Like the Romankos, the Hauptman Family were deported to Siberia and later forced to work in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan. They also lived in a refugee camp in Persia and from there, the men in the family, John, Joe, Walter, Ted and Karl, left to join the Polish Army. Sadly, brother John did not survive the war and their elderly father, Antoni, became ill and died in Uzbekistan. Two of the brother’s wives, along with Joe’s two-year-old son, Adam, eventually travelled to Uganda where theyspent the rest of the war.

Several years before the war, the two oldest Hauptman brothers, Stan (Stanisław) and Kelly (Kazimierz), had already emigrated to Canada. They married two Ukrainian sisters from Lamont and began the first of many businesses that the family would be involved in. Stan moved to St. Albert and became part owner of the Bruin Inn in the late 1940s. In 1953 he opened the St. Albert Drive-In.

When the Karl and Ted arrived in St. Albert, they moved into the Bruin Inn and Ted began to work in the bar. After six years of separation Joe’s wife Bernice and nine-year-old Adam finally arrived in 1948. Bernice became the cook at the Bruin Inn where she stayed until her retirement.

Brother Karl (Karol) got a job in the aircraft industry and later started his own business, “Karol Radio Repair Service”. Ted Hauptman went on to open the Dairy Star drive-in and the very successful Klondike Inn restaurant on St. Albert Trail. Young Adam grew up to own his own school bus business and later, he and his wife Pat bought out Lefebvre’s jewellery store renaming it “Sweetheart Jeweller’s”. This strong and tight-knit family had an immense impact on the business community in St. Albert.

The Hauptman family in Poland, 1927. Courtesy of Adam Hauptman.