Fonds 0445 - Ray Boyer fonds

Ray Boyer marries Rita Robideau. Soldiers Archie Delaney, Ray Boyer, and Clarence Boyer, Italy. Getting teams ready for work. Building a road north west of Sexsmith, Alberta. Crossing the Smoky River in spring. Ray Boyer with his first car. Isaac Boyer with fox furs. Ray Boyer in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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Ray Boyer fonds

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CA GPR 0445

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Physical description

0.5 cm of textual records
25 photographs.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Ray Boyer was born December 11, 1924 in Grande Prairie, AB, and raised in East Kleskun on a farm on the south banks of Kleskun Lake (NE 35-72-4 W6). His father, Isaac, came to the Peace country from South Dakota and travelled over the Edson Trail in 1912. His mother, Bertha Delaney, a widow with six children, came to the Peace country from Ontario in 1919 and married Isaac Boyer. Along with his three- half sisters and three half-brothers, Ray also had an older brother, an older sister and a younger brother making up their family of ten children. Ray started his education in the East Kleskun School in 1930. The school was located 3.5 miles from their farm so it was a treat when he could ride a horse, especially in winter. Midway through grade school, Rays's older brother, Clarence became the lead brother on the farm as their father was an invalid in his later years due to arthritis. Ray's mother and the younger children were responsible for milking the cows, tending animals and other chores. At the age of fifteen, Ray had to quit school and go to work to help support the family. One of his first jobs was to deliver water and ice to residences in Grande Prairie with a team of Pat Croken's horses. He also remembers working in George Vagt's Butcher Shop in Grande Prairie making wieners and sausage in a smoke house in the back alley. For the next three years Ray worked on different jobs including hauling gasoline up the Alaska Highway as far as Watson Lake. In 1943, Ray left for Vancouver and joined the Canadian Army. From Vancouver, he went to Wetaskiwin for Basic Training, then to Calgary for Advanced Training, and eventually to England where he took Signal Training. As a member of the Seaforth Highlanders First Division, Ray landed in Italy at Avaleno. From there Ray was sent to the front lines where troops relieved the Royal 22 Regiment of Quebec and Ray remembers seeing his first badly wounded soldier. They advanced north of Russi and in Bagnacavello, Italy, and in 1944 spent Christmas with a dinner in a church. At this time Ray was thrilled to meet up with his brothers Clarence and Archie close to the Senio River. After Italy, the Highlanders were trucked to Holland. They crossed rivers in "Buffalos" which were floating tanks. Once after getting across, they were fired on and Ray remembers lying behind a dead cow for protection. They were continuing to advance through two towns in Holland when the news came that the Germans had surrendered. The Seaforths were then stationed in Amsterdam and Ray finally came home to Vancouver in May, 1946. Back in Grande Prairie, Ray worked different jobs: hauling lumber, working a dozer and a caterpillar and survey work. In 1953, Ray married Rita Robideau and they had three sons: Eldon, Doug and Arnie. Ray began working for the County of Grande Prairie in 1954 and remained there until 1985. He served on County Council, and numerous Boards including South Peace Health, Education, Planning, Evergreen Park, and the Agricultureal Society. Ray wound down his career working as a Landman for Roy Northern working with landowners for approval of well sites, pipelines and right of ways. In 2000, Ray was the proud recipient of "Senior of the Year" from the Alberta Government. Ray has volunteered much of his retirement years developing the historic site at Kleskun Hill Museum. In 2001, Ray and his youngest son, Arnie, took a three week trip to Europe to revisit many of the sites he had been to during WWII. He and his wife, Rita, continue to reside in Grande Prairie in 2011.

Custodial history

Ray Boyer donated these records to the South Peace Regional Archives in 2010 and 2011.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of a biography written by Ray's son, Arnie; a letter and a copy of a Christmas card sent to his parents during the war; gasoline ration coupons and his chauffer's license (1950-1951); copies of two maps, "The Campaign in the Netherlands" and "The Battle for the Rivers" (in Italy), and a copy of his discharge certificate.

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Ray Boyer donated these records to the South Peace Regional Archives in 2010 and 2011.


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  • The material is in English.

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Further accruals are expected.

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Accession numbers: 2010.29, 2011.22

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South Peace Regional Archives

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  • English

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