Photograph Courtesy: Gallagher Family
|Audio recording – 1995 Interviewer: Janet Muise|
Charlie and Pat met in Ireland, emigrated with friends to Canada and settled in Hamilton in the early 1950s. Charlie had worked with friend Jim Burns at Co-op Food Stores in Scotland. Hoping to escape crowded living conditions here and familiar with Britain’s co-operatives, they attended the homebuilding sessions. The Gallagher and Burns families built with the co-op and remained lifelong friends in their Grimsby neighbourhood.
Janet: What do think the most driving force was for them? To make sure you do it right, to make sure you do it? Do you remember what the overall kind of feel for them was?
Charlie G: Well the reason was, as your mother [Albertine] and Walter knew, we all came to Hamilton. Hamilton was overloaded with people, like Italians these European people and that, would be maybe 12 in a house, maybe 15. There was no housing. I stayed in a boarding house and there were 13 of us.
Janet: Well that’s how Dad knows the Groves.
Charlie G: That’s how this town [Hamilton] was, it was overflowed with people. The priests could see that the town was in need of housing and there was only one way to get it. People couldn’t afford it. So they had to do something. That’s what drove them
Janet: They have seen how people were.
Charlie G: Yeah people boarding on top of one another.