Happy New Year Dear Readers! I sincerely wish that 2018 will be filled with excellent health, prosperity and much love. I know this is an overly used question, but really, WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?
I want to start with a happy update. I have located yet another male relative that worked in the Kingston Penitentiary! His name is Philip Folger Small 1905-1980. He is the nephew of Helen Magdalene Small, my maternal grandmother, which makes him my first cousin once removed. My older brother Derek tells me he met Phil, I am sorry I never had the pleasure. According to Voters Lists for Kingston Ontario, Phil lived very close to us at 23 Earl St.
I want to thank David St Onge, the Curator of the Penitentiary Museum of Canada for sharing these pictures of Philip Small with me.
I am currently involved in a volunteer project at the Penitentiary Museum, which is how I stumbled upon Philip Small. He was interviewed back in the 1970s about his time working at KP. I got goose bumps when I first heard his voice, knowing that we are related.
It may be just me, but I see a family resemblance of Philip Small to his cousin Lyons Hubert Charles Beaupre. Perhaps it’s just the uniform?!
Update: Again my thanks goes out to David St. Onge at the Penitentiary Museum for giving me the okay to use some of the information from the interview tapes. They have turned out to be very helpful and enlightening.
Philip Small was once described as “Small by name but not by nature, a big man who worked at KP for 40 years” . While working at KP he took a leave of absence to join the forces in WWII. He left for war on March 1940 and returned to KP on March 1946. Phil was the first man to be hired as a Maintenance – Electrician position. He was working as a contract electrician when he was called in on a Sunday to fix the lighting at the Prison for Women. Another contract electrician had been hired, but after working only one day he refused to return, hence Phil Small got the call. He went in, wired up the lights with no problem and was offered a permanent job. Until that day he had never thought of working at KP. The job of Electrician encompassed not only KP, but also the Prison for Women, and any property owned by KP. Various staff housing including 2 apartments in the Water Tower, Pen farm houses and even the street lighting on the streets owned by KP. It wasn’t until 1952 that Portsmouth was incorporated into Kingston, so prior to that it was all Phil and his crew’s responsibility.
Phil told a story of having to wire and plumb the attic in the northwest cell block at KP to accommodate an increase in numbers for women prisoners housed at KP (before they were housed at P4W). This was when he started in 1932.