Delta Marsh History Initiative, Steering Committee Meeting

9:00 am, 16 February 2004
Home of Shirley Christianson, Portage la Prairie

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

1.  Minutes of the last meeting (19 January) were approved by consensus.

2.  Business arising from the minutes

a)    Fish Fry – The charge for use of the Herman Prior Centre will be $150. Setup will start at 9:00 AM. Jobs were confirmed as follows:
pickup key for Centre          -   Bills
posters                                -   den Haan, Christianson
Gable poster                       -   Suggett
beverage                             -   Bills
coffee, tea                           -   Suggett
signs                                    -   Jones
tickets                                 -   Barry & Valerie Bills
slide show                           -   Goldsborough
door prizes                          -   Christianson

b)   Open Houses – There will be a $45 charge to use the rink at Oakland; otherwise, arrangements have been made at all other places for gratis use of facilities. Jobs were confirmed as follows:
camera and backup             -   Goldsborough
video & audio tapes            -   Goldsborough
snacks                                 -   den Haan
key (Prior Centre)               -   Christianson
audio recorder                     -   Christianson
scanner                               -   Goldsborough, den Haan
coffee, tea                           -   Suggett
bottled water                       -   den Haan
slide show (if needed)          -   Goldsborough
coffee urn                            -   den Haan
posters                                -   everyone
radio ads                             -   Bills

c)    Newsletter – Goldsborough made 800 copies of the latest newsletter. The next newsletter will have an article about the Totogan ghost town.

3.  Discoveries

a)   Flee Island Entrenchments Suggett noted there are two versions of the story about how these arose. One says the entrenchments were made during a 1864 engagement; the other says a series of fortifications were made between 1864 and 1876. Barry Verbiwski (Manitoba Conservation) is meeting with a First Nation near Portage la Prairie and will see if he can obtain any further information. Christianson added that Dolly Pasche in Portage may have information too.

b)   Younghusband – There has been no further correspondence from the fellow originally contacted by Christianson. Goldsborough will try to contact him again.

c)    York shotguns – Suggett noted that three guides who apparently worked during the 1901 Duke of York visit were presented with shotguns. Charlie Hatch of Langruth may possess one of the shotguns. Suggett will contact him.

d)   Atkinson – Goldsborough was told during a recent visit to Poplar Point that descendants of the John Atkinson who guided the Duke of York in 1901 still reside around St. Marks. Those at the meeting thought others were around St. Laurent. Christianson or Jones will contact them to see if they have any information.

e)    SparlingGoldsborough has received no reply from Chris Sparling of Calgary about materials from Judge Sparling.

f)     “Murder Oak” redux – The Winnipeg Sun of 8 February 2004 had a story entitled “The Fibbing Farmhand” which was the same as told in one of our earlier newsletters.

g)   Reed harvest  – Jones reported that Les Greene of Portage had had a letter from a fellow in The Netherlands who came to Canada at age 17 to set up the machines used in the commercial reed harvest (which subsequently burned with the factory). The man returned home after the work was complete. It was noted that there are still buildings made from reeds, possibly including a home on Lorne Avenue and a dance hall in the Qu’Appelle Valley.

h)   Photographs – Goldsborough was reminded that people who have loaned photographs have been asking to have them returned. He will work on copying them as soon as possible.

4.  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, 15 March 2004.

5.  Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 AM.