Pauline (Bascombe) McDonald




Born near Innisfail, Pauline farmed with her husband in the Haynes - Alix area.

Pauline Ida McDonald was born April 6, 1914 to John and Pearl (Gilbert) Bascombe in the Aberdeen district east of Innisfail, where they rented a farm. She weighed three pounds at birth, and the doctor did not expect her to live. Her parents had moved to Canada from England after losing their flour mill to fire and their pig herd to cholera. At age five, she moved with her parents and siblings to the Grassy Lake School District near Pine Lake where she took all her schooling, until tenth grade. Due to her father's poor health, she had to balance school work with heavy chores. She helped on the farm until 1934, and then moved to the Haynes District where she had work with the Lester Maller family. She also worked with the McDermands with her sister, Doris.

In 1936, she married Ewen McDonald, and they farmed together. They had three children, Margaret, Evan and Roy. In 1940, Ewen joined the Canadian Army, and for five years served overseas with the 5th Medium Artillery. Pauline and the children remained on the farm. Travel was difficult for them, it being very time consuming to travel by horse and buggy. Then there were morning and evening chores every day as well. Because of this, the mail lady became her best friend. Pauline would put the grocery and supply lists in the mailbox, and the mail lady would deliver them on her way home. She even cashed cheques for Pauline.

By the time Ewen returned from the war, Pauline had saved enough for a tractor, which made things easier as they continued to farm. Pauline's days were filled with cooking, baking, cleaning, laundry, milking cows, taking meals to the field, gardening and a myriad of other chores. So many people came for harvest and spring work that she had to bake 32 loaves of bread per week to keep up with meals. Pauline never slowed down after retiring and building a house in Alix in 1976. Ewen passed away in 1978. Pauline continued gardening, crocheting, and bowling. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Alix Seniors Bus and was involved in the Alix United Church. She was a lifelong member, and at one time district president of the Alix Rebekah Lodge, as well as belonging to the Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Mirror Legion, and spearheading some and being involved in numerous other community projects.