Cissie Eppel: Settling in Vancouver in the 1950s
Date:Monday, March 24, 2008
ID:Digital audio recording #: 20.08-16
BF: Was it difficult to immigrate to Canada in those years or was it relatively easy?
CE: Well, we had to be examined, you know have a physical examination to see that we were well enough and of course we both, thankfully passed that; and we had sold our home, just given everything up because I thought ‘When I get to Canada I’ll be able to buy everything new.’ Little did I know the hardships that we were going to face when we got here. My husband’s business being a picture-framer at the time, it wasn’t easy to get into that kind of business on your own because in those days people weren’t interested in art the way they are now and so all the picture framing was done by the big stores, Woodward’s or Eaton’s.
BF: Where was your first store located in Vancouver?
CE: He didn’t open his first store, no. In Bradford he had opened his first store but in Vancouver he was never able to open his first store. First of all, at the time when we came to Canada from England, we were only able to bring a certain amount of money with us and each year it had to be a certain amount, and to start with, you know, by the time we had paid all our expenses for coming here, there was not a lot of money to play around with. So we didn’t even think about opening our own store. I would say that both my husband and I were always too cautious about going into debt, we would never ever buy anything until we could pay for it. So that taking a loan to open a business was just an unheard of thing.