Delta Marsh History Initiative, Steering Committee Meeting

9:00 am, 25 May 2004
Home of Shirley Christianson, Portage la Prairie

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

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

2.  Old Business

a)    Photo returnsThe Dangerfield photos were returned to the family by Suggett. The Ritchie photos were returned by Christianson.

b)   Fish fry – Bills reported that a raffle permit costs 1% of the prize value. The prizes and their estimated values are: two copies of “Historical Atlas of Manitoba” ($50), a copy of “Birds of Manitoba” ($65), a quilt ($500), a night’s accommodation at CanadInn ($90), and a Wiens photo ($35) for a total of $740. Bills will obtain a permit and provide the permit number to Goldsborough, who will arrange to print 1000 tickets. (Books will be made up with multiples of 3 tickets.)

Dennis Blanchard is confirmed and posters have been printed. Setup will start at 9:00 AM. Bills will arrange publicity with CFRY and the Daily Graphic. Christianson has obtained flags from the constituency office of Brian Pallister. Members will donate either a door prize or two tubs of ice cream.

c)    Forsythe interview – She has had an accident recently so Jones and Suggett are waiting until she is feeling better to do an interview.

d)   Ward interview – Den Haan will check with Pete Ward to arrange an interview, and she will compile a list of other interviews to be done.

e)    Bell book – Jones found his book on the history of General Mills and the Bell family but it contains very little – one or two sentences – on Delta.

3.  New Business

a)   Pickering-Thomson book – Christianson found mention of the 1900 Delta drowning of a young man named Frank Burns on page 98 of a privately-published memoir entitled “The Diary of Mary Louise Pickering-Thomson” (edited by Norman Williamson). The book was borrowed by Mackey. Jordan recalled a 1944 drowning at Delta of a fellow named Walter Piper, and Mackey recalled drownings of Denise Guichon (sic?) and Bert Owens.

b)   Video and audio tapes – Goldsborough turned over the collection of audio and video tapes made during our March open houses to Bills for safekeeping.

c)    Oakland book – Love reported that the Oakland book is in the final cleanup and proofing stage now. It has not yet been delivered to the printer.

d)   MGS conference – Mackey reported that the Manitoba Genealogical Society will hold its annual conference at the CanadInn in Portage on 15-17 October 2004. About 150 people are expected to attend. We will try to publicize the event through our newsletter and other means.

e)    Newsletter – Some items for possible inclusion in our next newsletter: 1) the MGS conference, 2) a brief history of Totogan, 3) a caricature of a noteworthy Delta personality, 4) a brief biography of Jimmy Robinson, 5) information on our Canada Day Fish Fry, 6) one or more newspaper transcriptions. About 900 will be printed for the 12 June deadline of the Fort la Reine Museum newsletter.

Christianson will write an article on womens’ bathing clothes for a future newsletter. It might be possible to arrange a display of old bathing costumes for the Canada Day Fish Fry.

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, 28 June 2004.

5.  Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 AM.

Following the meeting, discussion ensued about the Meighen memorial monument in Island Park, and Goldsborough contention that a more public, dramatic commemorative of Manitoba’s only Prime Minister is warranted. The former Meighen home is located at 131 Dufferin Avenue East. It was suggested that a letter should be sent to Ian McKenzie (mayor of Portage la Prairie), with a copy to councilor Perry Robinson, on the matter.