M. Sparrow

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Graduation Year




Interview Date


C. Barker

Call Number

RE1 OVC A0217


M. Sparrow interview


C. Barker (00:02):
23rd of July, 1973, at the residence of Dr. M. Sparrow. Uh, Heather Street, Vancouver. I've just arrived to speak with Dr., uh, Sparrow, not having met him previously. So we're going to sit here for a little while and talk about some of the times when he was at the college in Guelph, and also his practice in British Columbia. Uh, Dr. Sparrow has been telling me that he's, uh, in pretty fair health. He's 92, or in his 92nd year, and so, um, I think we'll start off by, uh, having him tell us, uh, when he went to college, and some of the things that went on there, perhaps, and also about other things, that he may recall as things go along.

C. Barker (00:51):
So, Dr. Sparrow, would you like to tell us, uh, where your home was, and where you came back from?

M. Sparrow (00:55):
Well, I was born in the town of Paisley, Ontario. I came west first in 1897 on a harvest excursion.

C. Barker (01:18):
Yeah, after your harvesting experience you went back to Ontario?

M. Sparrow (01:22):
Yeah. I went back to Ontario, and I went to school again, you see?

C. Barker (01:30):

M. Sparrow (01:31):
And I stayed in Ontario for, uh... oh until 1902.

C. Barker (01:47):
And then you came west again.

M. Sparrow (01:48):
Then I came west to Boissevain-

C. Barker (01:54):
In Manitoba.

M. Sparrow (01:55):
In Manitoba.

C. Barker (01:56):
Oh, yes.

M. Sparrow (01:58):
And I worked on a farm there for nine months, and I got $30 a month. And uh... I, uh... put in, I remember in the spring, over 200 acres of wheat.

C. Barker (02:16):

M. Sparrow (02:17):
About 80 acres of oats, all with horses. I drove an eight-horse team, you see, and batched, did my own cooking. The man I was with, he was an insurance agent and he would come out to the farm once in awhile, ha, and the feed was pretty tough. We... the mailman that carried the mail, we're about 12 miles out of Boissevain. Brought our bread out, or at least our... I was alone.

C. Barker (03:03):

M. Sparrow (03:06):
Bread out, and what groceries we needed-

C. Barker (03:09):

M. Sparrow (03:11):
... on Monday morning. And he'd throw the bread off down at the corner of the farm half a mile away and it'd sit there until after 6:00.

C. Barker (03:24):

M. Sparrow (03:24):
And by the end of the week it was so hard we almost had to use an ax to cut it (laughs).

C. Barker (03:29):

M. Sparrow (03:30):
I don't know whether you want that kind of stuff.

C. Barker (03:32):
Oh, sure, we like to hear about that.

M. Sparrow (03:35):
And uh... after my nine months after, uh, I finished the... my time at the farm in Boissevain, I came west to Vancouver.

C. Barker (03:53):
And where were you working then, in Vancouver?

M. Sparrow (03:56):
Well, I came west, and it was pouring rain in the fall of the year, and this was all timber.

C. Barker (04:06):
Through here.

M. Sparrow (04:07):
Around here. And I was looking for the, a job, and I thought, "Well, if I can go to work in this country, I better improve my education a bit." So I went to the old Vancouver Business College. And they put a six months' course on there, but I took it in three.

C. Barker (04:31):
Oh, yeah?

M. Sparrow (04:33):
I went, uh, at night-

C. Barker (04:33):

M. Sparrow (04:38):
... and the daytime, and, and paid the fee, you see?

C. Barker (04:40):

M. Sparrow (04:43):
When I graduated from college, they had a job for yeah, for me.

C. Barker (04:49):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (04:49):
In the real estate office. And the wages was $60 a month, and I was paying 40 for board. (laughs). So I wasn't (laughs)...

C. Barker (05:04):
You weren't getting very rich.

M. Sparrow (05:05):
No, I didn't, and oh, I've always been a horseman. I always wanted to, and at that time it was, everything was horses.

C. Barker (05:14):

M. Sparrow (05:14):
The city was only about 19,000 then.

C. Barker (05:17):

M. Sparrow (05:19):
But they had a lot of beautiful big teams working on the streets, and... I said to this fellow one day, "I'm going to quit this and get a job driving the team on," he says, "You're crazy." He said, "You'll make a good real estate man." Well, I wasn't an office man and I didn't like office work, and... so I took a walk down this day to the Mainland Transfer Company. That was the, the largest, uh, transfer company here. And they had, uh, I was lookin' for a job, you know? And they had just got in four or five car loads of horses, they used to bring horses from the prairie and find out how to work it-

C. Barker (06:11):
Oh yes.

M. Sparrow (06:13):
... out here.

C. Barker (06:14):

M. Sparrow (06:14):
You sell 'em. Work horses, heavy horses, you know? So I was in the barn talking to the stable man there, and I told him what I was looking for. "Well," he says, "that's the manager there, this man walked into the barn."

C. Barker (06:35):

M. Sparrow (06:36):
Frank Gross was his name. I start to talking, nice fella to talk to, and I hit him up for a job. Well he says, uh, "Can you drive a team?" I says, "Yes, sir, I certainly can (laughs)." And uh... I was almost broke, I'd spent all my earnings going-

C. Barker (07:09):

M. Sparrow (07:09):
... to the college-

C. Barker (07:09):

M. Sparrow (07:14):
... you know? And I had accumulated any, and he says, "Why don't you buy yourself a team?" Of course he had all these horses-

C. Barker (07:18):

M. Sparrow (07:19):
... and I could see his point, he wanted to get them out exercising and as cheaply as he could.

C. Barker (07:25):

M. Sparrow (07:27):
And I says, "Mister, I just got $30 of this world's goods" and that was every cent I had (laughs).

C. Barker (07:33):
(laughs). Yeah. Wow.

M. Sparrow (07:38):
Well, we talked on, "Well," he says, "I'll sell you a team in time." "Well," I thought, "mister, you're crazy. I can't lose anything because I haven't anything to lose," you know?

C. Barker (07:51):

M. Sparrow (07:54):
So it ended up I bought a team, nice family of Clydes, four and five-year-old, good... oh around about 1,700, real good ones, you know? And that's about the price of horses in those days. And I was kind of kidding myself, and I went down onto Water Street and it was a stable there that held six horses. So I rented that. And I went to a feed store here in Brown & Howie, and I bought feed-

C. Barker (08:31):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (08:34):
... all on time. And there was a fella who run a harness maker shop here, down on Godoba Street. A Frenchman, I went in there and looked in at the harness, and he says, "You want to buy a set of harness, Mister?", I said, "Yes." But I says, "I'm very short of money right now." He says, "Have you got a team?", "Oh, yes," (laughs), I had a team. I bought a nice set of harness from him. In those days you got a good set of harness-

C. Barker (09:06):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (09:07):
... work harness.

C. Barker (09:07):

M. Sparrow (09:07):
I had about $60 to it, and I had to pay $10 a month.

C. Barker (09:13):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (09:16):
Took the team home, got organized and I rented a wagon, 40 cents a day (laughs).

C. Barker (09:20):

M. Sparrow (09:20):
And I was in business. I heads them up, and oh, they look like a real show team to me with a new harness on.

C. Barker (09:38):

M. Sparrow (09:40):
And I drove up what was then Hamilton Street, and they were just starting to take out the next division there for uh... a YMCA.

C. Barker (09:54):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (09:54):
And in those days it was all done by hand.

C. Barker (09:55):
That's right. Or the old scoop bucket.

M. Sparrow (09:57):
Well no, no-

C. Barker (09:58):
By hand.

M. Sparrow (09:59):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

C. Barker (09:59):
By real hand, by digging.

M. Sparrow (10:01):
By with a shovel.

C. Barker (10:02):
Yes, oh yes.

M. Sparrow (10:03):
I'd guess it was probably nearly 100 men.

C. Barker (10:06):

M. Sparrow (10:07):
It's a big building.

C. Barker (10:08):
Oh yes.

M. Sparrow (10:10):
And of course, uh, the earth was all hauled away by teams.

C. Barker (10:15):

M. Sparrow (10:15):
And they were dumping it down where the CM station is now, that was all water. That was a piece of [inaudible]. And I stopped and looked in and he came out, a foreman, McArthur was the name. He said, "You want to go to work, Mister?" I says, "Yes, sir." He says, "Driving." And there were low, the empty, they leave the empty wagons. They load them and... well, the wages then was $6 a day for a man and team. You worked 10 hours on the job. And, uh, the fella had a job everyday, that contractor. I had a good team, I had the best team-

C. Barker (11:07):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (11:07):
... and they would plow up and loosen the Earth and do anything, that he wanted to hang onto them. So he had a job for me, and I was able to meet my payments. I surprised Old Man Gross when I-

C. Barker (11:24):

M. Sparrow (11:25):
... mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (11:26):
And how long were you doing that, then?

M. Sparrow (11:30):
Well I, I worked about seven months.

C. Barker (11:31):
Oh, yes.

M. Sparrow (11:33):
And I sold the outfit. And I got $750 cash. Well and all that's, I didn't know it was that much money (laughs).

C. Barker (11:49):

M. Sparrow (11:49):
Any kind of story, mm-hmm (affirmative). Then I went up-country, and I bought two teams. I had enough money in that, and I came back to the, uh... city.

C. Barker (11:57):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (11:57):
And I start-

C. Barker (11:57):
In business then.

M. Sparrow (11:57):
... contracting, taking out excavations.

C. Barker (11:57):

M. Sparrow (12:09):
Then I got the job of d- delivering the crushed rock for the city.

C. Barker (12:14):
Oh, yeah.

M. Sparrow (12:15):
They paid 60 cents a yard any place in the city, the city then just came out as far as, uh, 16th Avenue.

C. Barker (12:22):
Is that right?

M. Sparrow (12:24):
Yeah, hm. Some days I'd need 8 or 10 teams, but you know it was higher-

C. Barker (12:36):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (12:36):
... I'd just do my own.

C. Barker (12:37):

M. Sparrow (12:37):
But I wanted to be a [inaudible]. There used to be a fella here, Doc Henners, and I used to work spare times, in other words-

C. Barker (12:46):

M. Sparrow (12:48):
... he had an operation or something on Sunday, I'd go with him and maybe throw the horse [inaudible], that kind of thing, you know.

C. Barker (12:56):
Was he a, was he a, a real graduate, or had he been a, a correspondence of a licensed man or some kind?

M. Sparrow (13:11):
Oh no, he was a...

C. Barker (13:11):
He was a graduate all right.

M. Sparrow (13:11):
Yeah. At Montreal.

C. Barker (13:11):

M. Sparrow (13:11):
Quite awhile ago.

C. Barker (13:11):
Oh yes, oh yes.

M. Sparrow (13:11):
Yeah. And... so I went that time, uh... went back to Guelph when I thought I had enough-

C. Barker (13:11):

M. Sparrow (13:11):
... to put me through.

C. Barker (13:26):
Mm. Well you were in U, or you were getting uh... you must have been 25 or 26 then when you went to college.

M. Sparrow (13:31):
Oh, I'd be more than that.

C. Barker (13:33):
More than that, yeah.

M. Sparrow (13:34):
Yeah. Well-

C. Barker (13:35):
Until, you still weren't married.

M. Sparrow (13:37):
No. So um, I graduated-

C. Barker (13:42):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (13:44):
... and I come back here in 1912.

C. Barker (13:49):
Who would you, uh, where would you stay when you were living in Toronto?

M. Sparrow (13:55):
Well, I stayed at 114 Shuter Street.

C. Barker (14:00):
Oh, yes.

M. Sparrow (14:00):
Longer than any place else.

C. Barker (14:04):

M. Sparrow (14:05):
But there were five or six of us. There was Jack Connors, Jimmy Mammoss, Scotty Gray... Campbell, and we all roomed, all was in the same-

C. Barker (14:26):
Same place.

M. Sparrow (14:27):
... place.

C. Barker (14:30):
But uh, what would you pay for, do you remember what you paid for room and board when you were there?

M. Sparrow (14:34):
Yes. We paid... about $12 a month. Uh, uh... it wasn't very good board, but it was...

C. Barker (14:50):
Well you weren't cooking your own meals, you were getting-

M. Sparrow (14:52):
Oh no, no, no-

C. Barker (14:52):
... all provided for you.

M. Sparrow (14:53):
... yeah, boarded.

C. Barker (14:54):

M. Sparrow (14:55):
Ms. McMillan run this house, oh, it was about 50 people from Eaton Store boarded there.

C. Barker (15:03):
Boarded there, wow.

M. Sparrow (15:05):
And I'll never... Maybe you should shut it off.

C. Barker (15:06):

C. Barker (15:06):
So you, you'd remember something about the people who were on the faculty then. There was Fowler, or, and was Kaylee there at that time, Dr. Kaylee? Fowler might have been there and he might not have been. Was a-

M. Sparrow (15:18):
Oh no, Fowler was, uh, I mean Grains.

C. Barker (15:22):

M. Sparrow (15:23):
Then Kettner?

C. Barker (15:23):

M. Sparrow (15:29):
I have them all on a picture.

C. Barker (15:30):
Have you? Oh I'd be interested in seeing that photograph. I say, it looks like your graduation diploma.

M. Sparrow (15:35):
Oh yes, it's.

C. Barker (15:37):
Well that's a class picture there, is it? Oh yes. Uh, I believe it was Scofield, he was on the faculty, uh-

M. Sparrow (15:43):

C. Barker (15:43):
... at that time. Yes?

M. Sparrow (15:44):
He visited me here.

C. Barker (15:47):
Came to see you, did he?

M. Sparrow (15:49):
Well, on a visit shortly before he, after he'd retired.

C. Barker (15:53):
Oh, yes. When he was on the way over to Korea.

M. Sparrow (15:56):
Now that's Fowler.

C. Barker (15:57):
That's right. That's right.

M. Sparrow (15:59):

C. Barker (15:59):
No that's Bailey, it says there.

M. Sparrow (16:01):
I mean, uh, Bailey, he was-

C. Barker (16:03):

M. Sparrow (16:03):
... he-

C. Barker (16:03):
... agriculture.

M. Sparrow (16:05):
Stock judging.

C. Barker (16:06):
Oh yes. Yes. And that's Dave Saunders.

M. Sparrow (16:08):

C. Barker (16:10):
And that's Herd. He was, uh, medicine, medicine, was he? And that's Thompson, he was... I don't know what he did there.

M. Sparrow (16:18):

C. Barker (16:18):
And I couldn't tell you. And that's old LT Addison.

M. Sparrow (16:24):

C. Barker (16:24):
And, uh, that's, uh, GB Cash. Now Cash, was he, uh, anatomy?

M. Sparrow (16:28):
He was an assistant to Fowler.

C. Barker (16:30):
Assistant to Fowler, I see.

M. Sparrow (16:32):

C. Barker (16:32):
That's John Pringle.

M. Sparrow (16:33):
And that's Pringle.

C. Barker (16:35):
What was Pringle teaching at that time?

M. Sparrow (16:36):
Uh, Pringle was dentistry and medicine.

C. Barker (16:36):
Ah, yes. And that's-

M. Sparrow (16:36):
And uh, not medicine, uh... disease and treatment.

C. Barker (16:49):
Ah yes. And that's PL Scott.

M. Sparrow (16:50):
That's Scott.

C. Barker (16:52):

M. Sparrow (16:52):
He was, uh... pharmacy.

C. Barker (16:55):
Ah, yes. And that's Brodie.

M. Sparrow (16:59):

C. Barker (17:00):
Oh, he was a medical doctor, wasn't he?

M. Sparrow (17:02):

C. Barker (17:02):
Yes, yeah.

M. Sparrow (17:03):
Oh... uh, uh, two or three of them are medical.

C. Barker (17:07):
Yes. And that's Grainge of course.

M. Sparrow (17:07):
That's Grainge.

C. Barker (17:09):
And Temple was a medical doctor too.

M. Sparrow (17:12):
Temple was a medical doctor.

C. Barker (17:14):
Yeah? And there's CG Saunders.

M. Sparrow (17:16):
He was... small animals.

C. Barker (17:20):
That's right, that's right, he was. He went to England subsequently.

M. Sparrow (17:22):
Uh-huh (affirmative).

C. Barker (17:23):
And the next fella is- is Wilson, Herbert Wilson. And he was a-

M. Sparrow (17:28):

C. Barker (17:29):
... medical bar doctor too, yeah?

M. Sparrow (17:32):
... he was a medical, and I think-

C. Barker (17:32):

M. Sparrow (17:32):
... he was... I forget, I think it was-

C. Barker (17:37):

M. Sparrow (17:38):
... oh-

C. Barker (17:38):
... I don't know-

M. Sparrow (17:39):
... botany or something.

C. Barker (17:40):
Yes. This is all him, Sweetapple here.

M. Sparrow (17:43):
Yeah (laughs).

C. Barker (17:44):
Was he doing very much at that time?

M. Sparrow (17:46):
Oh no, he was retired.

C. Barker (17:46):

M. Sparrow (17:46):
And that is...

C. Barker (17:51):
That's Walker, AC Walker, I don't know him at all.

M. Sparrow (17:54):
Yeah, he was lead inspection.

C. Barker (17:56):
Oh yes.

M. Sparrow (17:56):
And Walker-

C. Barker (17:58):
And King Smith, well that's old Andrew's son.

M. Sparrow (18:00):
Yeah, he was, uh...

C. Barker (18:01):
I think he-

M. Sparrow (18:05):
... pathology.

C. Barker (18:06):
... pathology, that's right, that's right, he did two.

M. Sparrow (18:08):
And that's, that's the bunch, there's a bunch there.

C. Barker (18:11):
There's a one, that's McKichen right there.

M. Sparrow (18:13):
Yeah, that's McKichen.

C. Barker (18:13):

M. Sparrow (18:14):
He was bacteriology.

C. Barker (18:16):
Yes. And Amial was teaching then at that time too, hey?

M. Sparrow (18:21):
Yeah, that's Amial.

C. Barker (18:23):
Amial, Amial. I never knew that one, of course. That's a long (laughs) before my time. Yeah.

M. Sparrow (18:26):
Well, sir-

C. Barker (18:27):

M. Sparrow (18:29):
... when the First War broke out, I went over to France, and I was in the Havre in France. Or I was, uh, catching a... a train then, I was going up in, into the front. And I had a, an hour or two to kill, and I was walking down around the wharf, and I meet Amial.

C. Barker (18:52):
Well, it's funny, hey?

M. Sparrow (18:57):

C. Barker (18:58):
Yeah? You never know who you're going to meet in strange places.

M. Sparrow (19:03):
Uh-huh (affirmative). An awful good lecturer.

C. Barker (19:03):
Was he? Yeah.

M. Sparrow (19:05):

C. Barker (19:05):
Well when you, when you graduated, did you come back west then?

M. Sparrow (19:10):
When I graduated, I came back to British Columbia. And I opened up a practice on the corner of Burrard and Pender Street.

C. Barker (19:20):
In Vancouver?

M. Sparrow (19:20):
In Vancouver. They had a big livery stable there-

C. Barker (19:25):

M. Sparrow (19:29):
... the Palace Livery.

C. Barker (19:29):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (19:29):
And the student doctor Jervis, you may have-

C. Barker (19:32):
Oh, I know of him, yes? I've heard of him.

M. Sparrow (19:35):
... we opened practice together. We went, uh... got a nice office in front of the Livery there. And he was an awfully good practitioner, I will say.

C. Barker (19:50):
Hm, hm.

M. Sparrow (19:51):
I don't think there was any better-

C. Barker (19:51):

M. Sparrow (19:53):
... he was so conscientious and an awful nice fella. Uh, well then, we, uh... worked together in the government. They were going to make the company, tuberculin testing of cattle compulsory.

C. Barker (20:17):

M. Sparrow (20:19):
And they wanted... I think put on about six men. And I says to Jervis, "I'm going up to write that exam they put on me." And uh, I went out and I went and wrote the exam and I, I got a letter right away telling me there was a position open with the provincial government. And I turned the practice over to-

C. Barker (20:50):

M. Sparrow (20:50):
... Jervis-

C. Barker (20:50):

M. Sparrow (20:52):
... and he took over, well, on to implement-

C. Barker (20:53):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative), instruments.

M. Sparrow (20:53):
... instruments.

C. Barker (20:53):

M. Sparrow (20:53):

C. Barker (20:53):

M. Sparrow (21:03):
And um, then the war broke out. Well, then I joined the Army, you know?

C. Barker (21:08):
Who would, who would join up with you from our west here? Can you, uh, tell me, I read, I've been reading just, uh, some stories, uh... that were written by a fella named Captain French. And I never heard of him, uh... would you recall anything about him at all? He wrote these articles back in 1923 and '24.

M. Sparrow (21:25):
Captain French, I think he worked for the Dominion Government.

C. Barker (21:31):
Well he was out in the west here at one time I thought [crosstalk]-

M. Sparrow (21:34):
Yes, I know, oh. But I can't recall ever meeting him.

C. Barker (21:38):
I see.

M. Sparrow (21:38):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (21:40):
Yes. Well, would you ever recall meeting Jimmy Glover when you were over [crosstalk]-

M. Sparrow (21:43):

C. Barker (21:45):
He was, uh, he was in France for awhile.

M. Sparrow (21:52):
Oh, that was, uh...

C. Barker (21:52):
And McClenagan, McClennon, did you ever meet Big McClenagan-

M. Sparrow (21:54):
I was in this class here. It was Tim McMannis. He was in school with me.

C. Barker (22:07):

M. Sparrow (22:07):
Scotty Gray was in school with me. That fella the name of uh... Mike Skelton and... oh, I can't-

C. Barker (22:24):
Did you ever meet a, a fella named Neely when you were overseas?

M. Sparrow (22:28):

C. Barker (22:28):
Neely. Neely. He was with the Federal Government, uh, for years up at Lakehead in, in northern Ontario.

M. Sparrow (22:36):
I know who he is, yeah.

C. Barker (22:36):
Yeah, yeah.

M. Sparrow (22:36):
Well then I was overseas from uh... I didn't get back here 'til just the end of 1919. I was in Italy for two years.

C. Barker (22:54):
Were you! What where you doing in Italy?

M. Sparrow (22:54):
Oh, I was, uh, in the, uh, after I got to the old country-

C. Barker (22:54):

M. Sparrow (23:02):
... I joined up with the heavy artillery as their Veterinary Officer, you see? It was all horses then.

C. Barker (23:10):
Well you, you joined the... which, which Army corps did-

M. Sparrow (23:13):

C. Barker (23:13):
... you join here?

M. Sparrow (23:15):
... the British Army.

C. Barker (23:16):
You joined the British Army.

M. Sparrow (23:16):
British Army.

C. Barker (23:17):
You went over and joined over there.

M. Sparrow (23:18):
Joined over there.

C. Barker (23:20):
I see. A-ha.

M. Sparrow (23:22):
And then... they were sending troops down to Italy. And I wanted to go to Italy, and luckily the ADDS, that-

C. Barker (23:41):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (23:41):
... was going to Italy, uh, he wanted me to go with him, so it worked beautifully.

C. Barker (23:47):
Was he a Canadian or a Britisher?

M. Sparrow (23:49):
No, no, he was Colonel Moseley, the British Army.

C. Barker (23:59):
British Army, yeah?

M. Sparrow (24:05):
Yeah. And... so I, I went down to Italy with him. And I had a lot of horses there they looked after.

C. Barker (24:07):

M. Sparrow (24:09):
Then when the war finished, no animals of any kind was allowed evidently on account of the Foot-and-Mouth.

C. Barker (24:20):
I see, yes.

M. Sparrow (24:21):
You couldn't even bring the bird out.

C. Barker (24:23):

M. Sparrow (24:24):
Or... and all those horses had to be sold in Italy. And our ADDS, this Colonel Moseley-

C. Barker (24:38):

M. Sparrow (24:40):
... just, uh, a week or two before the armistice came, it came on in Italy-

C. Barker (24:45):

M. Sparrow (24:51):
... first, and he took and went to home, he got leave.

C. Barker (24:53):

M. Sparrow (24:55):
And he went home to, uh, England, London, and he took sick there. And he put me in his job charge. And that I never could understand, because there was two or three... I was then just a Captain.

C. Barker (25:14):

M. Sparrow (25:15):
Two or three, uh, Majors there that were regulars in the Army. And one of them was awful sore he had... only gone in home a short while, at least after I was put in charge, hey. And he sent a letter he was posted, he was a... I think it was Field Artillery, a regular in the Army.

C. Barker (25:48):
Yes, yes.

M. Sparrow (25:48):
That he was going on leave to Paris, such and such a date.

C. Barker (25:58):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (25:58):
And the Colonel give me instructions not to let anybody go on leave. So I wrote back and told them, "I'm sorry, but no leave could be granted from this office until the Colonel return." "Well, say (laughs)." He came back (laughs), he came up to see me, but I didn't let him go. Um... well then, as I say when the war was all finished, these horses, you know we had thousands of them.

C. Barker (26:36):

M. Sparrow (26:38):
Had to be sold in Italy. So we had to, um, I'm talking to the veterinary [crosstalk].

C. Barker (26:44):
Yes, yes.

M. Sparrow (26:44):
We had to examine all the horses. And horses that were old and blemished a little, had to be sold to the Italian people for food purposes. You know, they eat-

C. Barker (27:03):

M. Sparrow (27:03):
... that, and they were very short of meat. So they became veterinary cases. Well, when it finished up, we had more veterinary cases than we had, uh, remount.

C. Barker (27:15):

M. Sparrow (27:16):
The others went to the remount.

C. Barker (27:16):
Yes, yes?

M. Sparrow (27:20):
So the remount people had to dispose of the well ones-

C. Barker (27:22):

M. Sparrow (27:22):
... and we had the-

C. Barker (27:27):
The leftovers.

M. Sparrow (27:28):
... (laughs) the leftover.

C. Barker (27:28):

M. Sparrow (27:33):
And the first trainload of horses, and I took two [inaudible], and I had a man with me for every four horses. We would ship by train. I took them, shipped them to this, uh, big public abattoir, and they were auctioned off-

C. Barker (28:02):

M. Sparrow (28:02):
... to the, uh, small butchers, you know. You would come in and buy two or three in the abattoir, but we had to see them killed.

C. Barker (28:12):
Oh yes.

M. Sparrow (28:13):
We had to... stay there until they want all the cattle.

C. Barker (28:16):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (28:19):
And [inaudible] was a good town, I'd give the fellows a couple of days before we'd start back. And then we'd go back and we'd take, uh... car loads, we took them to every place of any size, like... Rome, Buccinasco, Costabissara, [inaudible], all those places.

C. Barker (28:46):
So you, you saw a lot of Italy while you were there.

M. Sparrow (28:50):
... over every bit of Italy. You know?

C. Barker (28:51):

M. Sparrow (28:54):
First train I took to Milano, they averaged $200 a head, put in our money. You see? So when we go back to headquarters the Earl of Cavan was the Army commander then. And I told 'em.

C. Barker (29:18):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (29:18):
And uh... well, he says, "We'll fix that (laughs)."

C. Barker (29:22):

M. Sparrow (29:24):
So he just lost his jaw.

C. Barker (29:27):

M. Sparrow (29:27):
And I said to him, "You know, I believe I could sell them." I said, "...bit of auction, the [inaudible] has the kid."

C. Barker (29:27):

M. Sparrow (29:27):
So he says, "Well, we'll try a... a train load." And I had no trouble selling them. They sold well. Uh-huh (affirmative), uh, and I think... you know the Italian language, and the lingua, and the language of the old Italian?

C. Barker (29:53):

M. Sparrow (29:53):
Uh-huh (affirmative)?

C. Barker (29:59):
I've been there three or four times.

M. Sparrow (30:01):
Through Italy.

C. Barker (30:01):

M. Sparrow (30:02):
Yeah. Yeah, you know all those places?

C. Barker (30:05):
I've been to many of them, yes.

M. Sparrow (30:06):

C. Barker (30:08):
Tell me, uh, someone mentioned to me that the King of Italy, uh, the King of Italy came along and decorated you, uh, before you were finished.

M. Sparrow (30:16):
Yes, I-

C. Barker (30:17):
That looks like you've got a quite a number of your medals there, your war medals and decorations, uh...

M. Sparrow (30:22):
No, that's the Italian military cross, so the Italian-

C. Barker (30:22):
Ah, yes. Yes?

M. Sparrow (30:29):
No. No, no. Yes. The Italian [Italian word].

C. Barker (30:36):
Right. Right.

M. Sparrow (30:39):
And that's the one the King-

C. Barker (30:40):
Gave you.

M. Sparrow (30:41):
... give me.

C. Barker (30:41):
Uh-huh (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (30:43):
And these are all, that's a Mons medal.

C. Barker (30:47):
Those are the service medal.

M. Sparrow (30:50):
Well that's the Mons.

C. Barker (30:50):

M. Sparrow (30:50):
Yeah. These are-

C. Barker (30:50):

M. Sparrow (30:50):
... service medals.

C. Barker (30:50):
Yes, yes?

M. Sparrow (30:50):
These are nothing, these I just stored.

C. Barker (30:56):
Oh, what's that one?

M. Sparrow (30:57):
Oh, that's our 100-year.

C. Barker (31:01):
Why, that's the British Columbia Honors.

M. Sparrow (31:04):
Yeah. That's-

C. Barker (31:04):
Canadian Pioneers in 1967.

M. Sparrow (31:07):

C. Barker (31:07):
Yes. After you came out Italy, you came back to Canada then.

M. Sparrow (31:12):

C. Barker (31:12):
And did you start back in Brit- British Columbia, or did you start somewhere, uh, in the east?

M. Sparrow (31:17):
No, I came back, right to British Columbia, and took up my-

C. Barker (31:22):

M. Sparrow (31:22):
... old job with the government.

C. Barker (31:23):
Oh, I see. And did you stay with them then, uh?

M. Sparrow (31:25):
Stayed with them 'til I retired.

C. Barker (31:27):
I see. So you know quite a bit of the province then-

M. Sparrow (31:29):
Oh, I know every inch of it (laughs).

C. Barker (31:29):
... (laughs).

M. Sparrow (31:29):

C. Barker (31:29):
Well, very interesting.

M. Sparrow (31:36):
Ah yes.

C. Barker (31:36):
Well what, what was the kind of work you were doing with the province at that time?

M. Sparrow (31:39):
Well, I was doing a little bit of everything. The tuberculin testing of the cattle.

C. Barker (31:47):
Yes, yes?

M. Sparrow (31:49):
And convey contagious disease of any kind, if they had an outbreak of something, I would have to go. And in those days we used to get lots of Blackleg and hemorrhagic septicemia, and-

C. Barker (32:06):

M. Sparrow (32:08):
... quite a few.

C. Barker (32:10):
Yeah. How would you get around to that time.

M. Sparrow (32:12):

C. Barker (32:12):
The government providing you with a car or did you have to-

M. Sparrow (32:15):
No, I had my own car.

C. Barker (32:16):
Your own. Well the roads would be pretty tough in places, wouldn't they?

M. Sparrow (32:19):
Oh yes, and they paid me 10 cents a mile.

C. Barker (32:19):

M. Sparrow (32:26):
Yeah. But then, if I ate, not eat enough, once the in a while gone up to the caribou.

C. Barker (32:30):

M. Sparrow (32:31):
I, well, maybe to Prince Edward, or to Fort George-

C. Barker (32:38):

M. Sparrow (32:38):
... by train.

C. Barker (32:39):

M. Sparrow (32:40):
And then hire a car, or you can go by horseback. I rode a good many miles on horseback, and um... that was when I retired.

C. Barker (32:53):
What year did you retire?

M. Sparrow (32:55):
Well I, I retired when I was 65.

C. Barker (33:00):
So that's not quite 30 years ago, about-

M. Sparrow (33:02):

C. Barker (33:03):
... 27, 28 years ago.

M. Sparrow (33:05):
... yes.

C. Barker (33:06):
So, that would be, uh-

M. Sparrow (33:08):
I didn't have to retire, but I-

C. Barker (33:08):
40, about 1945, '46, was it?

M. Sparrow (33:13):
Yeah, about-

C. Barker (33:13):

M. Sparrow (33:13):
... then.

C. Barker (33:13):
... yes. Uh-huh (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (33:13):

C. Barker (33:16):
Well did you do a little practicing after you retired?

M. Sparrow (33:20):
Well, I had a farm out here.

C. Barker (33:23):
Oh, yeah.

M. Sparrow (33:24):
And uh, I did some practice but, uh, I belonged to the, uh, I'm a life member of the association.

C. Barker (33:33):
Oh, I see.

M. Sparrow (33:34):
Of the-

C. Barker (33:34):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (33:35):
... British Columbia-

C. Barker (33:36):

M. Sparrow (33:37):
... Association.

C. Barker (33:38):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (33:39):
And I used to do some sort of special... horse cases.

C. Barker (33:44):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (33:45):
I never did small animals-

C. Barker (33:46):

M. Sparrow (33:46):
... you know?

C. Barker (33:47):
... no.

M. Sparrow (33:47):
And then I judged fairs.

C. Barker (33:51):
Horses at the fair?

M. Sparrow (33:52):
I judged hundreds of horses at the fairs.

C. Barker (33:54):
They'd be heavy horses.

M. Sparrow (33:55):
All kinds.

C. Barker (33:56):
All kinds.

M. Sparrow (33:58):
Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. And uh, as a matter of fact, I judged here last year.

C. Barker (34:08):
Where was that?

M. Sparrow (34:09):
At the P&E.

C. Barker (34:11):
Well, good for you. Good for you.

M. Sparrow (34:13):
You know, I, I can drive a six-horse team.

C. Barker (34:16):
You're one of the two people who can-

M. Sparrow (34:17):

C. Barker (34:17):
... do it then. There's not very many left in this country. Okay, looks like it's an Army uh...

M. Sparrow (34:26):

C. Barker (34:27):

M. Sparrow (34:27):
... ranking.

C. Barker (34:27):
That's your, that's your, uh, commission in the British Army.

M. Sparrow (34:32):
Oh, I wouldn't bother reading this.

C. Barker (34:32):
Oh, this is, yeah, this is [inaudible] signing up in the corner here. 1,921. So this is the Canadian government, Canadian Army Veterinary Corps.

M. Sparrow (34:47):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

C. Barker (34:48):
So you were trying to squirt out of the British Army into the Canadian when that was, uh, when that was given-

M. Sparrow (34:52):
No, no-

C. Barker (34:52):
... no?

M. Sparrow (34:53):
... I... after I came back I joined up-

C. Barker (34:56):
Oh, you joined up in that!

M. Sparrow (34:58):
... with the Canadian.

C. Barker (34:59):
Oh, oh I see. Sure.

M. Sparrow (35:01):
After the war was over.

C. Barker (35:02):
Oh yes.

M. Sparrow (35:03):
Well that's the one.

C. Barker (35:05):
When you were keeping your farm, you had some light horses.

M. Sparrow (35:07):
Oh, I raised and I started with Clydesdales, and while they started going out, and I switched to, uh, Arabians. And then I ended up with thoroughbreds, I had a stallion here called Maybe Monday. He was a good one too, we raised some awful good ones. That's from the-

C. Barker (35:35):
This is from the Italian, uh-

M. Sparrow (35:37):

C. Barker (35:38):
... Temporary Captain Michael Sparrow.

M. Sparrow (35:41):
Uh-huh (affirmative).

C. Barker (35:42):
And the British Army, 31st of January, 1919. Are they all British officers, or you're, and you're the only Canadian?

M. Sparrow (35:50):
Yeah. That was taken at Brie in France.

C. Barker (35:54):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). No Canadians except you.

M. Sparrow (35:57):
No, no Canadians. Uh, there's a Frenchman.

C. Barker (36:00):

M. Sparrow (36:01):
He was our, uh-

C. Barker (36:01):
Yeah (laughs)?

M. Sparrow (36:01):
... yeah (laughs).

C. Barker (36:04):
Would you have any, uh... interesting stories about your old times while you were in Toronto? Can you... can you think of much of what went on while you were there? Old Andrew Smith was gone by the time you got there, he'd died the year you-

M. Sparrow (36:17):
No, no, he was still living.

C. Barker (36:19):
Oh, was he?

M. Sparrow (36:20):
Well, he was retired-

C. Barker (36:21):

M. Sparrow (36:22):
... and he used to visit the-

C. Barker (36:24):
Did he!

M. Sparrow (36:25):
... College quite often. You see?

C. Barker (36:28):

M. Sparrow (36:28):
Down on Temperance Street.

C. Barker (36:29):
Yes, yes.

M. Sparrow (36:30):
Yeah. Yeah. And then of course we went up to the university for most of our lectures.

C. Barker (36:38):
Oh, I never knew that.

M. Sparrow (36:40):
Oh yes, we took... a lot of our, uh... uh, lectures now, the botany we took with the humans-

C. Barker (36:46):

M. Sparrow (36:46):
... with the, uh-

C. Barker (36:46):
Medic student.

M. Sparrow (36:46):
... medical student.

C. Barker (36:46):

M. Sparrow (36:46):
And so on.

C. Barker (36:46):

M. Sparrow (36:55):
And we, uh, did comparison anatomy with the medical students. They don't do that now. No, oh no, we went to great courses up at the university.

C. Barker (37:06):
Yeah? Well. Well. Well you would, you would uh... you've been doing all your dissection really of the horse and so on down on Temperance Street.

M. Sparrow (37:17):
Down it, we had a, the set team.

C. Barker (37:17):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (37:17):
Oh yeah.

C. Barker (37:20):
Was there much of a practice operating under the Temperance Street building at that time?

M. Sparrow (37:28):
No, I wouldn't say that.

C. Barker (37:29):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (37:30):
You see, when we bought our own horses-

C. Barker (37:33):
Yes, for dissection.

M. Sparrow (37:35):
... yeah, for that.

C. Barker (37:36):

M. Sparrow (37:38):
And Fowler, he was doing-

C. Barker (37:41):
The practice pretty well.

M. Sparrow (37:42):
... most of it. And this fella, Edwards?

C. Barker (37:47):

M. Sparrow (37:49):
And Cass, oh, there's two or three full, uh-

C. Barker (37:52):
Full-time people there.

M. Sparrow (37:54):
... full-time people. And then those medical fellas, there's five or six medical doctors.

C. Barker (37:59):

M. Sparrow (37:59):
Lecture student.

C. Barker (38:01):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (38:03):
And um...

C. Barker (38:05):
You know, there, there, there's one thing that we've not been able to find or I haven't, was a description of the, of the interior of the old college building on Temperance Street. You, you see pictures of the front of it, but no one ever says anything about what it was like inside.

M. Sparrow (38:21):
Well, it was a very plain building, and I think it was... I did lose four foals.

C. Barker (38:27):

M. Sparrow (38:27):
And I remember I... and they were just big rooms.

C. Barker (38:31):
Open rooms.

M. Sparrow (38:33):
Yeah. It was 109 in our class.

C. Barker (38:37):
Well, that's quite a number too.

M. Sparrow (38:39):
And there was lots of room in there.

C. Barker (38:41):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (38:41):
And then...

C. Barker (38:47):
Well would they, they had electricity at that time, did they? Or was it-

M. Sparrow (38:50):
Oh, yes.

C. Barker (38:51):
... gas, it was gas, it wasn't gas light. It had been-

M. Sparrow (38:52):
Oh, no.

C. Barker (38:53):
... converted to electricity then.

M. Sparrow (38:54):
And uh, but in the rooming houses was on gas.

C. Barker (38:58):
I see. Yeah?

M. Sparrow (39:00):
And but in the college and university, it was all electricity.

C. Barker (39:00):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (39:05):
And we used to have some very good fights with the medical students up at the university.

C. Barker (39:13):
Yes? Yeah? Yeah?

M. Sparrow (39:23):
And when the, uh, second-year students were coming in-

C. Barker (39:24):

M. Sparrow (39:24):
... you know, they all was handling the-

C. Barker (39:25):
Initiation, was it?

M. Sparrow (39:26):
A real welcome.

C. Barker (39:29):

M. Sparrow (39:31):
And... did ya know they were, uh, uh, rooms at all on, on, uh, Temperance?

C. Barker (39:37):
No, I had, I never, never had-

M. Sparrow (39:39):

C. Barker (39:39):
... any opportunity. I was-

M. Sparrow (39:40):

C. Barker (39:41):
... that's long before my time.

M. Sparrow (39:42):
Yeah. Well it was this big room there, and the door opened out onto Penden, onto, uh...

C. Barker (39:52):
Temperance Street.

M. Sparrow (39:53):
Uh, yeah, yes.

C. Barker (39:54):

M. Sparrow (39:59):
And uh, we rigged up a big long table, and every student had to crawl over the table, and they all batted them with a strap. (laughs). You see?

C. Barker (40:11):

M. Sparrow (40:12):
And this would be policemen were standing looking in the door. And we caught the policemen, and we put them over. (laughs). Um, a bunch of us got arrested.

C. Barker (40:28):
He arrested ya?

M. Sparrow (40:30):
Yeah. I forget, I think we got summons-ed or something, and then I forget.

C. Barker (40:36):

M. Sparrow (40:39):
And about seven or eight of us that happened to, we all took turns and... and, uh, I happened to be on that shift (laughs). And they got up there, and I think they fined us $25 a piece.

C. Barker (40:57):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (40:58):
Only e- enough, oh, just seven or eight, but the students all paid it, it didn't cost us much, you see (laughs).

C. Barker (41:06):
What did Dr. Grainge have to say about this?

M. Sparrow (41:20):
Oh, he didn't. You know, Dr. Grainge was an awful fine fella.

C. Barker (41:20):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)? Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (41:20):
I don't know what you've ever heard of him.

C. Barker (41:20):
I, I have no very, not very much information about him, you know.

M. Sparrow (41:21):
But I have never met a better man, and a man that would stand behind ya-

C. Barker (41:29):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (41:29):
... better than he would.

C. Barker (41:33):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (41:33):
When we were writing our final on physiology, and we had this, uh, old English doctor.

C. Barker (41:42):

M. Sparrow (41:43):
But oh boy, did he know his stuff. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (41:44):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (41:46):
But he was awful strict. And uh, the day that we had, uh, had to write our final on physiology, the mumps was raging, and I woke up with the mumps. And I was all swollen up, I was pretty sick. Yeah. So I rang up, uh, Dr. Grainge, the principal.

C. Barker (42:16):

M. Sparrow (42:17):
And I told him, "Well," he says, "I'll send the doctor up," and he said, "D. King is-

C. Barker (42:21):
Oh sure-

M. Sparrow (42:22):
... that one-

C. Barker (42:23):
... King Smith-

M. Sparrow (42:23):
... D. King Smith."

C. Barker (42:24):
... yes?

M. Sparrow (42:24):
And he came up and, "Now," he says, "mister, you just stay right in bed." Nuh-uh (negative).

C. Barker (42:28):

M. Sparrow (42:32):
Well of course I missed the exam.

C. Barker (42:33):
Yes, mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (42:35):
Well, I got better, and... and it was the second year we had the final.

C. Barker (42:41):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative)?

M. Sparrow (42:41):
And I wanted to get it off.

C. Barker (42:46):

M. Sparrow (42:48):
So I went down to Grainge to stay in, and "Yeah," he says, "I'll arrange that exam." And he did. And he rang up the... and he arranged for me to go down to his office, higher up at the university-

C. Barker (43:08):
Yes, mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (43:08):
... at an office he was lecturing to the meds too, you know. I had to be there the next day at 12:00. So I was there in his office long before 12:00 and I sat and waited, and waited 'til 2:00. He never showed up. And the girl that was in his office, "Oh well," she says, "No use awaiting, he's not coming."

M. Sparrow (43:41):
So I went down to report it to Grainge.

C. Barker (43:45):

M. Sparrow (43:47):
Well, sir, he gets on that phone right away. And he rings up, uh, an old professor. "Oh," he says, "that student never came down?" "Well," I says, "that student is sitting right here now. And he says he was down, and he also tells me that your office assistant talked to him all the time and told him that to, to leave. Now," he says, "I want that exam." "Well," he said, um, "I'll arrange it as soon as-", he says, "You will arrange it right tomorrow." And he did.

M. Sparrow (44:44):
"Well," I thought, "now I'm... " so I, I goes up to write the exam. And he had his table in the office, and he sat on this side of the table, and I had to sit on this side. Yeah see? And that bothered me. But I got through all right, he didn't, I was sure he'd-

C. Barker (45:07):
Did he give you a written or an oral exam? Did he just ask you the question?

M. Sparrow (45:11):
Oh, I had to write it.

C. Barker (45:12):
Oh, did you?

M. Sparrow (45:15):
Oh yes. He probably did ask a few-

C. Barker (45:16):

M. Sparrow (45:17):
... but the main exam-

C. Barker (45:19):
You had to write.

M. Sparrow (45:21):
... I've had to write... boy, I was glad to get over that one. Uh-huh (affirmative).

C. Barker (45:27):
Well you were, you were still in the two-year course at that time, were yeah? I say, you were in the two-year course at that time-

M. Sparrow (45:34):

C. Barker (45:34):
Three-year, three-year course.

M. Sparrow (45:35):

C. Barker (45:36):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M. Sparrow (45:37):
It's a, it's a... and they built a new building in Toronto-

C. Barker (45:45):
Yes. On University Avenue.

M. Sparrow (45:51):
... on University. And then they moved to Guelph the next year.

C. Barker (45:53):
Yes. Yes. I remember. Yeah.

M. Sparrow (45:57):
Yeah. That's right.

C. Barker (45:57):
Well when, when you were back in Ontario last summer, were you in visiting in Toronto or in Guelph?

M. Sparrow (46:04):
In Toronto. I have a sister living in Toronto.

C. Barker (46:08):
But you wouldn't see very much of the old school.

M. Sparrow (46:11):
Oh, I didn't. I didn't, I didn't, uh, you see, yeah, the college was closed then.

C. Barker (46:16):

M. Sparrow (46:20):

C. Barker (46:21):
Well, I think I'd better let you go to supper and I-

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