The Waugh Family
An historical and photographic perspective
James "Daisy" Waugh died on Dec 31, 1936.
Killed in Mine
Nanaimo. - James "Daisy" Waugh, well-known British Columbia soccer player and a member of the Nanaimo City Football Club in the Intercity League, was electrocuted here shortly before midnight Thursday while working in the Canadian Colleries coal mine. - Excerpt from The Vancouver Daily Province, Saturday 02 January, 1937, page 21
Excerpt from Boss Whistle: Vancouver Island Miners Remember by Lynne Bowen:
Everyone who worked in Number One or Protection in the 1930’s knew James “Daisy” Waugh. They knew him for his prowess on the soccer field and for his sunny nickname derived from the days when he brought his mother the fresh white and yellow flowers from the daisy field back of Robins Park. He loved parties, and there was no better night for parties in Nanaimo than New Year’s Eve. On that night there were dances everywhere, and there was first footing, the good-luck custom practiced by Scots that required a dark-haired man to be the first over the threshold after midnight to bring in the new year.
Daisy and his young wife Ethel were planning to dance at the Pygmy Ballroom* on its marvelous sprung floor before midnight and then join their fellow Scots on the rounds of their neighbours. But Daisy had to work the evening shift in Protection mine. He debated whether to skip work, but decided he was lucky to have a job, and had better not risk losing it, especially with a ten-month-old son to support.
As Ethel laid out his dancing clothes for later, Daisy debated whether he would wear rubber boots or hobnails for work. Rubber boots made sense when the floor of the mine was wet, but hobnails were more comfortable. Twice he put on the rubber boots only to take them off and finally he chose the hobnails. With a promise to meet Ethel at the Pygmy in time to go first footing, he went to work the afternoon shift in the Cobble Hill section of Number One mine.
There was going to be a great time in Nanaimo that night and some of the boys were rushin’ out to get to the dance a little early before shift change. You could see their lights going by as they went along the main motor level. So we decided to pack up and go too. We could see this light wavin’ ahead of us and all of a sudden – whoof. I says, “We’d better go and have a look.” It was poor Daisy and he was dead. God knows what happened. The only thing we could see was a burn mark on his temple.
Daisy had been walking along the main motor level with a friend when he noticed some machinery that intrigued him sitting on a siding. As he stood on the rail to get a better look, his head touched a copper trolley wire and he died instantly of electric shock. Had he been wearing his rubber boots, he would have been all right.
When the news reached Nanaimo, orchestras fell silent in one dance hall after another. Grieving family and friends trudged home through the heavy snow that had fallen that night. Four days later, players from the city football team carried their teammate to the cemetery.
* Note: The Pygmy Ballroom was one of the five dance halls in Nanaimo. It was a popular Nanaimo jazz mecca in the 1930s and 40s and Louis Armstrong and Harry James both performed there. The site is now the fiesta Bowling Alley.
James William "Daisy" Waugh's son...
(Jim) Tuesday, 11 Jun 2002
Waugh, James (Jim) February 10, 1936 - June 11, 2002. Jim was born and raised in Nanaimo, and he will be dearly missed, and lovingly remembered, by his wife of 43 years, Norma, his sons Rory (Brenda) and Tim (Ellen), grandchildren Taryn, Makayla, Brayden, Danyka and Rhianna, brother Glenn (Margaret), mother-in-law Lena, special friends Rick and Lorraine, as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his son Don and mother Ethel. In honour of Jim’s wishes, there will not be a formal service, however, family and friends are invited to a celebration of Jim’s life at 1:00 PM, Saturday, June 22, in the family home, 755 Dufferin St.