The bright-eyed twenty-something grabbed her hat, and headed straight for the recruiting station, after hearing that her only brother was rejected from the military because of his poor eyesight. “Someone has to represent our family in the war efforts!” her voice fading as she ran down the sidewalk, vanishing out of sight.
Recruiting poster, 1942, RCAF, Womens’ Division
Audry’s brother, Jack Rutherford (photo above) – wanted very much to serve in WWII, but was not accepted as a recruit, due to his eyesight.
The No. 8 Bombing and Gunnery School in Lethbridge, Alberta, would become Audry’s new home, where she would meet the dashing young Lanark County farm boy Tib Stafford.
Audry in uniform, on a visit with her parents in Edmonton, Alberta
Audry Rutherford and Tib Stafford, on a date in the city of Lethbridge, Alberta in 1943
After a whirlwind of dating, he asked for her hand, and they married on July 12, 1943.
Audry and Tib’s wedding announcement, Edmonton Journal, July 13, 1943, page 8
Audry (Rutherford) Stafford & Tobias ‘Tib’ Stafford – on their wedding day July 12, 1943
Audry took great pride in her military contributions, and was honoured to be in the very first graduating class of Physical Education Instructors for the RCAF Womens’ Division.
In the months that followed, she began to feel a bit queasy, and discovered that they were going to have a baby. The rule in those days was to discharge female soldiers who were expecting, and sadly, she gave up her position as Corporal, and returned home, where she gave birth to a strapping baby boy on a warm spring day in May of 1944.
Tim Stafford and Judy Stafford, 1947
When the war ended, they settled on a farm on the Third Line of Bathurst Township, Lanark County, just west of Perth, Ontario, and the family continued to grow. Now there was big brother Tim, and his two little sisters Judy, and Jackie.
Stafford House – 1947, 3rd line of Bathurst (Tay Valley) Township
l to rt.- Judy Stafford, Audry Rutherford Stafford, Tim Stafford (front – Jackie Stafford)
Judy Stafford , Tim Stafford, Jackie Stafford and Roger Stafford
l to rt – Roger Stafford, Arlene Stafford on Judy Stafford’s lap, Audry (Rutherford) Stafford, Tobias ‘Tib’ Stafford, Tim Stafford, Jackie Stafford
Always busy in the kitchen, an excellent baker, Audry began to enter the home-craft competitions in Perth Fair. Her baking was a big hit, and she won blue ribbons, red ribbons, silver cups, silver trays, and filled her china cabinet with the spoils from her winnings. She won so many prizes over the years that her reputation for baking was the talk of Lanark County, and the Agricultural Society asked her to be a Fair Judge.
For decades, Audry was a Fair Judge throughout the County of Lanark – at the Perth Fair, the Maberly Fair, the Lombardy Fair, even more distant fairs in Madoc and Tweed. She became a well-known Fair Judge throughout Eastern Ontario.
Judge Audry Stafford, performing her duties, at the Lombardy Agricultural Fair
Audry lived a long life, and when she passed away, her children assembled all of her prize-winning recipes, and included stories of growing up on the little farm, on the Third Line of Bathurst. The book was called “Recipes and Recollections: Treats and Tales from Our Mother’s Kitchen” (Audry’s first-born Tim, and second-born Judy are featured on the cover)
This popular book has become the ‘go-to’ guide for anyone who loves the traditional, the classic, the old-time, farm-style recipes. No less than 93 prize-winning recipes are featured in the book, and it has become a best-seller, ideal for anyone considering competing in the baking categories at the local fairs who’s looking for an ‘edge’.
Audry’s Apple Sauce Bread – won first prize ribbons, year after year at local fairs
“Recipes and Recollections” will warm your heart, and fill your stomach, with homemade comfort foods guaranteed to please the crowd!
Available at The Book Nook, The Bookworm & Mill St. Books in Almonte, or online at http://www.staffordwilson.com