Lois Argue Record Collection

Written by Jade Edwards-Modry

Have you heard any new music from the Link Trainer exhibit? You might be hearing music from the personal record collection of Lois Argue. The speaker system within the exhibit has recently been updated to play her remaining collection of 78 RPM shellac records.


Women swearing RCAF uniform sitting on steps to a large building (Lois Argue)women (Lois Argue) opening the door of an aircraft smiling

Lois Winnifred Argue began collecting records in 1941, when she joined the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division as a medical clerk. After training in Toronto, she became the first woman posted to No. 2 Air Observer School in Edmonton, which included Hangar 14 – the current home of the Alberta Aviation Museum. Throughout her service, she was frequently the only woman stationed at various posts across Western Canada, where she provided critical medical support to both Canadian and American aircrews. She was also among the first 50 to join 700 Wing of the RCAF Association. Following her time with the RCAF, she worked at the University of Alberta and participated in various groups and communities around the city, especially those dedicated to historical and environmental preservation. She was a long-time advocate for the Municipal Airport and the preservation of its history and was a dedicated volunteer at the Alberta Aviation Museum.


Exploring a collection of tangible music provides such a personal glimpse into the lives of the collectors. Record collections like this one often reflect a rich mosaic of personal experiences and relationships, with each record linked to a specific memory. This was certainly the case for Lois Argue. These 78s were all stored in a record album book that contained three notes about the records highlighting their sentimentality and historical value.

The notes as written:

Lois Argue's Record Collection

“May 1992,

These 78 records have very, very special meaning to me and remind me of so many very happy times [in] the past 40 years… exactly. Everyone reminds me of someone special too that have been deceased for many years, but added so much to my life.

Lois Argue.”


August 16th, 2000,

I had about 12 books of cases of 78 records such as these for many years — bought my first records in Toronto during WWII in 1941 about 1980 I donated most of them to the music department of Jasper Place Composite High School in Edmonton, when Tommy Banks, now in the Senate, was in charge. I kept these, as they were my favourites [?] very valuable and should be treasured. They are currently[?] unavailable now and are historical. Please do not sell and keep them somewhere safe. Thanks.

Lois W. Argue.”

“May 20, 1992,

These 78 records were bought and handled only by Lois Argue in the 1940s and 1950s her first was “Guess It” and “Pick Me Up” which she bought in Toronto, while training in the Air Force, and she carried it in her RCAF duffel bag for years. These records still sound beautiful and they, as well as the records of Guy Lombardo (Canadian) and Glenn Miller should be kept for historical sake.”


Photo of vinyl record

The Alberta Aviation Museum archives contain thousands of artifacts, photos, documents, and books that are not on display to the public. These items are always undergoing further research and documentation. This is not uncommon, however, as the average amount of artifacts in museums that are on display is limited to between 5 and 10 percent worldwide – the rest is in storage. Learning more about old and new artifacts allows museums to adapt and evolve their exhibits. These records are a key part of our collection, illustrating the importance of ongoing research to unveil such insight into a person’s personality and preferences, examples of what traditional historical documents might overlook.


In addition to the records being made available in the exhibit, we have assembled a playlist on YouTube that can be heard at home. Almost all these records are digitized and publicly available, with the exception of the Glahe Musette Orchestra recording of Guess It / Pick Me Up. Once digitized, we will include it with the online collection.


Lois, your collection is a treasure. Thank you for sharing it.

Black and white photo of women (Lois Argue) standing in front of RCAF medical truck


Listen to the collection HERE

Learn more about our museum HERE
Would you like to explore similar articles? Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter and stay updated with 2-3 emails per month featuring articles, program updates, and more: Click here to sign up