might have old tax returns that show how much they earned or how long they were employed in a particular position. Perhaps they obtained patents for designing implements or processes important in their line of work. That would be a valuable piece of information to include.

Serving in a country’s armed forces would be an important part of a resume. If you have or can get a copy of someone’s service record, you will find a great deal of information about when and where they were posted, what their responsibilities were and how they were seen by commanders. I have obtained several military service records for family members on both sides and, using information in the summaries written blogs posts and articles that showcased their participation and added significantly to the histories of our families.

Education is the first piece of information necessary for writing a resume. The various levels or degrees attained will show what direction or career a person was to follow.

If you have copies of certificates awarded from educational institutions, they will give you a great start in putting together a resume. Perhaps there are class notes or project summaries among your family’s memorabilia that illustrate what they did in school.

I have the original report cards and other information for my wife and me, and for all our children. Again, this data adds a great deal to our family history. Our descendants may find the material of great interest and they ponder what went on in the olden days.

I keep copies of business cards used by me, my wife and my children that, when put together, show work history and achievements as people moved up the management or responsibility ladders and/or changed employment. You may have letters from employers offering jobs or giving recommendations to future employers.

Some people may have published articles related to their work or expertise, including post retirement hobbies (In my case. I have a long and growing list of these.). Newspaper articles may summarize work achievements, promotions or new positions or advertise presentations given or scheduled.

Participation with service or other clubs show how a person is/was active in a community. These are things that may give an employer a good idea about what kind of person a prospective employee may be as well as what interests they may have.

An obituary may summarize a person’s career so these should be checked.

All this information is what may be incorporated into a resume.

Looking over my own resume one will see a multitude of companies for which I worked or provided consulting services to. Some positions were not of very long duration and you could get the impression I could not hold a job. My story is that there were always more challenges, with other companies that enticed me to move as well as a few situations – corporate and personal – that arose that led to my moving. I will say, though, that not all moves were great decisions on my part. I look back now and wonder why I made those decisions to change direction.

Writing resumes is much like writing family histories although for ourselves they must be current. Resumes, though, mainly concentrate on work or employment, not on any of the family or personal information that is part of complete family histories. Still, it is worth looking through old correspondence, school records, income data, photo albums to find information about how people spent their workdays.

Today you can go online to find many different templates for writing resumes. Or choose from a multitude of books that will show you how. They show you how to organize and lay out a document but also list what types of information will be useful and necessary to include.

Shown below are brief resumes for my parents from information gleaned from personal documents and photo albums. I will continue to add to these summaries as I find more information


Work History for William Calvin Shepheard (b1914-d1963)


1928-1929       Olds School of Agriculture

1931-1932       Public High School – Kathryn Rural High School – Alberta – Matriculation

1936                Coyne Electrical School – Chicago, Illinois, USA

1945                No. 1 Wireless School R.C.A.F. – Calgary, Alberta



1939-1943       Hudson’s Bay Company         Radio & Refrigeration Service

1943-1946       Royal Canadian Air Force      Leading Aircraftman

1947-1952       Hudson’s Bay Company         Radio, TV & Appliance Service

1953-1955       Shepheard Electronics Ltd.    Radio, TV & Appliance Sales & Service

1956-1959       Sacker Electronics Co. Ltd.    Radio, TV & Appliance Sales & Service

1963-1968       Shep’s Service (Proprietor)    Radio, TV & Appliance Sales & Service

1968-1971       Hillhurst Electronics   Radio, TV & Appliance Service

1971-1983       Quilchena Golf Course           Golf Course Proprietor


Hobbies, Memberships & Service Clubs

Kiwanis Club

Calgary Motion Picture Club

Work History for Norma Mabel (Miller) Shepheard (1917-1974)


1937    Department of Education – Calgary, Alberta – Interim Second Class Certificate,


1939    Department of Education – Calgary, Alberta – Professional Second Class Certificate,


1962    Department of Education – Calgary, Alberta – Permanent Second Class Certificate, Teaching

1963-1970       Calgary School Board – Calgary, Alberta – In-Service Training Certificates



1938-1939       Lake Thelma School   Elementary School Teacher

1956-1959       Sacker Electronics Co. Ltd.    Office Administration

1963                Northmount Kindergarten      Kindergarten Teacher                                                

1963-1971       Brentwood Kindergarten        Kindergarten Teacher