Finding Aids

McGill, Cunningham family fonds
McGill, Cunningham family fonds [textual record, graphic material, object]. -- [190-] - 1967, 1995.
ca. 13 cm of textual records
108 photographs : b&w, col.
1 medallion

Jeremiah "Jerry" Percival McGill was born in Nanaimo on July 4th, 1879. McGill worked for the Fire Brigade as a driver on the horse drawn Fairweather Steam Pumper. Later, he worked for Mahrer & Wolfe Liquor Wholesalers until Prohibition in 1917. In 1901, McGill married Jessie Thomson, grand-daughter of Captain John Sabiston, Nanaimo Harbour's first pilot . McGill was custodian of the Bastion for forty years and a night watchman for over twenty years. McGill was a Chief Factor of Post No. 3, Native Sons of Nanaimo and he enjoyed singing and performing in local theatres. Jessie McGill (nee Thomson), was born in 1882 in Glasgow, Scotland. Jerry McGill died June 23, 1943; Jessie McGill died in 1972. The McGills had one daughter, Constance Bell McGill. She received her nursing diploma from St. Joseph's Hospital, Victoria, in April 1924. In 1927, she married Cecil deTrafford Cunningham. Their son, Raymond, was born in 1930. Cecil deTrafford Cunningham was born Jan 20, 1897 in Wapella, Saskatchewan. Cunningham worked in the Nanaimo office of the Federal Government's Department of Customs. After hours, he pursued painting and received a diploma from the John Hassall Correspondence School of Art of London, England in 1924. As a painter, Cunningham's subjects included Vancouver Island, the Rockies, the Nass Valley, totem poles and native villages and Cape Breton. He was also a keen caricaturist. In 1979, the British Columbia Archives purchased eleven paintings. A larger collection was donated by Raymond to the Westminster Abbey in Mission, B.C. Constance Cunningham died suddenly from high blood pressure in 1941. In 1946, Cunningham married Violet Symonds. This second marriage was also short lived; Violet died in 1959. Cecil died in Victoria on Feb. 25, 1973. Raymond Cunningham became a Roman Catholic priest and eventually retired to Lantzville, B.C. He died in 2008.

Fonds consists of the personal papers of the McGill and Cunningham families. Fonds is arranged in the following series: 1) Photographs; 2) Certificates; 3) Correspondence; 4) Cecil de Trafford Cunningham art and records; 5) Diaries 6) Raymond Cunningham papers and 7) Miscellaneous.

Title based on the contents of the fonds.
Series descriptions available.

Series 1.

Photographs [graphic material]. -- 1911-[ca. 1960].
108 photographs : b&w, col.

Series consists predominantly of photographs of the Cunninghams and the McGills but also includes photographs of local scenes, buildings and people. Also includes images of unidentified totem poles that Cunningham used as models for his paintings.

Title is based on contents of series.
Descriptions of selected images available on public database.

Series 2.

Certificates [textual record]. -- 1901, 1919, 1924, 1946.
1 cm of textual records

Series comprises certificates of Jessie and Constance McGill.

Title based on contents of series.

Series 3.

Correspondence [textual record]. -- 1927-1943.
.5 cm of textual records

Series comprises correspondence of the McGill and Cunningham families.

Title based on the contents of the series.

Series 4.

Cecil de Trafford Cunningham works and records [textual record, graphic material]. -- 1920-[197-].
3.5 cm of textual records
ca. 50 drawings

Series comprises artwork, predominantly in draft form, drawn by Cecil Cunningham of numerous totem poles and works for the Nanaimo Yacht Club, the Bastion and for the Nanaimo Free Press. Also includes two sketch books, sales records and exhibition prize notices.

Title based on contents of series.

Series 5.

Diaries [textual record]. -- 1936-1942.
4 v.

Series consists of diaries of Constance McGill Cunningham. The diaries record domestic and local events.

Title based on the contents of the series.

Series 6.

Raymond Cunningham papers [textual record]. -- 1929, [1937-1951], intermittent.
2 cm of textual records

Series consists of records related to Raymond (Ray) Cunningham including a baby booklet, report cards from St. Ann's Academy (Nanaimo), music school reports and Cunningham's grade reports from the Seminary of Christ the King in Mission, BC.

Title based on the contents of the series.

Series 7.

Miscellaneous [textual record, object]. -- 1903, 1917, 1938, 1967, 1995.
.3 cm of textual records
1 medallion

Series consists of miscellaneous items including Jessie McGill's Pioneer Medallion application, medallion and certificate, an "Overseas Club" booklet and postcard album that belonged to Constance McGill, a script for a play about the Bastion and newspaper clippings about Cecil Cunningham.

Title based on the contents of the series.
Postcard album is fragile.
Photo 2