Delta Marsh History Initiative, Steering Committee Meeting

9:00 am, 22 November 2004
Home of Shirley Christianson, Portage la Prairie

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

1.  Minutes of the last meeting (18 October) were approved by consensus.

2.  Old Business

a)    Newman – Christianson contacted the Newmans but they had no information to provide; Jordan added that all the information is in the hands of eastern cousins or was destroyed in a basement flood.

b)   Proden photos – Den Hann has called but, so far, has had no answer.

c)    Newsletter – If the Flee Island story by Suggett is too long, perhaps it could be printed in two installments in successive newsletters.

d)   Cottager mailing – Den Haan will send a DMHI newsletter to all Delta cottagers.

e)    Raffle – A total of 247 tickets were sold as of last Saturday. Den Haan printed 125 more tickets. Sales will be made at the table in the Co-op on Tuesday the 23rd, staffed by Christianson, Mackey, and Andy Rutherford.

f)    Jones slides – A set of 35 mm color slides loaned by a son of Bob Jones was given to Bob for return.

3.  New Business

a)    Weyburn trip – Goldsborough reported that the total cost of the research trip by himself and Suggett to Weyburn, Saskatchewan was $326.78.

b)   Sheridan Atkinson – Goldsborough and Jones interviewed him at the Herman Prior Centre last Saturday. A tape recording of the interview was borrowed by Suggett. He provided a copy of an article by Jimmy Robinson, and photos on Tin Town from the mid-1950s, which were scanned. A  CD of the scanned photos was provided to Bills for the archives, and a second copy was given to Suggett.

c)    Mellen comment – A comment left on our web site by Owna Mellen suggested that she may have some information. Christianson reported that she had previously spoken with Ms. Mellen, who had no information to provide; she is simply interested in the project.

d)   McKenzie – Goldsborough reported his email correspondence with Dr. Rod McKenzie of Medicine Hat, who is a descendant of the Cruzille family, an early fishing family at Delta. Dr. McKenzie may have information that he may be willing to provide.

e)    Green article – It was reported that Les Green had written an article on the train line to Delta in a recent issue of the “Save the CPR Station” newsletter.

f)    Tin Town survey – Suggett has a list of property owners at Tin Town and elsewhere, and suggested sending out a survey to solicit information. It should include a stamped envelope to encourage responses. The mailing list is about two years old.

g)   Johnson – Christianson called Bob Johnson, who has photos from the 1970s onwards and is keen to show them. Sheridan Atkinson had also indicated that he was a potential source of information. Contact information for him was given to Suggett.

h)   Cuthbert anchor – Some years ago, Bill Cuthbert found a huge anchor in Portage Creek that was speculated to have come from an old gypsum barge that may have been stored for the winter there. Jones thought that barges were stored there while Delta was being used as a shipping point. We should talk with Norman Cuthbert (Cal’s father) about it. Suggett will make an initial inquiry. Norma Verway (Norman’s daughter) might also be a good informant.

i)     Reminiscence meetings – It was suggested to invite some of the long-time area farmers to the Field Station for an afternoon of reminiscing. Potential participants that were proposed included: Bill Simpson, Gerry Sanderson, Brian Dahling, Murray Simpson, Monty Simpson, Norman Cuthbert, and Dan Cuthbert. A women’s meeting will be arranged for either a Saturday or Sunday by Pauch and den Haan, including Joyce Ward, Joan Hochbaum, Sheila Ward Cook, Doreen Dow, and June Tomalin. Some husband/wife pairs might also be met with separately, including Joyce and Peter Ward, and June and George Tomalin.

j)     1925 air photos – Some air photos taken over the east marsh in 1925 have been obtained by Suggett from the federal air photo library in Ottawa. Due to the high cost, he got only a few frames of the area around the railway turntable at Delta.

k)   Christmas party – The party will be held on Saturday, 18 December. The raffle draw will occur then too.

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, 17 January 2005.

5.  Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 10:25 AM.