WINNIPEG – The closing of a landmark in downtown Winnipeg stirs up many memories for a Morris, Man. women.
On Monday, the Hudson’s Bay Company announced that it would immediately close its downtown Winnipeg store, even though it was initially scheduled to close in February 2021.
For Ruth Schroeder, 99, the store has a special meaning for her; it was there that she met her husband John, 102 years old.
Their first meeting took place in 1942.
“My sister and I were going to The Bay, and he was going out, and we were right in the revolving door, you know how it goes, some are leaving and some are coming,” Ruth said in a recent phone interview with CTV Winnipeg. “She waved him back, and he came back, and she introduced me to him.” This is the first time that I meet him.
Ruth’s sister was dating John’s cousin at the time, she said. Ruth and John started dating soon after, and the couple married in 1945. They celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary this year but were unable to hold a celebration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Photo courtoisie: Amanda McVicar)
“We worked side by side, we had greenhouses for over 35 years and we knew we had to work side by side all the time,” said Ruth.
Ruth said the closure of the bay reminded her of her experiences there. Originally from Saskatchewan, her first part-time job was at the Bay on sales days when she moved to Manitoba in 1940, a job she held for a year.
Ruth also remembered going to The Bay on Christmas.
“They were opening the store half an hour earlier than usual because they had a choir singing Christmas carols for about half an hour before the store opened,” she said. “We were going to stand there in the open area and listen to them. ”
Ruth said she has not been shopping in downtown HBC for years due to the opening of malls in other areas of the city.
“Before, when you were shopping you would go from Eaton’s to The Bay, and all the little stores were in between,” she says.
She noted that things have been different downtown since arriving.
“When I first came to Winnipeg there was the Eaton’s department store,” she said. “I worked right across from Eaton’s. But everything is gone too. It’s like that. ”