Howard Grenville Moore known to his friends in Canada as Howie and known in England as Gren. Howard was born in 1935, in Shuttlewood, Derbyshire, England. He was the youngest of eleven children. He had five brothers and five sisters. Bernard and Alice, Howards mom and dad, were a working-class family in a coal mining community, and times were tough.
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Being the youngest, Howard would always get the hand-me-downs. He would tell stories about getting worn down shoes that he would have to put cardboard inside of, because of all the wear and tear before he got them. Growing up in those days were not easy, he often talked about during the war, they lived on food stamps and bare essentials were scarce. He told stories about the air raids over the city, and how lights were put up out in the country to fool the German bombers.
When Howard was eleven years old, he wrote a test called the eleven-plus. This test was written by all kids that age, but not many passed, he did. That meant that he could attend grammar school, but Howard’s parents could not afford to send him. Like most boys in the coal mining community, Howard followed his father and brothers before him, and at the age of fourteen, he started working underground in the coal mine. He often talked about those days, and his good friend Cyril, they kept in touch for many years. It was hard work in the coal mines, lots of work was done with a pick and shovel and lots of crawling on your hands and knees working in very small drifts. He could remember the pit ponies in the mine and used to tell us about returning the pit pony to the stable at the end of the shift. The stable master would check it over, if there was scratch on the pony, he would receive a penny or five penny fine.
Howie was married to Betty Toghill. They have since divorced. They had four children, John, Michelle, Annette, and Kay. While living in England, Howard, Betty and the kids would go to the Miners Butlins Holiday Camp, at Skegness. Howard and John would sea fish and Betty and the girls would enjoy having fun at the beach and experiencing the attractions. They always had lots of fun together participating in the evening entertainment.
The kids can always remember him laying on his back on the floor with his legs in the air, lifting the kids up and down and then flipping them over his head. He carried over this to his grand children.
In 1973 they immigrated as a family from England to Canada. Howard’s brother Harry owned the Denare Beach Hotel. They came to work at the hotel. Howard also picked up a job as a garbage man, he worked with Norm Stenner. Norm used to have a hard time getting up in the morning, so Howard would tell him, “he would come and knock him up in the morning”. Norm always got a laugh out of that, I guess that phrase had a different meaning in Canada than in England.
It was not long until Howard was back working underground. He got a job with HBM&S. He worked at several mines as a long hole driller, underground hoist person, and just before he retired, he was at Trout Lake Mine as a truck driver. Howard spent over fifty years working underground. He retired at age 65.
During his retirement, he worked part time at the Denare Beach dump. Howard loved all of the family pets. We can recall him bringing home stray cats from the dump and finding homes for them.
Howard loved his children, grandchildren and great grandkids. He would always tease the kids and have fun, he enjoyed having them around and they enjoyed being with him. He looked forward to going to John and Kathy’s house for his favorite dinner, stew and dumplings. He would always show up with a chocolate bar for his granddaughter Betty. His grandson John, his wife Tanya, and their kids, Samuel and Rebeca would also be there for suppers. He enjoyed when Alyson and her girls came from BC. When Robert, Amber and Dana would have a visit, they would always have an evening in grandpa’s basement, drinking a few beers, playing crib, and playing some darts. He always looked forward to those nights.
Michelle and I would have him over for Sunday dinners. With Samantha, Chris, Jace and Alexa. He always enjoyed Michelle’s cooking. When David and Alan with their families would come from Saskatoon, he loved having them at the house and visiting on the deck.
Kay has fond memories of her dad. She took him to a WWE wrestling match in Saskatoon. He enjoyed that experience. He loved to watch the wrestling every week on the tv. She can remember fishing with her dad and going out to get the wood for the winter together. Howie really enjoyed Kay and Tony visiting this summer.
Howie always enjoyed going to visit his daughter Annette at the acreage in Wakaw and at her home now in Saskatoon. He tried to always plan a visit every year. He loved to help her with the garden, and Annette and her dad would always look at old photographs and reminisce about old times.
Howard loved to play crib and he got several 29 hands in his time. He would always play for a dollar, and if he skunked you, which was most of the time, you would have to pay two.
Every year he would get six cords of wood to keep his woodstove going through the winter. He split the wood himself and stacked it under his deck.
He also loved to garden. Every year he would plant his potato’s, peas, cabbage, beans, carats, and tomato’s. He could be seen, in the middle of summer, sitting on his little stool, picking out all of the weeds in the garden. In the background you could hear the Roger Whittaker music playing. This year, his granddaughter Samantha, helped him plant the garden. Just like every year he had an amazing crop. He would take fresh vegetables to Saskatoon for Annette, and always bring some over for Michelle to cook up for the Sunday dinners. He had raspberry bushes, and the great grandkids, Jace and Alexa, would always be out there helping him pick them. He always shared with the neighbours as well. We will miss all those fresh veggies and raspberries out of Howie’s garden.
He loved to spend time fishing. John has lots of memories with his dad, fishing at Nistem Lake. Some of those memories involved the adventures of just getting in and out of the lake. Howard loved to fish on Beaver Lake in the summer. Spending lots of time at half way island and the weir river. He was a very competitive fisherman, always wanting to catch the first, the most and the biggest fish and get paid a dollar. The only person that I know that could out fish him was Jack Rigby. When Jack was catching fish, Howie would sit quietly, not saying a word. Then suddenly Jack would say, “Howie are you ok?”, and when Howie would turn to look at him, Jack would ask him if he needed a hug.
Howard suffered a stroke several years ago. After that he did not like to travel any further than Saskatoon. A month ago, he had a planned medical appointment in Saskatoon. I told him I would drop him off at Annette’s house and I was going to carry on and visit his grandson in Edmonton. To my surprise, he said he would come with me. He really enjoyed that trip and talked about it all the time when he got back.
Howard was a proud, hardworking man. Very independent, proud of his family and was a well-liked individual.
Howard was more than a father in law to me, he was a good friend and I will miss him.