Delta Marsh History Initiative, Steering Committee Meeting

9:00 am, 16 September 2002
Home of Shirley Christianson, Portage la Prairie

Present:     Maurice Blanchard, Shirley Christianson, Gordon Goldsborough (sec), Heidi den Haan, Bob Jones, Shirley Love, Myrna Mackey, Glen Suggett

A welcome to the group was extended to Myrna Mackey, who is an avid genealogist and historian, and long-time local resident.

1.  Minutes of the last meeting (10 June) were approved by consensus with two corrections. In 3C, Maurice Blanchard noted that Shirley Christianson picked up the drink concentrate for the last fish fry, not him, and a misspelling of Winnie Pauch’s surname was corrected. No one present could recall the source of information about the audio recording of the Garrioch diary.

2.  Delta discoveries:

a)    Shirley Christianson reported that a Mrs. Morris of Portage la Prairie, aged 96, has a lot of Delta information at her home. Shirley and Myrna Mackey will arrange to interview her.

b)   Shirley Christianson provided some clippings from recent Daily Graphics on historical news items related to Delta.

c)    Shirley Christianson provided photographs loaned to her by Roberta Christianson (24 photos) and Vera Keys (2 photos). Another photo was found at Mayfair Print Shop, having been left there some time ago by a person named Webb.

d)   Myrna Mackey will bring a 1915 photo of Delta Beach (her aunt and some children) to the next meeting.

e)    Shirley Christianson’s friend from Kelowna, Betty Andrich O’Reilly, is compiling a set of photographs of Delta and will send them to her when ready.

f)     Goldsborough reported his discovery of a large collection of family scrapbooks at the Provincial Archives of Manitoba that included photographs and documents relating to the Oakland Shooting Club that operated in the west marsh from 1910 to the late 1930s.

g)    Blanchard reminded the group that we should contact the descendants of Dr. Bigelow, who used to hunt in the east marsh. He apparently had some excellent large photographs of the marsh.

3.  Publicity:

a)    Newsletter – Some possible items for the next newsletter include a story about a local (well-known but unidentified) bootlegger whose business thrived during the Prohibition years in the area. Goldsborough mentioned that Barry Bills has given him a large number of newspaper articles transcribed from the Enterprise News pertaining to the 1954 flood at Delta. An item on the Oakland History Project, for which no room was available in the last newsletter, will be included in this one. Goldsborough will add other material as there is room, and make 1300 copies for distribution to Shirley Christianson and Barry Bills before the next meeting, so it can be mailed with the next Museum News and other local papers. Our newsletters have apparently been well received; a person contacted the Field Station asking to be added to a mailing list for upcoming ones.

b)   Fish fry – Blanchard suggested that we have a double line for food at our next fish fry in November, as he now has twice as many chafers. Jobs were assigned as follows:


Goldsborough will print them as soon as possible for delivery to Shirley Christianson


Goldsborough will print them as soon as possible for delivery to Shirley Christianson

Silent Auction

Heidi den Haan, Shirley Christianson, Myrna Mackey, and Maurice Blanchard will arrange. Myrna suggested that we contact the offices of local politicians Brian Pallister and David Faurschou for support. Anyone else is welcome to solicit donations too.

Story boards

Goldsborough will ask David Farlinger, Chair of the Lake Manitoba Regulation Review Advisory Committee, to loan us a set of story boards relating to Lake Manitoba.

Slide show

Goldsborough will create another one using historical photos obtained since the last fish fry.

Herman Prior Center booking

Shirley Christianson will check to make sure the date (23 November) is confirmed for us.

Pie & ice cream

Shirley Christianson will contact McCains for a pie donation. Shirley Love will pick up the pies and deliver them to Co-op for cooking. They will collectively approach Pankos, Portage Supermarket, IGA and/or Safeway to donate ice cream.

Orange drink concentrate

Shirley Christianson will pick it up from McDonalds.


Goldsborough will ask Don Poschenrieder if he would make a couple of signs that we could post on the street during the fish fry, to attract last-minute traffic.

4.  Other business:

a)    Financial statement – Goldsborough circulated a statement of our financial status, as of mid-September. The cost of employing Sian Bumsted during the summer has not yet been deducted because the final amount is not yet known. But we are still in the black, and will raise more from our next fish fry in November. Goldsborough suggested that we employ Sian for a few hours in December, to assist with additional jobs, if she is willing. This was unanimously approved.

b)   Christmas partySuggett proposed that we hold a party at the Field Station again this year, as the one last year was very successful. This suggestion was received enthusiastically. Pending confirmation with station staff, the date was set for Wednesday, 11 December at 6:00 pm. The menu will be a traditional turkey dinner with trimmings. Spouses, children, and other family members are welcome. Goldsborough will contact Sian Bumsted to see if she will be available to attend.

5.  Next meeting: The next meeting will be held at the home of Shirley Christianson (118 Wilkinson Crescent, Portage la Prairie) at 9:00 am on Monday, 21 October.

6.  Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 am.