Delta Marsh History Initiative, Steering Committee Meeting

9:00 am, 25 September 2001
Home of Shirley Christianson, Portage la Prairie

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

1.  Minutes of the last meeting (20 August) were accepted by consensus. Christianson reported that May Andrich has written up information about the market trade in waterfowl but it is not yet copied. Goldsborough reported that a public presentation has been arranged for the Herman Prior Center in Portage la Prairie on 4 October, and suggested that other venues should be arranged over the next few months, if possible. He also circulated a keyword list but some people had trouble opening the e-mailed file so Goldsborough will send it again.

2.  Delta discoveries: Blanchard brought a copy of “Helgi Einarsson,” a fascinating autobiography by an early Manitoba pioneer who fished on Lake Manitoba and had business dealings with several notable people.

Christianson showed a photo album that she was loaned by Sheila Ward Cook, the originals from which came from Andre Lafleche at Delta. Goldsborough noted that he had been approached by Mr. Lafleche after the history presentation at Delta in July, and that he indicated having a large number of old photographs. Goldsborough will get in touch with Lafleche.

Jim Robertson operated a mink farm at Lynch’s Point at one time. There was also a mink farm at Delta in 1926, operated as a business by Edward Ward.

Goldsborough reported his conversation with Kerry Hawkins, VP of the Lakewood Country Club, who gave him permission to copy old photographs displayed on the wall of the clubhouse on the west side of the marsh.

3.  Publicity: Presentations should be arranged in several of the surrounding communities. Preliminary contacts have been made with a contact person in each community, and a member of the Steering Committee to follow-up to arrange a presentation. Christianson will contact someone in Oakville, St. Ambroise, Langruth, and Westbourne. Jones volunteered to help at the Portage presentation on 4 October.

Den Haan will hand out a history pamphlet prepared to Suggett at the upcoming Delta Dinner, as she will be seated at the entrance. Jones and den Haan will help to get forms filled in.

Goldsborough suggested that we produce a newsletter to inform people on our progress, and to solicit information. It could be distributed to local community newspapers. There was general agreement that we should proceed to produce one. Gamble offered to submit it to the Fort La Reine News, and Christianson offered to send it to the Langruth News. Goldsborough and den Haan will work on it. Possible items to include are the upcoming fish fry, a solicitation for information, and a few tidbits of information found so far, and a list of donors to the project.

4.  Research: Jones agreed to contact Clarice Brown to see what historical information she may have.

Goldsborough reported that he is compiling a database of contact persons with addresses and phone numbers. This will be available on the DMHI web site, which he has now set at the address There is a userid and password needed to access the site, which are presently both “dmhi” (lowercase, no quotes). On the site are the names and addresses of Steering Committee participants, minutes of our meetings, a DMHI pamphlet, and the draft specification of the inventory database to be used in cataloging acquisitions. The spec was circulated for comment to the committee a few weeks ago but some people had trouble opening the e-mail attachment so Goldsborough will send it again. The list of keywords provided for the spec by Bills was also circulated for comment. Some suggestions for additional keywords had been made by Suggett. Goldsborough recommends that the keywords should be fairly generic, not specific. A comment field in the database can be used to enter the names of specific locations, lodges, etc.

No progress has been made in purchasing a video camera. Goldsborough will check into this and report at a future meeting.

Donalda Johnson, who owns a cottage at Delta Beach and recently retired from her job at the University of Manitoba, offered to assist with clerical functions of the DMHI. Goldsborough asked if people had ideas on how she might help. Her offer of help was accepted, and Goldsborough will contact her.

5.  Fundraising: Blanchard reported that his recent fish fry held at the Lions Manor attracted over 600 people, each of whom paid $8. Blanchard’s cost was $6 per person and he donated his profit to the organizers. He offered to organize a fish fry fundraiser on behalf of the DMHI. It was generally agreed to be a good idea, and it was approved by consensus. After some discussion, it was scheduled to occur on Saturday, 3 November between 11 am and 2 pm. The cost will be $10 per adult, $5 per child under 12, with kids under 6 admitted free. It will be advertised as the “Delta History Fish Fry.” Den Haan will check if the Delta Waterfowl Station will permit it to be held in the Delta Interpretive building. Failing that, an alternative venue of the Herman Prior Centre in Portage la Prairie was proposed. Pauch will approach them if needed. Goldsborough will print tickets and posters for the event, and distribute them to Bills and Christianson, who will be in charge of advertising. Den Haan will try to organize a Chinese Auction for the event, and others are encouraged to solicit donations for it. Goldsborough will arrange to get some large posters of historical photographs for display during the event.

After further discussion, it was agreed to postpone a calendar fundraiser until mid-2002, possibly for sale into 2003. It was generally felt that we do not have enough money to print calendars now, nor do we have enough good historical photos to include in it.

6.  Other business: none

7.  Next meeting: The next meeting of the steering committee will be at 9:00 am on Tuesday, 30 October 2001 at the home of Shirley Christianson (118 Wilkinson Crescent, Portage la Prairie).