An old autograph book owned by a girl who attended Regina's Connaught elementary school in the 1930s has found its way into the hands of an antique collector living in Alberta. Now, he's on a search for her, or her family, in hopes of handing over the keepsake.
Keith Maynard found the autograph book two or three years ago at a yard sale in Sandy Beach, Alta., a small community about 50 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
The autograph book seems to have belonged to a girl named Hilda. The entries are dated from Oct. 18, 1929 to May 3, 1936. The small album is filled with personal messages between Hilda and her friends and classmates, poems, and drawings.
Maynard buys and sells antiques and seeks out one-of-a-kind items.
"I always kept it in my dresser. I just thought it was so neat," he said.
"Because it's so personal was one of the main reasons I bought it."
Maynard was also intrigued by the fact that the practice of keeping an autograph book is now a thing of the past.
"My mom, when she was going to school, she had the same kind of thing when she grew up in Newfoundland," he said.
The search for Hilda
Maynard has tried to search for Hilda, or her family, since acquiring the book.
He started by researching Connaught elementary school's history and contacting the school. It reopened this month after the original building was demolished in 2014 and a new one built.
The school and the Regina Public School Board were unable to retrieve any records for Maynard, so he tried other historical groups in the city.
All his efforts have been without success. Although he has enjoyed reading the poems and stories, he said it was always his intent to track down the family and give it to them.
He hopes to one day hand the book to Hilda's daughter or granddaughter, or maybe even Hilda herself.
Anyone who has a tip for Keith Maynard can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.