Headingley Heritage: Dave Taylor
by Amber McGuckin
It’s been 93 years of collecting memories for one Headingley senior who spent his life in the community.
The two beds in Dave Taylor’s spare room are blanketed with historical files and documents about his family and the community.
“It’s just bits and pieces of our life here,” he said. “I just realized as we were growing up, we were making history actually. We were part of it.”
Taylor’s history started on a farm in the Headingley area. Growing up he had his share of chores. One almost cost him his life when he was about six.
Taylor, his younger brother Frank and two boys from the area, Johnny Keogh and Johnny Britton, took a team of horses about a kilometre from the farm to get some soft water.
The splashing of the water spooked the horses, which took off, throwing the Johnnys and tangling the Taylor boys, dragging them home.
“My mother came out of the yard and she saw something roll out and she thought it was just a big chunk of mud and then she saw that it was me. My brother ended up out in the field a bit.
“It took the boys couple of months to recover from their injuries.
The only time Taylor didn’t live in Headingley was when he joined the military during the Second World War.
“I just thought it was the thing to do. Most other young fellas in Headingley were doing the same thing,” he said.
He was a mechanic in the air force and never left Canada during his service. One of his posts was just outside London, Ont, where he met his future wife, Ethel, at a club.
“She looked so beautiful,” he said before pausing to look at their wedding photo in his living room. “It was one of the good old days.”
He brought his bride back to Headingley after the war, where they raised their children Robert, Sandra and Larry. Ethel died in May.
“It was quite a loss when I lost her,” he said. “We had a real good life together for the years that we had, which was quite a few.”
He credits their 72 years of marriage to commitment.
“We just thought that’s what people should do — stay together as long as it was possible.”
Now, the memories of their life together are preserved in the photographs, letters and memories Taylor has collected.
Page revised: 1 March 2015