[0:00 – 10:10]
In the 1960s Kate’s dad, George admired the RCMP and made a point of befriending them. This segment includes four RCMP weddings. Here at Virden United Church George, like much of the town, waits to see the bride and groom. George would later go on to screen these films at the town Holiday parties.
The Chan family was the only Chinese family in the community and his relationship with the RCMP helped him maintain his business as the owner of the Virden Café. It also helped that Kate’s mother, Clara, was Russian and hostess at their café.
“Christmas 1962” George captures holiday decorations, neon lights, dinner and his kids opening presents, etc.
An RCMP dinner at Virden Café including all of the grooms and brides.
George Chan filmed Christmas decorations in town, day and night.
George films the TV and captures Queen Elizabeth’s message to start off the Christmas day.
Kate and her siblings open presents and set the scene for a play her dad directed with typewriter and doctor/nurse kits. Kate’s mom is in the silk housecoat. Joyce plays piano and they all gather to sing around her,
Mom and Joyce picking up the wrapping and cleanup, etc.
It’s Christmas dinner in 1953, the Chan family sits around the table, Stan, Joyce, Linda and Kate. They are joined by Dad’s first son, Karl Chan, sitting to the right of Kate’s mother, Clara. Karl came to help out in the Virden Café as Virden was in the midst of an oil bloom. Kate’s dad George always remained behind the camera.
George Chan gets Kate and her siblings to act out a play he’s labelled “Fun with Toy” The toy is the mechanical alligator that came directly from China right before Christmas along with customized clothes. They play doctor and nurse with their new presents, the Ben Casey kits.
Stan, plays a mischievous boy who startles the doctor played by Kate. Linda plays the nurse, and Joyce plays the mother of a sick child (the doll). Kate calls it a “play toy within a play of toys.”