Fred and Bernice Reid

By Michael Simpson pg 668 More Big Hill Country 2009

Fergus Felic Frederick Irwin was born in the District of Islington in the County of London, England on January 26, 1904. The family moved to Maple Creek Saskatchewan in 1905. His father, Frank Irwin, died in 1910 and his mother, Mary Ann (nee Stronham) ran away with a salesman, leaving three young children destitute. They were adopted by three Reverends: Fred by Rev. Reid, thus his name change to Reid. 

Fred obtained his teaching certificate in Saskatchewan in 1923 and taught until 1944. On June 27, 1935, he married Bernice Stansbury Fletcher at the United Church in Cochrane, Alberta. The best man was Eddie Simpson and the bridesmaid was Eveline Fletcher. The newlyweds moved to Meota Saskatchewan, where they lived in a small teacherage in winter and a tipi in summer. 

In November 1944 they moved back to Cochrane and took up residence in one of the new cabins of Cochrane Auto Service. Fred established a radio and TV repair shop. Around 1946, Fred and Bernice took over ownership of The Old Timer (Cochrane’s only newspaper) from the original publisher, Father Lessard, a Catholic priest. Bernice was the editor until its demise around 1960. 

Fred died October 17, 1956 and Bernice passed away October 1, 1991. They had no children, but left a niece, Mary Simpson and a nephew, Michael Simpson. 

Eastend Cochrane 1959

This is an interesting photo of Cochrane as it shows:

  1. How 1A turned into Cochrane and ran down 1st Avenue
  2. The Reid TV repair shop was east of 1st Ave on 1St beside Webb & Milligan Service station (later Bow Ridge Motors)

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