Delta Marsh History Initiative, Steering Committee Meeting

9:00 am, 30 October 2006
Home of Shirley Christianson, Portage la Prairie

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

1.  Minutes of the last meeting (18 September 2006) were approved with the following changes: in addition to those indicated, the meeting was attended by Bills, Blanchard, den Haan, Jones, Jordan, and Pauch; “Thursdays” in item 2B should not be plural.

2.  Business

a)   Phragmites harvest – Goldsborough gave an update. The harvest did not occur when originally intended, but was done last Friday. The roof thatching of a small building at the English Garden in Assiniboine Park has begun under the supervision of Jef Achenbach of Nova Scotia.

b)  Satellite imagery – Goldsborough gave an update. The imagery that he received was very dark so the company which provided it agreed to do some additional processing to improve its contrast. Goldsborough has also arranged to purchase additional imagery with improved resolution.

c)   Ward photos – The relevant photos in the two albums have been scanned, and will be returned to Mr. Ward later this week.

d)  Interviews – Neva Pearson died awhile ago, and Sterling Lyon’s wife died last Thursday, reminding us that we must arrange interviews as soon as possible, or risk losing information. More potential interviews were listed: Bill Linden, Clarice Brown (Bill’s sister), Greg Bryson (Midtown Market, stranded on the lake years ago). Jordan and Jones will approach Linden and Brown for an interview; Pauch will approach Bryson. Christianson will contact Ed Gilroy, a long-time Delta cottager, as well as Pearleen Gilroy, Ed’s aunt. Bill Andrich in Lions Manor is reported to be in poor health; Christianson and Jordan suggested an interview on the Delta dance hall. Suggett interviewed Harry Lavallee at St. Ambroise Lodge, who was able to identify individuals in several photos from the Sports Afield Lodge. Lavallee worked at the Lyttle Farm in the 1940s, having walked there from St. Ambroise. He met Jimmy Robinson in Minneapolis, recalling that Jimmy never paid for anything. Suggett has also arranged for transcription of memoirs recorded by Bjorn Christianson, Arden’s father, as well as those of Pete Ward. He may be able to arrange for transcription of other videotaped interviews.

e)   Younghusband – Suggett’s research indicates that Leslie Younghusband was married at least six times. His last (?) wife had him declared mentally incapable in February 1966 so she could sell his lodge at Delta to Barney Lamb, for the sum of US$21,000 then, six months later, Lamb sold it to the Manitoba government for $22,000. Younghusband had bought the land in 1945. Contrary to popular belief, Younghusband was not the inventor of “kiss-proof lipstick” but did hold patents on the “Gay Bandit” cosmetics brand in his connection with Revlon. He was a breeder of racehorses, having a stable near Chicago.

f)   Other research – Suggett found a Flee Island Lodge located at Tin Town in the 1960s, owned by Winnipeg travel agent Arthur Deschaumbault. Suggett had also given a presentation to the Portage Natural History Group, showing them some historical photographs. Goldsborough circulated copies of his report on early Lake Manitoba shipping, based on research he had done on behalf of the Lake Manitoba Regulation Review Committee, but which was not used in the final report; it might be rewritten for use in our book. Copies of the article were given to Jordan, Pauch, and Bills, and Goldsborough will send copies by email to Christianson, Suggett, and Jones.

g)  Brown photos – Goldsborough scanned a half dozen photographs loaned to him by Adam Brown of Brandon, and provided copies on CD to Bills and Suggett. He returned the originals to Mr. Brown via his daughter.

h)  Christmas dinner – This year’s dinner was arranged tentatively for Friday, 15 December (first choice) or Saturday, 16 December (second choice), pending confirmation of availability by the field station staff.

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, 27 November 2006.

4.  Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 AM.