Long before I knew her, however, she was not an old lady. No, not at all. She was a young woman living in Poland in the early 1900s, yearning for a fresh start away from a stepmother she didn't like.
Meanwhile, Mary's aunt on her father's side, Julia LATAK, had moved with her husband and children to Canada in 1910. I presume that letters were exchanged - tales of woe from Poland, tales of potential (jobs and husbands) from Canada. Mary decided to go and investigate. I have no idea how she got the money. Perhaps her father and stepmother realized that the best way to keep the peace in the house was to send her off with a blessing.
And so, 19-year-old Mary sailed to Canada with $50 in her pocket. She boarded the "Pallanza" in Hamburg, arriving in Halifax on March 23, 1914, and continued her trip via CP Rail. Although the ship's papers show many Eastern Europeans heading for various parts of Western Canada, it appears that Mary was travelling alone. Oh, the feeling of daring adventure, yet with a safety net of family at the far end!
As promised, she found a job upon arrival in Alberta, working as a maid at the Banff Springs Hotel. Young, pretty, and obviously resourceful, Mary was ready to begin a new life in Canada. By the time she had found (spoiler alert) a husband in 1917, her English was good enough that she could interact with the public, working as a waitress.
Stay tuned. Another story will reveal how she met her husband, my great-grandfather, Jan ADAMSKI.