I'm sure we have a photo somewhere!

Izetta "Belle" Spires Ratcliffe




Life and Work

Izetta, also known as Belle, saw Queen Victoria when she was a young school girl. She was born in St. John, New Brunswick in 1884. After she finished her schooling, she took a secretarial course and moved to Boston, Massachusetts. She moved to Calgary in 1910 and the rest of her family settled in the Delburne area in 1912. Belle often visited them by taking the railway that came through the village.

Belle was married for 57 years to George Spires who had come from England in 1905. They had one son and two daughters. She never missed anything that took place at school and her advice to all children was "put your best foot forward and let your conscience be your guide."

In 1917, her life changed from a city lady to a farmer's wife. Belle was strong and independent and very community minded. She was a well-read lady and kept up with world affairs. Her grandson wanted to send her to Vancouver to a quiz show, as she would answer all their questions. Belle offered the use of her mailbox to her new neighbours and was always generous and hospitable. She also gained the distinction of being the first person in the community to have owned a radio.

At the age of 100 years and four months, she was laid to rest in the Delburne Cemetery.