This photo gallery offers a window into the life history of Bruce Hunter, along with the fascinating lineage of Bruce Hunter through the ancestral images of the Begg family, revealing their unique history and heritage.
June 1952, 17-year old Joyce Hunter with her baby Bruce.
1954 Bruce aged two. Around this time. he lost much of his hearing after a bout with pneumonia and the prescribing of streptomycin.
1955 Bruce aged three on the back porch of the new house at 7403 - 21A St. S.E. in Ogden on the outskirts of Calgary.
1958 Bruce's younger sister, Susan aged 2 and a half, with Santa. Bruce's poem "Christmas, 1959" was inspired by this photograph.
New Year's Eve, 1958/59. Bruce's parents and friends often socialized at the Lido Cafe during the 50s.
1960 Bruce aged six in a bow tie and red sweater, sister Susan aged five in a red dress, brothers Michael aged four and Allan aged three.
1964 Bottom row: Shirley Ann, Bruce, Susan, Maureen. Back row: Terry, Michael, Allan. Missing is older brother David (Edgar) his parent's child before they married and who was given up for adoption. Bruce's poem "Benchmark" is about the search for David who reconnected with his birth mother shortly before she died.
In his teens and early twenties, Bruce worked as a casual labourer, equipment operator and Zamboni driver before taking an apprenticeship in horticulture and studying at Olds and Vermillion Colleges.
He wrote poetry in his spare time, attending writing courses at Malaspina College and later Mount Royal College. In 1978, his poetry won him a scholarship to attend the Banff School of Fine Arts to study with W.O. Mitchell, Sylvia Fraser and Irving Layton among many others.
In 2007, Bruce was Writer in Residence at the Richmond Hill Public Library; in 2002, he was Writer in Residence at the Banff Centre for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.
In the early 1980s, he served for four years as poetry and poetry reviews editor and columnist for Toronto-based Cross Canada Writers' Quarterly. He also taught creative writing at the Banff Centre and York University. Bruce has given readings and workshops in venues across Canada.
After graduating from York University in 1983, Bruce returned to Banff to teach with W.O. Mitchel and taught creative writing at York University with Don Coles.
From 1986 to 2012, Bruce taught a broad range of English and Liberal Studies courses at Seneca College. He also initiated and taught the poetry and spoken word workshops, both centred on a pan-cultural curriculum.
Image: Bruce's keynote presentation, "Reading Minds, Not Lips" 2011, English and Liberal Studies Colloquium, Seneca College.
Now retired from teaching, Bruce writes full-time in addition to hosting readings and workshops on creativity and disability. Bruce mc'ing a literary kitchen party at Shelf Life Books, 2014 with ASL-interpreter and a captioner (off camera).
CHHA York Region Board BBQ. 2014. Right to left: Patrizia Stulov, Dan McDonnell, Bruce Hunter, Toby Laws and Lauren.
The Begg Family
Bruce's paternal great-grandfather Robert Anstruther Begg with his father Alexander Begg founded the historic Dunbow Ranche at the confluence of the Bow and Highwood Rivers in 1886.
Robert Begg and his wife Lavinia are shown here outside High River circa 1908 with their children Norah and and Alexander (Sandy). From the Glenbow Archives.
Bruce's great grandmother, Lavinia (Golding) Begg, and her horse Copenhagen at Dunbow Ranche, circa 1908 at Davisburg (near present-day DeWinton, Alberta) off Macleod Trail on Dunbow Rd.
The skirt she is wearing is for riding side-saddle. She was the sister of Martha (Golding) Worden who with her husband Hiram G. Worden were the principals in Worden Bros. Bakery and Fruit Market. This picture inspired the character of Bean in In the Bear's House.
Bruce's great-grandmother in her buggy with her three children: Lavinia Jr., Norah and Sandy. This image is on the cover of Coming Home From Home.
From the Glenbow Archives. Lavinia Begg with her three children on the back porch of the ranch house at Dunbow, left to right, Lavinia Jr., Sandy and Norah. On Lavinia Sr.'s arm is Joe, her African grey parrot.
Family picture 1919. The funeral of Lavinia Begg as her casket is taken by pallbearers from the family home at 815 - 14th Ave. S.W. to a waiting hearse. Family members visible in the background include Robert Begg, Lavinia Sr.'s sister Martha and her husband Hiram Worden. In the foreground, young Lavina Jr. in a long dark skirt standing in the rain-slicked street facing the hearse says goodbye to her mother. Printed on the back of the photograph is a single word, "Mother."
Bruce’s great-great grandfather Alexander Begg (born 1825 Watten, Caithness, Scotland – died 1905, NYC) was present at the Red River uprising in 1869 and is author of The History of British Columbia from its earliest discovery to the present time, first published in 1894.
Alexander Begg, his wife Emily and ten of their eleven children including Bruce's great grandfather Robert Anstruther Begg are buried in the Anglican cemetery in Oriilia, Ontario. A statue to the memory of Emily Begg erected on the waterfront in Orillia still stands as does their historic home at 67 Neywash Street.
Read Alexander Begg's biographical note on Dictionary of Canadian Biography here.
Image from the Glenbow Archives.