Fonds glen-1839 - Penley family fonds

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Penley family fonds

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Reference code

GLEN glen-1839

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1913-2003 (Creation)
    Penley (family)

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Physical description

41 cm of textual records. -- 221 photographs. -- 6 audio cassettes

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Wahnita Elizabeth Barker, 1900-1988, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA. In 1918 she moved to Calgary and married John Kenneth Penley. John, 1888-1956, was born in Orillia, Ontario, and moved to Kelfield, Saskatchewan with his family in 1907. In 1912 he moved to Calgary, and the following year bought out the Christopher Robinson dance school, which became the popular Penley's Dancing Academy. The Penleys taught dancing lessons during the day, and held public dances during the evenings. In the summers they ran dance pavilions at Sylvan and Chestermere Lakes. They had two children, J. Kenneth, 1921-2014, and Wahnita Louise "Nita", 1922-2002. Ken Penley was born in Calgary and graduated in pharmacy from the University of Alberta in 1943. He married Prudence Bamlett, 1922-2014, also a pharmacist, in 1944. During the Second World War he served at the Wetaskiwin Military Hospital and overseas with the 18th Field Ambulance. After the war he established a drug store in Calgary, and has owned several pharmacies in the city since that time. He and his wife had three children, Linda (Hubert), Gordon and Don. For further information see J. Kenneth Penley's article, "Shall We Dance? : Jack and Wahnita Penley" in Chinook Country Historical Society : Remembering Chinook Country. -- Calgary : Detselig, 2005.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of John's and Wahnita's certificates, scrapbooks, and biographies; and financial records, promotional literature and photographs of the dancing school. Also consists of Ken's pharmacy notebooks, prescription books, financial statements, advertisements, circulars to customers, lease agreements, and miscellaneous pharmacy records. Includes recorded interviews with Wahnita and Ken Penley.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Ken Penley and Mrs. L. Blachly, 1984-2003.


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  • English

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No restrictions on access.

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Further additions expected.

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  • English

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