Delta Marsh History Initiative, Steering Committee Meeting

9:00 am, 24 March 2003
Home of Shirley Christianson, Portage la Prairie

Present:     Barry Bills, Shirley Christianson, Heidi den Haan, Denzil Gamble, Gordon Goldsborough (sec), Bob Jones, Shirley Love, Glen Suggett

Condolences were offered to Den Gamble on the sudden death of his son-in-law, Graham Crawford, caretaker of the Lakewood Country Club.

1.  Minutes of the last meeting (25 February) were approved by consensus.

2.  Delta discoveries:

Shirley Christianson reported that she had returned photos to a number of people who had loaned them but there are still more to return. Goldsborough will give these to Shirley for return as soon as possible.

a)    Totogan book ­– Further to the book mentioned at the last meeting, Gamble has found it. There is little that is relevant to Delta. He will loan it to Goldsborough.

b)   Younghusband – As a follow-up to the item mentioned at the last meeting, correspondence between Shirley and Stephanie Christianson and Charles Younghusband (discovered via a mutual acquaintance) has been productive. His uncle, a keen genealogist, will respond with information.

c)    Weber – Photos from the Weber family, received by Bills, have been put on a CD. Goldsborough will borrow a copy to add a listing to the database.

d)   MacDonald – Shirley Love brought a collection of photos that were provided to the Oakland History Group by Gordon MacDonald, son of one of the Delta storekeepers.

e)    Conservation files – A large collection of provincial government files, that were deposited at the Delta Waterfowl Station when Bob Jones retired, have been donated to the Delta Marsh Field Station for safekeeping. Bob has been organizing the contents of the boxes. Included among the finds is a 1923 map of the east side of the marsh, with the names and locations of shooting lodges marked. The location of a proposed cheese factory is also shown. Shirley Love mentioned that she has a photo of a cheese factory that was once located on Portage Creek.

f)     Oakland history book – Shirley Love reported that $50 deposits are now being accepted for copies of the forthcoming Oakland history book. The final price, when the 350-page book is published around December 2003, is anticipated to be in the vicinity of $85 per copy. Five hundred copies will be printed. Cheques should be made out to “Oakland History Committee” and sent to Darlene Rice as soon as possible. We will include a notice in our next newsletter.

3.  Publicity:

a)    Fish fry – Goldsborough confirmed that the 1 July date (11:00 am to 2:00 pm) for the next fish fry has been confirmed with the Delta Waterfowl Station. He has received no response to his email to the Delta Beach Association about the possibility of coordinating the fish fry to occur with the DBA Annual General Meeting around this time. Shirley Love noted that a group that is trying to renovate the Portage CPR station is hoping to have a fundraiser around this time but no date has yet been confirmed. (Love will contact its organizer, Vic Edwards, to see if he wishes to include a short notice about the event in our next newsletter.) Notices for the next fish fry will be made by Goldsborough and provided for distribution to the Fort La Reine newsletter (Bills), Langruth and Amaranth newspapers (Christianson), Westbourne (Gamble), and Manitoba Conservation / Oak Hammock Marsh (Suggett). Goldsborough will check to see if the Manitoba Historical Society would donate copies of its Manitoba Historical Atlas for the Silent Auction.

b)   Newsletter – Items for the next newsletter will include a short history of Totogan by Gamble, notice about pre-orders for the Oakland history book, possibly an item on the proposed Portage Railway Museum, and a story about Delta duck populations by Jones. The deadline for submitting it to the next Fort La Reine newsletter is 15 April.

4.  Other business:

a)    Financial statement – Shirley Love provided a cheque for $78.93 (fish fry tickets minus expenses for Silent Auction) so an up-to-date financial statement will be provided at the next meeting.

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 Tuesday, 22 April.

6.  Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 am.