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George Dickson Walker
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Dates of creation area
1 January 1939-16 July 1981 (Creation)
- Walker, George Dickson
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15 cm of textual materials and other materials
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George Dickson Walker was born July 19th, 1889 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His parents were William John Walker (2 January 1842 - ?) and Rachel Walker née Dickson (28 February 1852 - ?). George studied psychology at the University of Belfast and later theology at Magee College and the Assembly’s College. In 1914 George moved from Northern Ireland to England where he in Lancashire, Northumberland, and Stafford before moving to the Jersey in the Channel Islands in 1936. During this period he married a woman named Sophia Elizabeth Graham with whom he had one child, a daughter named Norah. During the First World War, George provided service through the YMCA between March and July 1917 for special non-combatant duty to the Indian Cavalry in France without rank. During his service, he sustained injuries from a burn. In an early 1940s newspaper interview in San Diego, George describes working for an ambulance service in London during the war.
From 1919 to 1936, George worked as a psychotherapist for the Presbyterian Church of England. He moved with his family to Channel Islands to work as a minister. Shortly after arriving there his marriage ended due, according to his U.S. immigration paperwork, to desertion on the part Elizabeth. Two years earlier was when George met Hanne Wassermann, although the details of their meeting and the early years of their relationship are unclear. It is possible they met in England during one of Hanne’s trips there or while George was visiting Vienna or Brioni, Italy, which are all places Hanne taught fitness classes at various times over the years.
Together with Hanne and her mother, George immigrated to the United States in 1940. He was arrested in Reno, Nevada, for allegedly skipping out on a hotel bill; however, the charge was eventually dropped. He and Hanne travelled across the country, eventually settling in La Jolla, California, until 1942 when he was hired by St. Andrew’s United Church in North Vancouver to serve as a minister in Squamish. George moved to British Columbia first, and the next year, after they were married in Los Angeles, California, Hanne joined him.
George enjoyed the outdoors and boating, and was very fond of the pet dogs he and his wife owned. Little information is available about his relationship with his daughter, who survived the war and was living in the United Kingdom; she is mentioned in some of the correspondence he received from Northern Ireland.
George died on July 11th, 1981.
Scope and content
Series consists of materials related to the life of George Dickson Walker immediately preceding his immigration to North America and the rest of his time spent living both in the U.S. and Canada. The bulk of these materials is correspondence, however, other records include paperwork and ephemera related to his immigration process, official records (e.g. divorce application, official affidavit, etc.), and some research he had done, likely pertaining to his own personal writing.
Materials are in good condition, although a number of records were torn into large pieces and consequently needed to be housed in mylar sleeves
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Generated finding aid
Includes: 15 cm of textual materials and 5 small b&w photographs.