Portraits need new homes

Paintings of former residents of Dr. F.W. Green Home should be returned to families

At the Dr. F.W. Green Home

At the Dr. F.W. Green Home

Twenty years ago, Cranbrook painter Adolphus “Duffy” Burton moved into the Dr. F.W. Green Home to spend his final years.

During the next few years in the early ’90s, Duffy painted dozens of portraits of his friends at the home.

Until three years ago, those portraits lined the halls of the Green Home, the smiling faces of those now gone, hiding untold stories of Cranbrook’s past.

Now, recreation coordinator Mari Thomas and Laird Siemens, chair of the Family Council, want to get in touch with family and friends of those former residents to return the portraits to loved ones.

“We are hoping to get the portrait of dear old dad or grandad into the hands of the family,” said Laird.

Right now, the portraits are being held in storage at the F.W. Green Home.

“The families should have them,” said Mari. “It might mean something to them. We are advocating on behalf of these residents.”

There are 48 portraits, each painted in Duffy’s distinctive style, with the name of the subject on a gold plate.

Until the home was renovated around 2010, the portraits were on display.

“It was always a touchstone,” said Laird. “I would walk down the hallway and look at these portraits and feel connected to the community.”

Laird’s mom is a resident at the Green Home and he sits on the Family Council, a group that meets once a month to advocate on behalf of the residents.

“It seemed like a waste to have them in storage. It’s a lose-lose,” Laird said.

“It’s a snapshot in time. (Duffy) didn’t do it in the ‘80s, he didn’t do it after the ‘90s. But here’s a snapshot of this period. What’s interesting is the stories – we don’t know what they are but each portrait represents a story.”

Little is known of the Cranbrook residents painted by Duffy Burton; now all that remains is the portrait and the name attached.

If you are family or a friend of any of the following people, please contact Mari Thomas to find out more at mari.thomas@interiorhealth.ca or phone 250-420-2451.

Here are the names on the portraits:

• Ann Barkovish

• Viola Barr

• Rene Belanger

• Wilma Bissett

• Bernard Chevous

• John Demant

• Wendle Dempsey

• Henry Eimer

• Jean Ellis

• Sam English

• Dorris Florence

• Louise Gierl

• Maude Goodwin

• Maria Harl (two

portraits)

• Tillie Hewson

• Mabel Hogaboam

• Mary Jones

• Eva Kobza

• Lucy Konkin

• Zelio Laschuitta

• Jessie Laurie

• Waldren McLean

• Grace McNeil

• Philly Meeks

• Mae Meridith

• Sheila Mines

• Loretta Molloy

• Clarence Morris

• Olie Norby

• John Ozeroff

• Seth Pearson

• Lona Petterson

• Jean Sheffield

• Betty Scott

• Eileen Shaw

• Mabel Smith

• Peter Solmundon

• Steve Mindex

• Leona Tardiff

• Sadie Thorlanson

• Alberta Winsor

• Fred Wyman