Annie May Cheek

Annie May Cheek At age 12, Annie May arrived in Canada, aboard the Corinthian in 1914. She was one of five siblings and the only one who emigrated to Canada. Her name is incorrectly inscribed on the Hazelbrae Memorial in Peterborough, Ontario as 'Cleek'. Annie May was placed with the elderly and childless Teskey’s, Joseph and Arabella, first on their farm in Warminster and then in 1917, to their Orillia home. Annie went by May Teskey, indication of her desire to hide the fact she was a BHC. Not surprising, when the Teskey’s passed, there was no mention of Annie (May) in their obituaries. She became a telephone operator in Orillia, and somehow ended up in Campbellford, Ontario, where she met Irvine William Frederick, our maternal grandfather. Information gleaned from love letters Irvine kept, confirms Annie became pregnant before they married in 1923 and spent much of her time prior to their marriage, in Toronto caring for a family. Of course, this scandalous behaviour, and resulting marriage, would have only placed more shame and difficulty on what may already have been a fragile relationship. Donald John was born in March 1924 and Isabel Olive in July 1925. By 1927, Annie May must have felt totally overwhelmed, with very few options and as a result, abandoned her husband and children. From the very little we know, Annie May lived out her life in the Toronto area, where she married a Dr. Horace Gove and had another daughter Georgina Gove Doyle, Huntsville. Mrs. Doyle was unaware that her mother was a BHC until her half-brother Donald contacted her in the late 1990’s. By this time Annie May had passed, as did any attempt at reconciliation between her and her abandoned children. She died October 14, 1994, as May Anna Gove, and is buried in Pine Hills Cemetery, Scarborough, Ontario. At the time of this writing, we continue to seek out family members in England and Scotland. The BHCARA has been very supportive and has assisted so many others, like ourselves, find out more about our British heritage. May this commemorative quilt pay homage to our BHC forefathers and foremothers and provide an invaluable educational tool regarding the Child Migration Scheme. Cheryl Outingdyke Toms, Havelock, Ontario Katherine Frederick Twigg, Campbellford, Ontario