1:00 pm, 27 May 2001
Mallard Lodge, Delta Marsh Field Station

The meeting was attended by about 20 people (list of names and phone numbers to be compiled by Shirley Christianson), some of whom had received our initial invitation and others who had heard second-hand about it. We opened the meeting by thanking everyone for coming and having each person introduce themselves. Several people noted their special interest in Delta Marsh or their reason for attending.

Goldsborough gave a brief slide show that described his interest in collecting historical information about the marsh as a background for its conservation. He described the threats to the marsh due to stable water levels, carp, cattails, and chemicals. He also described his historical research on the formation of Delta Marsh and a couple of historical figures in the area now controlled by the University.

After the presentation, there was a general discussion of whether the formation of a group to begin collecting historical information about the Delta Marsh area was a good idea. There was consensus that it was, and a general sense of enthusiasm to proceed. Shirley Christianson asked for clarification of the area to be included. It was generally felt it should include the area from Lynch’s Point on the west to St. Ambroise on the east. Several people spoke about the need for something to be done about the state of the marsh and the adjoining lake. Blanchard commented that he felt the historical background was a good complement to the Lake Manitoba Basin Initiative that is underway at the moment, and that the two should both go ahead. Shirley Love thought that Delta history would complement the local history group at Oakland and that information could be shared cooperatively between these two groups.

Goldsborough asked how people felt about the involvement of the Delta Marsh Field Station in collecting and presenting Delta history. As an educational facility of the University, there was general agreement that it was appropriate for the station to help coordinate the project. Given that fundraising would be a part of the group’s activities, the University’s non-profit status would enable the group to issue tax receipts to donors.

There was brief discussion of the name for the new group. Goldsborough had used “Delta Marsh History Initiative” simply as a starting point prior to this meeting. No alternatives were proposed and there was general agreement that the name was acceptable.

Doug Love suggested that a steering committee should be formed to get things moving, and a date set for a next meeting. Volunteers for the committee were solicited. Several people expressed interest in participating but felt they were not able to make a commitment at this time. After some discussion, the committee was struck as follows:

Shirley Christianson
Barry Bills
Maurice Blanchard
Bob Jones

Gary Garrioch
Gordon Goldsborough
Don Wilkinson
Glen Suggett

Goldsborough stated that he felt it was important, as a by-product of this project, to ensure that historical materials were protected so they would be available to future generations. Materials should be deposited in a public archive, such as the Provincial Archives of Manitoba.

Bob Sanderson noted the need for some funds to undertake the project and asked what sources might be solicited. Doug Love indicated that the DACC might be receptive to an approach. Goldsborough noted that the Portage and District Foundation might help with publication of a book but that collection of research materials was outside its mandate. Tittemore indicated that Human Resources Development Canada can be solicited for a grant of minimum wage to hire a student. Some other potential sources were identified.

The group was asked if there are specific people who might be contacted as sources of information for the project. Some names mentioned were:

Percy Gregoire (Portage Library)
Bill Hutchinson (Delta)
Alf Garnham and other members of the Garnham family
Jack “Johnny” Creighton (Portage la Prairie)
Peter Ward
Jimmy Turner (formerly of Oakland, now Portage la Prairie)
Ray Johnson (Meadow Lea Hall)
Moe Cartman (former sports writer with Daily Graphic)
Les Green
Denzel Gamble (Westbourne)
Bigelows (thought to have a lot of information about the area)
Georgina Cuthbert
Sterling Lyon
Clara Robinson (S. Lyon had met with her recently in Minneapolis)

And undoubtedly many others!

DePape noted that the Delta Beach Association will hold its annual general meeting on Sunday, 1 July at which Goldsborough agreed to give a presentation about the marsh and the need to collect history. Goldsborough offered to make presentations to other groups over the next few months, as requested, such as the Lakewood Country Club, Tin Town, and the Portage Country Club.

The next meeting of the group will be held on Sunday, 15 July at the Delta Interpretive Center at the Delta Waterfowl Station. Notices about the meeting will be distributed to members of the steering committee in advance so as many people as possible can be informed about it.

The meeting wrapped up about 3:30 pm, after which there was informal discussion among the people attending, accompanied by snacks.