Marjorie (Paine) Tanne




Life and Work

Marjorie Paine was born on November 27, 1912 in Rowledge, Surrey England. Surrey was home to many large country houses with extensive gardens whose owners employed full-time gardeners. Marjorie's father, Arthur, was an estate gardener, and the Paine family home always boasted a beautiful garden. Her mother stayed home and raised five children of which Marjorie was the oldest. She had two sisters, Dorothy and Elsie, and a brother, James. Her youngest brother, Fred, was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1938.

After school and prior to WWII, Marjorie was living in London and working as a secretary for the London County Council. When the bombing of Britain started, Marjorie was working for a large London department store. One morning, she went to work to discover that the store had been bombed the night before. Nothing was left. She found work elsewhere until 1941 when she was called up for the war effort. She had a chance to work near her hometown, and she moved home to begin employment as a shorthand typist for the British military on the base at Aldershot. Marjorie worked as a civilian in the claims department, where truck accidents involving the British and Canadian military were investigated. She bicycled to work every day until 1944, when she found a job as an office manager in an engineering factory that was closer to home. The factory made parts for supersonic planes--very secretive work at that time. Marjorie stayed there until the war ended in 1945.

The town of Aldershot would regularly organize recreational events, such as dances, for the soldiers. Marjorie met her future husband, Lorne Tanne from Mundare, Alberta, at a dance after the war had ended in 1945. She says, "He wasn't very tall, an inch taller than me. He must have picked me because he thought I would make a good dance partner." Their paths would crosses two or three times after that, and they soon became better acquainted.

Lorne had joined the Canadian military in 1941 and served first as a private in the artillery department, and then later as a clerk in the Pay Corp. He remained in England after the war ended and worked for the Canadian Wives Bureau in London until 1947. Fifty years after the war, Marjorie was waiting for a bus in Edmonton and started to chat with a woman next to her who had an English accent. During the course of their conversation, the two women discovered that their husbands had worked in the same office together during the war.

Because there were so many women leaving England to join their foreign husbands, it was inevitable that Marjorie would know several young girls who had left home after marrying foreign soldiers. Her cousin, Violet, had married a Canadian soldier and had moved to Grande Prairie, Alberta. Marjorie's decision to immigrate to Canada was not a unique happenstance in the Paine family. Her father, Arthur, had two sisters who left home at seventeen and nineteen years of age to immigrate to Canada in the 1890's. Correspondence between Arthur and his sisters resulted in the Paine family learning about life in Canada.

Marjorie married Lorne in Surrey in 1947 at the registrar's office. They had a small ceremony, and Lorne left England in the spring of that year to return to Canada. He stayed for a short time with his sister in Edmonton before finding work in Wetaskiwin at Brody's Department Store. Marjorie flew to New York in June 1947 and traveled by train to Montreal and then Wetaskiwin, where Lorne met her at the railroad station. He was living in an apartment on Main Street above the Sterling's "Five Cents to a Dollar" Store. Lorne's sister and her husband enjoyed traveling, and they took Marjorie on a trip to Banff and Jasper shortly after she arrived. She indicates, "The size of Canada didn't bother me. I remember one trip we took to Jasper and Banff, in the summer of 1947...we slept in the car and traveled on gravel roads."

Marjorie and Lorne had one daughter, Carole, who was born on October 5, 1947. One year later, they bought a wartime house on 48 Avenue, where they lived for the next fifty years. Marjorie and Lorne were very active in the community. Lorne served as a Wetaskiwin city councilman from 1960-1971. He became manager of Brody's and stayed with the firm until he retired at age 65. Marjorie belonged to and worked with the Anglican Church, and she was a member of the IODE in Wetaskiwin. Marjorie is a lifetime member of the Legion Auxiliary, an honour bestowed upon her for her work as secretary treasurer and president for the organization. Marjorie met many of the local business people when she began temporary office work, and she worked as a secretary-treasurer for the Battle River Planning Commission for seventeen years. The Commission, whose head office was in Wetaskiwin, was responsible for the subdividing and planning of local Alberta communities.

Lorne and Marjorie enjoyed the warmth and sunshine of Hawaii, travelling to the islands numerous times due to Marjorie's dislike of snow and cold. Lorne passed away in 1998, and Marjorie left Wetaskiwin in 1999. She passed away on November 29, 2007.

Compiled in 2003.


Compiled by: Marilyn Hawkins and Gabrielle Kristjanson

Sources: Marjorie Tanne and Carole Dodd