Courtesy of Fredericton Region Museum, 2021
“My dad was a labourer, they didn’t have a lot of money, but they were hard-working. They believed in tithing… they were just great parents. I came out very blessed.”
– June Carty, Fredericton, 2020
June (Howe) Carty (b. 1927) is the much-loved matriarch of the Carty family. Born on Fredericton’s north side near what is now known as Howe Street, June was the third of nine children to Estella (1895 – 1989) and Ernest Howe (1901 – 1994). Her grandparents, John and Bertha Howe, owned a considerable amount of property there and her father worked for the SS Baird Wood and Coal Company. As June recalled during an interview with Mary Louise McCarthy-Brandt in 2020: “…my dad bought an acre of land and proceeded to build a home…everybody came to help when we were building the home…” June’s mother, Estella Hudlin, was raised near Maquapit Lake, New Brunswick: “There were quite a few children in the family. She lived next to the Bridges’ farm… one of the Bridges ladies took my mom, sort of in hand, and she taught her—took her to church with her, taught her how to garden, and how to cook. So at that time, she lived there for quite a while…when she came to Fredericton, she met my dad who had already bought land. And so they gardened. She was a great gardener. I’m sure she taught him a lot… Having lived in the country, she had a lot of skills, and she needed them because we went on to have nine in the family.”
June Carty attended school at Devon Superior, then went on to attend Fredericton High School, and later, Fredericton Business College. Her memories of growing up on the northside of Fredericton are very positive. As she later recalled: “Down where I lived at 305 Highland Avenue, every neighbor was good…I didn’t feel any discrimination. We made a rink, just in the back of our house, and people came from all over to skate there… People would come early and help shovel it, people would help flood it. I never felt unneighborly… When I got to school, some people called me names. Well, so what, you know. I didn’t feel it was so hurtful. I just didn’t know why they had to keep bringing it up. I knew [who] I was.”
In 1948, June married Flight Lieutenant Gerald Carty of Saint John, New Brunswick. While raising their four children (contrary to prescribed gender roles of the time), June’s independence and love of people led to early employment as a salesclerk and model at Zellers in Fredericton, and then into the federal public service with Canada Post, where she retired in 1987: “I’ve had a wonderful life…” June remarked in 2021.