Delta Marsh History Initiative, Steering Committee Meeting

1:20 am, 26 May 2003
Delta Marsh Field Station

Present:     Barry Bills, Shirley Christianson, Heidi den Haan, Gordon Goldsborough (sec), Bob Jones, Cynthia Jordan, Shirley Love, Winnie Pauch, Glen Suggett

1.  Minutes of the last meeting (22 April) were approved by consensus.

2.  Delta discoveries:

a)    Thomas Kitson ­– Shirley Christianson provided an excerpt from the Manitoba Weekly Liberal, dated 11 August 1932, on ducks at Long Creek that was republished in a 1988 issue of Senior Scene.

b)   Bigelow – Goldsborough reported on his meeting with Dr. Bill Bigelow of Toronto, who was visiting his son in Manitoba a few weeks ago. Dr. Bigelow is the son of Dr. Wilfrid Bigelow of Brandon, who published the memoir Forceps, Fin and Feather, which contained information on early hunting at Delta.

c)    Delta fire – Goldsborough described how the recent marsh fire west of the Delta tennis courts had revealed a large amount of garbage that had been dumped along the old railway Y. It consisted of old automobile and bombardier chassis, metal and glass containers.

d)   Hutchinson – Goldsborough recently received an email from a granddaughter of Bill Hutchinson, suggesting him as a potential source of information. Pauch offered to talk to Bill. She and den Haan will also make arrangement to talk with Joyce Ward and Joan Hochbaum. It was noted in passing that Bev Caswell is currently visiting Delta from California. Christianson will get in touch with Neva Pearson.

e)    Bumsted Goldsborough provided an update on the work being done by Sian Bumsted while employed by us for the month of May. She continues to transcribe articles relating to Delta from Portage weekly newspapers, and is presently in the late 1980s.

3.  Publicity:

a)    Newsletter – The next issue will contain an article based on Gamble’s notes on Totogan. Christianson noted in passing that she has another article on Totogan which might be a useful source of information. With respect to the latest newsletter, it was suggested that the person writing articles for the newsletter might be given a byline. Jones will provide a short article on the Phragmites harvest (for roof thatch) for an upcoming newsletter.

b)   Fish fry – The date (1 July) and venue (Delta Interpretive Center) have been confirmed. Goldsborough will check with Dennis Blanchard to see if he could use any assistance prior to the fish fry. Shirley and Stephanie Christianson, assisted by Jordan, will contact McCains regarding donation of desserts. Tickets will be sold at the door only, not pre-sold. Goldsborough will print posters and provide them to Christianson and Bills. The Field Station will provide its tent. Auction donations will be organized by den Haan and Christianson, with Love doing envelopes and tickets. Jones will arrange for signs, possibly assisted by Don Poschenrieder. Bills will arrange for advertisements in the local media.

4.  Other business:

a)    Oakland history project – Goldsborough was contacted by Darlene Rice of the Oakland history group, asking to arrange a meeting. He will report on it at our next meeting.

b)   MHS field trip – Goldsborough reported that the fall field trip Manitoba Historical Society will have the theme of “environmental history” and will pass through the Delta area. Suggestions for possible stops on the tour were made: Oak Hammock Marsh, St. Ambrois and Marsh Trail, St. Marks Entrenchments (better than the Flee Island Entrenchments, according to Jones), Tin Town, Delta Channel, Beach and Marsh Lookout, Delta Marsh Field Station, First Farm Monument, Murder Oak, Sports Afield Lodge, Stonewall Quarries, Fort La Reine, the Boer War Cemetery (north of Portage la Prairie) and Wishart’s Centennial Farm.

c)    Portage CPR station – Bills reported on an initiative to restore the station, and a train trip whose proceeds will benefit the project. Tickets are $50 each ($35 will be tax receipted) and include a Canada Day bus ride to Winnipeg to meet the train at 2:30 pm (which will enable our fish fry attendees to participate), arriving in Portage circa 6:00 pm. Tickets, of which there are 110 in total, must be purchased by 23 June.

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, 23 June.

6.  Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 2:35 pm.