Search the Site
P03496 – Bill and Edward (R) Hadgkiss.
P03532 – Jim Hadgkiss when he was Master of the Prince David Lodge of Masons.
P04928 – Reta Hadgkiss posed with a display of her floral paintings.
James Hadgkiss left his home of Caulfield, Saskatchewan in the mid to late 1920s to become a chemical engineering student at UBC. After graduating in 1930, Hadgkiss found that there were few employment opportunities at that time for someone of his skill except in remote BC mining towns and Eastern Canada. Disinclined to relocate to either, it was a stroke of good fortune when a family friend put him in contact with E.G. Baynes. Baynes was looking for an engineering graduate to learn about brick making and soon Hadgkiss was hired by the Haney Brick and Tile Company, where he worked for 51 years until his retirement in 1981.
Reta Hadgkiss (nee Watson) was born in Belmont, Manitoba in 1909, and moved with her family to Maple Ridge circa 1920. Reta was well known locally for her painting and was also highly involved with the Maple Ridge Hospital Foundation as a volunteer. James married Reta in 1939 at St. John the Divine Anglican Church, with the reception following at Reedsdale Hall. They had two sons, Edward and William, and the family lived in the house built for the brickyard manager. This house is currently the Maple Ridge Museum.
Reta Hadgkiss renewed her lifelong interest in art and painting during a 1965 tour of Europe and the British Isles, where she visited many art galleries and museums. She had always enjoyed painting flowers, with rhododendron a particular favourite and subject of many of her delicate, accomplished watercolours. Her painting of the tiny flowers of the vine maple tree, our chosen floral emblem in Maple Ridge, is on display in the lobby of the municipal hall.
In November 1969, Edward, who was a pilot in the Yukon, and a passenger, Kathy Rheaume, went missing in a plane crash. The plane was found four months later, and though Edward and the passenger appeared to have survived the crash, no trace of them was ever found.
At the time of his retirement, Jim had been the plant's managing director for forty years. The park where the Museum stands was named in his honour in 1998. Jim was an outstanding member of the community and was highly involved in community affairs. He was a founding member and the first president of the Rotary Club, served 19 years on the hospital board, six years on the Lower Mainland Regional Planning Board, and was a member of the Masonic Prince David Lodge and the Maple Ridge Lions Club. In 1980, in recognition of his contributions he was made a Freeman of Maple Ridge, only the third person ever to be awarded that honour.
James passed away in February 1998 at the age of 93, and Reta the next year, in November 1999 at the age of 90.
To learn more about Port Haney click the Next Topic button below:
If you have more information on this topic, please contact us.
Our community history can only be as accurate as our resources allow.