Family of late Lt.-Gov shares her life with university

Marc Bence/for metro edmonton


Jim Hole, the son of the late lieutenant-governor Lois Hole, holds a comfort rock yesterday that his mother used to take with her everywhere she went. The rock, along with several pieces of her clothing, have been donated to the University of Alberta.

Known to have a practical sense of style, the late Lois Hole wore dirt-covered gardening clothes during the day, but would always look extravagant in the evening while attending special functions as Alberta’s lieutenant-governor.

“It was like she was two different people,” her son, Jim Hole, said yesterday.

To share Hole’s sense of fashion, the family has donated a collection of her favourite clothing and mementoes to the University of Alberta’s department of human ecology.

The collection includes 20 of Hole’s favourite dresses, some designed by local artists, and notable items she collected throughout her celebrated life.

“She was such a multi-faceted woman,” said Marijke Kerkhoven, a collections manager with the university.

“This collection is also really special because if we ever wanted to do an exhibit, it’s really nice to have this here. Research students can also look closely at the collection and study this in detail because each item is so well documented.”

During her term as Alberta’s lieutenant-governor, the avid gardener passed away at the Royal Alexandria Hospital in 2005 from a long battle with cancer.

Her son says preserving Hole’s clothing at the university is a natural fit because her family wants to share her memories with the public.

“She would be proud to have her clothes displayed here,” he said. “People can now learn about the person who wore that clothing.”

The value of the collection has yet to be determined, but Kerkhoven says the number could be high because Hole was such a notable Albertan.

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