The Stories of Local Anmore Heroes
George and Margaret (Lally) Murray
August 3, 1888 - Sept. 25, 1982
To Georgie with Love: Ma Murray and 'The Newspapering Murrays' by Georgina Keddell - ebook launch party 2017.
The official launch party for the book that never had one. In 2017 Bridget Bird, neice author Georgina Keddell, re-issued the book as an ebook 50 years later which now includes a new introductory element from Conrad Black. This is her chance to tell the story of the electronic re-issue and to give the author the toast she always deserved. Published on Aug 8, 2017. Click Here
Editors' Note: This is a series of articles about the Anmore Alternative's inspiration, local hero, Margaret Lally Murray. A big thank you goes to her grandson Dan Murray for all of his help. There are more links to other stories in the series below. Please enjoy celebrating our local hero.
To link to 25th Anniversary Anmore Stories about George Murray and Margaret Lally Murray and the Anmore homestead which is now the Village Hall Click Here
Number One: Please Don't Call Me 'Ma'!
Margaret Lally Murray (centre) on CBC's Front Page Challenge
Hoboes describe themselves as adventurers who travel to work . A tramp is a person who travels and won't work. And a bum is a person that will neither travel or work. Using these descriptions, local Anmore hero, Margaret Lally Murray, was probably a hobo on a mission when she left Windy Ridge Kansas with her sister Beth around the turn of the last century.
These two sibling 'hoboes', planned to work their way from the Kansas City Saddlery to Calgary, but they were sidetracked in Vancouver by a handsome, newspaperman, George Murray. Like many modern day Internet romances, the sisters were intending to go to Calgary to meet a young man they had corresponded with because of connections made through messages in the saddlery products. However, this suitor proved to be no competition for the charming Vancouver newspaper man who soon became 'the intended' and lifetime companion of Margaret Lally Murray - "Don't call me Ma".
Auntie Beth went to California to work as the personal secretary to the General Motors factory president and amass a small fortune, and sister Margaret became a Canadian icon of feminine fortitude (not pulchritude) and Anmore's extraordinary hero. To this day, the Murray 'cabin' on Sunnyside Road serves as a daily reminder of the values this amazing lady represented.
According to her grandson, Dan Murray, his grandmother epitomized integrity and honesty. She did not tolerate scallywags, scoundrels, or slight-of-hand politicians. With very little concern for herself, she lived her life for family, neighbours, community, and country... "And that's fer damn sure!"
'Grandma' did not easily tolerate fools. Prescient in her thinking, she would read TIME magazine cover-to-cover, annotating the articles in the margins. Extremely stubborn, she would not relinquish her position when integrity, morals, and ethics were on the line. A champion for 'the good', eventually her adversaries would have to capitulate. When presented with obfuscation, dishonesty, corruption, or idiocy, her response was "use your noggin'. Open your eyes."
Although Margaret Lally Murray was "tough as nails" she had a huge warm heart. A chagrined young grandson Dan was continuously having to 'live down' her demonstrations of affection. He recalls with great love, and a huge amount of embarassment, the time that his grandmother spoke to the graduating class at Vancouver College and she asked him to come up on the stage for grandma kisses and hugs.
What a grandma! What a lady! What a local hero! What a national icon!
Number Four: Just a Little Gal from Windy Ridge, Kansas Click Here
Number Five: Gotta Get Me a Cowpuncher from Alberta -
Margaret Lally and Her Friends Devise a Plan Click Here
Number Seven: Election Expenses and Debts Owed - George Murray Stands Click Here
Number Eight: Canada Day - Wilderness Weekends at George and Margaret’s IOCO Homestead (01-07-09) Click Here
Number Nine: Electricity Comes to Anmore 03-08-09 Click Here
Sauerwein, Stan . MaMurray: The Story of Canada's Crusty Queen of Publishing. Altitude Publishing: Canmore. 2003.
Keddell, Georgina . The Newspapering Murrays: McClelland & Stewart: Toronto. 1967, 1974.