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Back to a time of humble beginnings

                                                                           (COURTESY PHIL JACOBS)


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This picture of Georgina Mary Phillips (left) and Mary Deer (right) was taken in the spring of 1958.

Phillips was born on July 3, 1942. Her parents were Doris and Alfred Phillips.

“The picture has my grandfather’s house, which was being built at the time, in the background,” said Phillips’ son Phil Jacobs. “It was the days when your neighbours came over to help.”

Phillips, who is 78, is happily living in retirement along with her husband, Edward Jacobs. The couple married on August 22, 1959.

“Four of her siblings are left (alive). So is my grandmother, who is 96,” said Phil.

Longevity seems to run in the family, as Phil said that her remaining siblings are all aged between 90 to 99-years-old.

The late Cecelia Tsiononkeri Phillips Kirby, who recently passed away at 106-years-old, was Phillips’ aunt.

Phillips, her siblings and parents lived with her grandparents on their land not far from the old traffic circle.

The family later moved into town when she was five-years-old.

According to Phil, the house the family moved into burned to the ground the same year this picture was taken.

Phillips went to school at the old schoolhouse located on Route 207. It later became the house of Jimmy Bush when the Kateri School was built.

“They rebuilt the house in town through the generosity of donations from community members. Almost no one had insurance at the time, and when there was a fire, the firefighters from Lachine had to be called. More times than not, by the time they got here, everything was lost,” he said.

Before marrying her husband, Phillips worked for a season at the Kanawaki Golf Club and spent one year working at the Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre.

The couple had three kids: Burton, Leann and Phil. “My dad worked in various jobs to make a living when we were young; at Elm Ridge Golf Club, and as a carpenter with my grandfather Jimmy Fineday Jacobs,” said Phil.

Jacobs worked at the old Bedard Quarry near the Kahnawake Peacekeeper station. He also worked at the Rivermont Quarry and finally, at the town garage, first as a truck driver, then as a mechanic after a few years.

“He worked 29 years for the town doing that,” said Phil.

Around the time that the Kahnawake Survival School opened, Phillips went back to work as a teacher and remained there for 29 years.

“She has many memories of living at her family farm and later here on this farm,” he said.

“One she will always remember is pushing to town for an hour in a carriage on the 207 when it was still a gravel road until the early 60s. She got a workout every time,” said Phil laughing.

Phil is very happy to have both his parents and grandmother around to keep him in check.

“Life on a farm was always hard work. I remember lots, growing up myself watching my family and helping out when I got big enough. Pictures bring back all kinds of memories for everyone along with the stories that come out from that time period,” he said.

For the Blast from the Past article last week (vol. 29, no. 39), Georgina Mary Phillips’ son is Phil Jacobs, not Joel Jacobs. The Eastern Door regrets the error.


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