The Parents' Page

Jo Jones (Photo) (28k)

Jo Jones

by Jo Jones

[Link directly to David Jones.]

I was born on 26 April 1935 at 99 Rylands Road in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England, to Lilian and William Fraser.  I was christened Carole Maud.  I have an older sister, Shirley Anne.  I was nick-named after Joey, the family cat, and for many years was "Jo" at home and "Carole" outside the family.  It was not until I was in my fifties that I decided to deal with this anomaly, and underwent a formal name change to "Jo Carole Maud."

I grew up in an extended family of many cousins, aunts and uncles, and lived in Edgware for most of the war.  My father, a skilled tool and die maker, worked on Spitfire aircraft engines at the DeHavilland plant there.  Towards the end of the war, when the V1 and V2 rockets became a serious threat, Shirley and I were sent to stay on a farm in Lincolnshire for a few months.

When I was nine years old I wrote my first will.  Two of the major elements were that I would go to America and that I would marry a millionaire!  The first came true; the second did not.  But from a very early age I wanted to travel and see the world.  I began to fulfill that dream at the age of fourteen, when I made my first unaccompanied visit to France, to stay with a French family for six weeks during the summer.  Thus developed my francophilia, and I continued the annual exchanges with their daughter until I left high school.

Since most of my mother's family lived in Southend, after the war we had moved back there, and I spent the remainder of my school years in that town, eventually becoming (by turn) House Captain, Vice-Games Captain and Head Girl at Southend High School for Girls.

After graduation from high school, I went to Westfield Ladies' College (University of London) in Hampstead, and completed my B.A. with honours in Modern Languages (French and Italian).  I then joined Pan American World Airways, and flew around the world for two-and-a-half years as a flight attendant.  [Son's note: I will always remember looking through the old photo albums with Mom in her flight uniform, posing with famous people of the day, including David Niven and Zsa-Zsa Gabor.  And the tale she told of Marlon Brando's "approach" as she was warming milk in the galley always left me wide-eyed.]

In August 1962, I married David G. Jones, a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force Regiment.  I gave birth to two sons - Adam Jason in Singapore (1963) and Craig Elton in England (1965).  David's final posting was to Ottawa, Canada, and as a result of our time there, we decided to emigrate to Canada when he left the Air Force.  We became landed immigrants in 1971 and came to live in Vernon, British Columbia.  We took out citizenship papers four years later.

Philosophical and Ethical Beacons

My definition of success involves being committed, empathetic and zesty in close, honest relationships, while in pursuit of challenge, laughter and good mental and physical health.  I am a political liberal, a committed feminist, and am dedicated to loving others in my life, decency in my dealings with people, and life-long learning and teaching.  I love: thinking, hugs, babies, laughter, puppies, good conversation, Jane Austen, good food (as long as I don't have to prepare it), Mozart and Bach, walking during a storm.  I dislike: hypocrites, religious and political bigots, huge corporations, people who are deliberately unkind, hot weather, cold weather, iced coffee and slash burning.

Although I grew up a member of the Church of England, I gradually found myself withdrawing from organized religion as I came to understand the patriarchal (at that time) structure of the church.  By the time I left High School I was well on the way to becoming an atheist, though the basic precepts of Christianity are the ones by which I try to live my life.  [Son's Note: Ditto.]  I still long to be able to go and listen to a profound moral message without having first to submit to the dogma and mumbo-jumbo!



Private Collections

After publication of Hobnobbing with a Countess in Fall 2001, all documents used by Jones in her research relating to Alice Barrett Parke will be housed in the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives (3009 - 32nd Avenue, Vernon, BC, V1T 2L8). This collection will include artifacts, data, maps, photographs, genealogies, letters, transcriptions, indexes, a footnote database and many other documents.

Recent Career Experience

Theatre: Performances

Talking Heads, The Vagina Monologues, Widows (by Ariel Dorfman), Harvey, Fiddler on the Roof, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Cocktail Hour, Lunch Hour, Requiem (Mozart), Moments (Dinner Theatre), Midsummer Night's Dream, Old Mother Hubbard (Pantomime), Fools, Babes in the Magic Wood (Pantomime), There Goes the Bride, Tribute, Fiddler on the Roof, I Never Sang for My Father, Messiah (Handel), Mary Stuart, Finishing Touches, The Cell, Oliver!, Butterflies Are Free, Macbeth, Tom Jones, Gloria (Vivaldi), The Pajama Game, The Mikado, Orpheus in the Underworld, H.M.S. Pinafore, La Guerre de Troie n'Aura Pas Lieu, You Never Can Tell.

Theatre: Directing

Hay Fever, Later Life, Elephant Shoes, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Hand that Cradles the Rock, The Dining Room (Winner of six of the eight major awards at Theatre B.C. Mainstage '87: Best Technical, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Costume Design, Best Stage Management, Best Production), The Trojan Women, No Sex Please, We're British, Butterflies Are Free, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Footsteps of Doves

Special Skills

Personal Recreation

Early sports activities: Tennis, rounders, netball, field hockey, cricket (all for school and college squads); cycling. Today: Walking, music, computer card games, reading, handicrafts (make most of my own clothes), calligraphy, small-scale desktop publishing.


England, Canada, United States, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Mexico, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, United States, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Wake Island, Guam, Hawaii, Alaska.

Community Work

Member of Powerhouse Theatre, Okanagan Symphony Choir, Aura Chamber Choir, Okanagan Library Committee, Okanagan University College Advisory Committee (Chairperson), EXPO 86 Publicity Committee, Vancouver Children's Festival (Media Relations), Women in Business, Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (Director).  Volunteer at the Vernon Museum & Archives.  Host of VERNON REVIEW, weekly T.V. current events program (VERCOM Cable 11). (Son's Note: And she had me on as a guest!)

Who is David G. Jones?

by himself

David Jones & Family, circa 1938 (photo, 70k)

Photo at right: David Jones (with spade) heads to the seaside with family, circa 1938 (for more on Alfred George Jones, his father, see
No Man's Land: The Battlefields of Northern France).

Recipe. Take a bright and healthy child.  Entrust him to poor and hardworking parents, and older siblings.  Raise him in late-Depression and wartime England, in the Green Belt around southern London.  Give him adequate food, conscientious teachers, a simple religion, lots of exercise, and a clear idea of his place in society.  Expect him to earn his keep: let him stay at school until he is 16, then send him to work.  Let him see death and sorrow, and let him cry. Let him know freedom, love and exultation, and make him accountable for his actions.

Enlist him in the RAF [Royal Air Force].  Acknowledge his potential, and give him authority over his elders.  Teach him a hundred arcane skills, send him to a dozen strange places, challenge every ability he might have, and make him proud.  Give him a few close friends and unlimited loyal comrades.  Let him tilt at windmills.  Forgive his exuberance.  After 21 years, let him go in peace (make him wait for his pension!).

Give him girls to frolic with, and a beautiful woman to wed.  Entrust him with sons, so that he may learn from them.

Find him a new career that tests his integrity: let him enjoy wealth, and survive its loss without rancour.  Arrange his time so that work, recreation and community involvement blend seamlessly into a rounded life.  Encourage him to strut his stuff, as an actor, teacher, builder, organiser, and occasional shit-disturber.  Let him discover that trust works better than suspicion, that encouragement is more productive than criticism.  Acknowledge him.  Hug him.  Try to shut him up (occasionally).

Give him questions to live by.  For example, "If not me, who?  If not now, when?"  Keep him busy.

Love him if you can: if not, would it kill you to lie a little?

I suppose a person is best identified by what he believes.  Here goes.

I believe there is no God - although belief in one sure "got me through the day" when I was young.  I envy people with true faith.

I believe, consequently, that this life is all we have.  Any immortality is in those we have touched.

I hold that trusting others, and being dependable, is the most workable position for me.

When I am "stuck," I ask this question: "What unique contribution can I make, here and now?"  It works for me.

I believe we are all lonely most of the time.  Those brief episodes of open, honest contact with another person are rare, precious, and impossible to arrange - a gift from the gods (if gods there be).

I delight in being self-sufficient in practical matters, and in rescuing others.  I am happy at the end of a busy day, when I am physically tired, and another project has been completed (but there must always be another one in view ...)

I hope to live as long as I am a net contributor in some sense, and to die before I become a nuisance.  Meanwhile, there is much to be done!

I believe that women are fundamentally different from men - better in many ways, and wiser.

I believe that the love of money is the root of all (? no, most) evil - a useful lubricant, but a disastrous fuel.  Buying something new does not compare with the joy of making something old work again.

I think I have used the body I got well, and it has served me well.  My brain could have been put to better use (but at least I was smart enough to marry a bright woman, and give birth to two sons who are using theirs better).

David Jones in the Amazon jungle, Ecuador, 1994.

Dad in the Campamento (Photo, 124k)


London, England, 31 May 1932.






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Created by Jo and David Jones, 1998-2001.
Page co-created and maintained by Adam Jones
Last updated: 14 September 2004.