by Sam McBride

A document that has been very valuable to me as family historian is my maternal grandfather Ted Dewdney`s application for Old Age Pension in 1951, with payments to begin in 1952.

This was well before the age of photocopying, so he just filled out the application with signatures twice, and kept one copy as reference in case there were problems in receiving pension payments. Also perhaps as a model for his wife Helen subsequently applying for her OAP.

first page of Ted Dewdney pension application
insert in OAP application including details of Ted Dewdney`s transfers by his employer Bank of Montreal
final page of Dewdney OAP application

As a history-minded fellow, he may also have thought his descendants might be interested to see where he lived and worked over the years. He moved several times as a boy, as his father Walter received appointments as provincial agent and gold commissioner in the Fraser Valley and Okanagan regions of B.C. He began a 43-year career with the Bank of Montreal in Victoria a month before his 17th birthday in 1897, and retired as BMO branch manager in Nelson in the West Kootenay region of southeastern B.C. in 1940.

Pics here are of him as a young bank clerk, and more than half a century later holding me as a baby, a few months before his death in Nelson in July 1952.

I doubt that application forms of other Canadians in that era would have been kept by the government after the person died, but perhaps they were, and could be a valuable source of information on ancestors for other family historians.

If nothing else, the design and content of the OAP application form reflect the deep concern the government had that someone might claim the pension who did not meet the residence criteria. Also interesting to see the line in French in very small print at the end of the document — a far cry from the fully bilingual government forms of the current era.

Ted Dewdney holding baby grandson Sam McBride in late 1951, about the time he applied for Old Age Pension

Here are some other photos of Ted and his relatives over the years.

Ted with his family in about 1925 in Rossland. From left: son Peter, wife Helen Peters, daughter Dee Dee, and daughter Eve.
Ted (right) with older sister Rose and older brother Walter, September 1891, Vernon, BC
Ted with daughter Dee Dee in front of 820 Stanley Street house in Nelson, BC, 1942.
Ted in his office at the bank in Nelson, in about 1938.

Ted with a bank colleague, in about 1898.