Delta Marsh History Initiative, Steering Committee Meeting

9:00 am, 20 August 2001
Home of Shirley Christianson, Portage la Prairie

Present:     Barry Bills, Maurice Blanchard, Shirley Christianson, Denzil Gamble, Gary Garrioch, Gordon Goldsborough (recorder), Bob Jones, Winnie Pauch, Glen Suggett

1.  Minutes of the last meeting (15 July) were accepted by consensus.

2.  Steering committee: Blanchard advised that his correct mailing address should be Box 334, Portage la Prairie, R1N 3B7. Congratulations were offered to Garrioch on his appointment as President of Junior Achievement.

3.  Delta discoveries: Shirley Christianson reported on several sources of information that she has located since our last meeting. The family of May Andrich used to operate a meat market in Portage. Ms. Andrich passed on some photos to Shirley (including two taken on Delta Beach in 1937 or 1938 showing her and Shirley in front of the Andrich cottage) and she has more. She has written a description of the fowl brought to her market by hunters. This can be included in the Delta history book. Shirley also reported that Lois Forsyth is putting together information. She had a cottage at the end of the East Beach and took walks with Dr. Cadham. Shirley also noted that Mrs. Bigelow, wife of the Brandon physician, was a Cadham. Audrey Lafleche, wife of Andre Lafleche, also has information.

Blanchard was the Manager of the Lakewood Country Club property several years ago. He related several discreet albeit amusing anecdotes about club operations.

Goldsborough reported his discovery of files pertaining to construction of the Delta Channel in 1904 at a dormant records storage facility of the federal government in Winnipeg. He has not had time to examine the files fully but he found several photographs of the channel taken in January 1912 and engineering sketches of the breakwater built in the early 1920s.

4.  Publicity: Suggett will contact the Delta Waterfowl Foundation about the possibility of publicizing our project at the upcoming Delta Sportsmen’s Dinner in Portage (4 October).

Goldsborough will send information to Gamble for the Manitoba Heritage Federation newsletter.

It was generally agreed that presentations in seniors centers in the communities surrounding the marsh would be a good way to reach people with information. Presentations can begin in September; Goldsborough is willing to attend so long as they can be scheduled around his classes (preferably Tuesday or Thursday days, any evening or weekend). The following people agreed to check on arrangement of such presentations:

Delta                              Goldsborough / Doug De Pape

High Bluff                       Christianson / Heather Greenlay

Oakville                         Christianson

Poplar Point                   Jones / Kay Jadeske

Portage la Prairie            Pauch

St. Ambroise                  Blanchard

Tin Town                       Garrioch / Ross Gage

Westbourne                   Gamble

5.  Research: Goldsborough agreed to maintain a database of contact people, including mailing addresses, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses. On a suggestion by Suggett, it was agreed that it would be desirable to have a web site for distributing information (e.g., contact person database) to members of the steering committee. The information would be protected by requiring passwords for access. Goldsborough will look into creating a web site using the University’s server and will report at the next meeting.

It was generally agreed that a database should be established to organize all information collected during the project. Bills will compile a list of keywords for use in indexing the database. He will send the list to Goldsborough for circulation to, and comments by, the other members of the steering committee. Jones suggested that Heidi den Haan should be asked to help develop the database, given her experience organizing data related to scientific studies in the marsh.

It was generally agreed that the Portage la Prairie Library would be a suitable storage facility for collected materials. Bills agreed to be the project archivist and to hold a “public box” in which one copy of the materials would be deposited. A “private box,” containing a second copy of the materials, would be stored at the library.

The following people agreed to follow-up on potential information sources identified at the 15 July information meeting at Delta:

Clarice Brown                Jones

Geoff Crewson               Goldsborough

Donalda Johnson            Goldsborough

Terry Soderberg             Garrioch

6.  Fundraising: Suggett reported that his application for a $3,000 provincial grant has been approved and the money will be transferred to the University soon. Goldsborough proposed that we purchase a digital video camera for use in recording interviews because the information could then be stored on CDs rather than video tape, thereby preserving it for a longer time. He will check on prices and report at the next meeting.

Garrioch reported on his investigation of a calendar as a fundraising tool. A duotone calendar will cost about $7 each in quantities of 1000. He estimates that it could be sold for $15-20 each. Ideas that were proposed by the committee included a 18-month calendar that could start in July 2002, thereby allowing time for a kickoff campaign. Another idea was a perpetual calendar. Discussion ensued on the cost relative to our current finances, whether we could realistically sell 1000 calendars, and whether there were local sources for calendar production. It was questioned whether we have enough good photos for a calendar at this early stage in the project. It was suggested that the Foote collection at the Provincial Archives might be a source of photographs. The matter was tabled for consideration at the next meeting.

The following items were responses to a question about what project costs warrant fundraising:

digital camera (see elsewhere for rationale)

travel for interviews and presentations

salary costs for student assistants

consumable supplies: paper, photocopies, CDs

material storage: archival boxes, sleeves, etc.

With respect to the last item, Goldsborough will pick up some archival boxes for Bills to store materials collected so far.

7.  Other business: Goldsborough gave the Brecknell photo album to Christianson, who will return it to Mrs. Brecknell.

To keep costs down, minutes of this meeting will be distributed by e-mail to Garrioch, Jones, Pauch and Suggett, by fax to Blanchard, Christianson, and Gamble, and by mail to the remainder of the committee.

8.  Next meeting: The next meeting of the steering committee will be at 9:00 am on Tuesday, 25 September 2001 at the home of Shirley Christianson (118 Wilkinson Crescent, Portage la Prairie).