Delta Marsh History Initiative, Steering Committee Meeting

9:00 am, 23 January 2006
Home of Shirley Christianson, Portage la Prairie

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

1.  Minutes of the last meeting (21 November 2005) were approved by consensus.

2.  Business

a)   Ward tapes – Suggett gave five reel-to-reel audio tapes which he had been loaned by Pete Ward to Goldsborough. The tapes were made in the 1960s by Ward and Bill Hutchinson of their memories of Delta history. Goldsborough will arrange to have the tape contents transferred onto DVD at the University of Manitoba.

b)  Murder Oak trial documents – Suggett had received a box of photocopies from the trial on the “Murder Oak” case, which had been found by his friend in Vancouver, to whom Goldsborough sent a reimbursement cheque for the cost of copies. The documents include a full court transcript, justice departmental correspondence, and other useful information.

c)   Progress report – Suggett did an interview with Ken Lyon and his son-in-low Bob Johnson, along with Ross Gage and others at Tin Town. It was a very entertaining “slice of life” of events there. He also reported that the Atkinson Lodge had recently been razed by its owners and the remains were buried in a hole in the ground at the site. A time capsule reported by Atkinson descendants to have existed in the fireplace was not recovered. Mr. Johnson had also emailed Suggett some photos of Tin Town in the 1940s that confirm it is now better kept than ever in the past. The site was mostly overgrown in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Suggett has been able to map present ownership of all lodges at Tin Town. He has also made corrections to the Atkinson hunting story with input from Ken Lyon and is continuing to read the Atkinson log, with about four years to go. He has also been going through the Jimmy Robinson books and has found virtually nothing about Clara and her role in running Sports Afield Lodge. Goldsborough reported that he will be on leave from the University from July 2006 to June 2007, and one of his objectives during this period will be to assist Suggett in writing the book. It is reasonable to believe that the book can be mostly completed by early 2007. It was proposed to include a DVD of extra photos with the book, beyond those printed in it.

d)  Hutchinson interview – Goldsborough did an interview with Keith Hutchinson at his Portage home, and provided the 2 video tapes to Suggett.

e)   Other interviews – Other potential interviewees identified were: Garry Sanderson (nephew of Jimmy Turner, now deceased) and his mother Mae Turner Sanderson, Monty Simpson, Brian Dahling, Barry Dawson, Jerry Sanderson (cousin to Garry, and Barry Christianson’s wife’s brother). It was proposed to invite Simpson, Dahling, Jerry Sanderson and Norm Cuthbert to a meeting at the Delta Marsh Field Station on Friday, 10 February. Suggett will contact them to arrange it.

f)   Mobberley book – Goldsborough returned this lodge book to Suggett plus two CD copies that he had made.

g)  Quilt draw tickets – Sales will begin in April. Suggett will bring books, etc. as additional prizes. Merle Vust will be given two free tickets to the Canada Day fish fry in thanks for his donation.

3.  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, 20 February 2006.

4.  Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 AM.