Tozer, Norman and Margaret

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                                     NORMAN AND MARGARET TOZER
                            New year will hold more memories for Tozers 
                                        By Cathy Carnahan


The start of a new year brings with it the promise of more memories for Margaret and Norman Tozer. The Lyttleton couple were married on Saturday evening Nov. 24, 1934 and have been best friends ever since. He’s 80 and she’s 77. They have six children and 21 grandchildren.

There were some difficult times, but nothing Margaret, known to her friends as Maggie, and Norman couldn’t handle. Their faith in God and the church has always seen them through.

A plaque hanging in the kitchen sums up their motto quite well. It reads: With God all things are possible. Have faith.

Margaret and Norman also have similar ideas about raising children. “Just be sensible, that’s all, the way I look at raising kids,” said Margaret. “I raised mine in the church. They were taught to go when they were little,” she said. Norman, a quiet man, sat across the kitchen table from his wife, nodded and smiled. “He always went by what I said. One never went ag’in the other,” she said. “I think when they were growing up, I was busy trying to make a living,” noted Norman. “You didn’t get much them days. I think when I started first, I got a dollar a day.”

During the couple’s first winter together they stayed with Margaret’s parents, the late Howard and Viola (Mutch) Matchett, in Lyttleton. That first winter, Norman also worked in the woods and saved $78. That was to start their house in the spring. “This was my first carpentry work,” he said proudly as he looked around the tidy house. Outside the home, the yard and grounds are as neatly groomed as the inside.

“Them days, lumber was nothing at all like it is today,” he said. “I started first working in the woods. That was about all there was them days,” said Norman. “Then I went into carpentry and I did that for years.” Margaret smiled. “All those big apartment buildings back McKenna Avenue (in Newcastle), he built,” she said.

She is an avid sewer and recently completed a cape and three bridesmaid dresses for the granddaughter wedding. “I knit and sew and do some crochet work, a lot of sitting work,” she said laughing. “I made curtains for schools for years, but I don’t do it anymore. That’s enough.”

Now Margaret and Norman enjoy their memories.

“We never had it too hard,” said Margaret. “I never knew what a roll of baker’s bread meant…and I made all the children’s clothes, except for their pants. “I did everything and anything that saved money,” she said. “We always had our own cows, milk and butter, that sort of thing. We’d always pick berries and sometimes sell them,” she added.

Norman recalled raising their family was much happier than his own childhood in Sunny Corner. Albert and Jenny (MacTavish) Tozer had 10 children and he was only six when his mother died. “Our sister, Ruby, was our mother then. There were four of us younger than her, you see, and we always went to her like she was our mother,” he said. Ruby later married the now late Clarence Matchett and she lives in a senior’s complex in Newcastle. Norman often recalls her kindness to him.

He and Margaret are also grateful to still be in their own home. Three years ago, he had a heart attack, but his health has been holding quite good since then. They are thankful for their many blessings, including their 58 years together.

“I still have my marriage certificate in my purse,” Margaret said as she took out a folder and proudly showed off the document.

She then urged Norman to show off the old fiddle his father once had. Norman didn’t mind getting the fiddle, but he didn’t want his photo taken with it because he was scared someone might think he played often. “I used to play a bit for pastime, not much,” he said as he held the family heirloom.

“He’s awful bashful,” said Margaret shaking her head.


Source: Miramichi Leader January 6, 1993

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