Helen Swol – Part 1

Helen talks about her parents coming over from Poland, her early childhood, her brother Stanley, Stanley’s death and the birth of her brother John, growing up in Kamloops and St. Catharines, favourite family traditions, meeting Walter, their love of dancing, her wedding and honeymoon, early motherhood, being a working mother, moving to a new home, and more. (1:10:06)

Helen Swol – Part 2

Helen talks more about her childhood and early summer jobs, Polish culture and traditions, life in St. Catharines as a young mother, her love for Walter, the arrival of each of her children, the lullaby she sang to them, an experience that affected her memory, her children as teenagers, her years as a busy working mother, becoming office manager, having David, her close relationship with her mother, deaths in the family and how she copes with her losses, the importance of family and staying close despite the miles, how she became a people-person after being such a shy young girl, her love of travel, her sister-in-law Sophie, her advice for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, life in the 20th & 21st centuries, and her ability to adjust to life in all its stages, as life continues to unfold. (1:09:42)

Helen’s Lullaby

Footage of Helen swinging a traditional Polish lullaby.   (00:47) 

Interviews recorded in February, 2021.