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Shower for Margaret Stanley (Leverington) – June 17, 1944
Back Row – Mrs. Elsie (Ben) Lemon, Agnes Keirl, Mrs. Liz (Harry) Smith, Mrs. Vi (Harry) Read, Mrs. (Alex) Craik, Joan Barlow, Mrs. Rose Dare, Mrs. Jean 9Bill) Wszolek, Mrs. Grace (Earl) Clemence, Mrs. Charlie Bush, Mrs. Maude Stanley, Mrs. Edith (George) Polsom, Mrs. Una Barlow.
Front Row – Robert Escher, Mrs. Escher, Mary Bush holding sister Joan, Mrs. Ethel Broadis, Margaret Stanley, Mrs. Mary (Roy) Usherwood, Mrs. Mary (Alf) Taylor, Mrs. Blanche (John) Semple, Doreen Polsom, Ruth Innes.
:In 1920 when the district was formed there were many bachelors, some men were married and their wives came when the house was built. Just before, and in the 1920’s, when a couple got married they were given a shiveree. The neighbors would arrive unannounced to visit the newly weds. They brought lunch and gifts. There was prohibition back then but there were other refreshments.
On March 19, 1926 there was a double wedding held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. T. Homersham. Their daughter,
There was another double wedding in December 1949 for Isabel Innes and Ross Taylor and for David Innes and Dollie Masson.
A.G. Broadis was one of the bachelors in the district. He had met Ethel, a nurse, during WW1. In 1929 he traveled back to
On June 17, 1944 there was a shower for Margaret Stanley given by Mrs. Elsie Lemon and Mrs. Grace Clemence at the home of Mrs. Mary Taylor. It was lots of fun and we all had an autograph book. Each lady wrote in her favorite recipe or good advice to the bride. Mrs. E. Lemon wrote “How To Keep a Contented husband”. It was great advice because John stayed for almost 42 years. The bride was given a cream and green double boiler that is in use to this day. It was given b Mrs. G. Barlow and daughter Joan. Later in the sixties and seventies there were showers put on in the hall. Lillian Wirth organized many showers. A week before the couple’s wedding, two or three ladies would decide an appropriate day. Volunteers would phone and tell people about the shower and could they please bring some lunch. Coffee would be made at the hall. The hall was tastefully decorated.
At that time orchestras were very reasonable and so an orchestra was hired. At the dance they sang “For they are jolly good fellows”. People brought gifts or gave money. Sometimes people collected money and bought one gift. A friend of the couple usually told a story about the couple. The couple was then presented with gifts. The “Five Star” orchestra played for several showers. The Josephson Family played for several showers as well.
There was a stag given for the groom-to-be, usually at a bachelor’s house. Several were in the Albert Dare house and also in Walter Luttmerding’s shop. I hear the stags were great fun, the groom to be getting good advice, stories, movies, and they had lunch and refreshments.
Most showers in recent times are held at a friend or relative’s house. The groom still gets a stag party.
Here are showers that were held from 1966 on – taken off some of my old calendars:
We moved from Govan, Sask. in 1925 to Regina. We lived there until 1931 when dad decided to sell the house and move to a farm. His three sons were growing up and they needed something to do. He sold the house to a veteran from the first world war. In return, he got the west half section 1 - 20 in the R.M. of Edenwold. The Frankslake area.
Living in Regina was getting hard to make a living. He hauled coal and wood to customers for the Hayes and Milne coal company. This company decided their employees should buy a truck. Dad had two teams of horses which he changed off. He started work at 6 a.m. and worked until all the orders were filled at night. He had no family time.
On this farm there was acres of trees that had been slashed down. In the time of the R.B. Bennett government, when there was many men looking for employment and could not find it here. They were riding the rails looking for work. There was a bush camp set up in what is now called the Etaples area. These men, and there was many, came and stayed at this camp and worked at cutting down trees by axe. There, they had board, a place to sleep and some money. There were cooks, cleaneers, and a supervisor who was a bachelor, and a returned veteran man by the name of Bill Wood who took these men out to work with sleigh and horses. He transported them back and forth. I don't know how many winters this lasted. When the camp ended they left one building, I think it was the cook house, to be used for a hall for the people of the district. There were many good times held there. Dances, cards, bingo and sewing bees for theladies, Christmas concerts and weddings and anniversary celebrations.
Dad thought all these trees that were cut down on his land could be sawed with a water cooled motor and bizz saw into stove lengths and sold in Regina. Things did not turn our the way he had planned. The few acres that he seeded were hit by drought and poor grade for the grain and poor price. He sawed these trees up and loaded the old grain box with stove length logs and hauled them to Regina with horses. It was a distance of 23 miles there. He sold a load for $3.25. He knew a lot of people in Regina who used firewood. Sometimes he had to peddle from door to door. He always managed to sell it. He'd leave the farm at 1am and get to Regina about 8am, unload the wood and put his horses in the Purity Dairy barn and feed them, he always took the feed from home. There was always water in the barn for the horses to drink. Then he'd buy the groceries at the Schauns store on the corner of Broad Street and 10th avenue (now called Saskatchewan Drive). After the horses had about four hours rest, he'd hook them up and head for home - at about 1 p.m. and get home about supper time.
Next day was the same old thing - wood to be sawed, loaded and ready for the trip back to Regina. He did this for about 7 years. Then the sons and Dad bought an old car and made it into a truck to haul the wood. Life for him became more pleasant. He had 8 people to care for. It was not easy in the dirty thirties. No help from the goverment.
We figured spring had arrived when the ice on Taylor's (now Vincent's) slough was no longer good for skating and the "Fox and Goose" track was too muddy to use. Now was the time for spring-time games.
The slope on the east side of the school was usually the first place to dry, so we could grab an armful of wood from the school wood pile and draw a line in the ground to play "Wickets". The ground around the swing and see-saw would be reasonably dry by then and the little ones, sometimes the big ones, could play on them at recess. The north-east corner of the yard was a bit of a hill at that time, and was the first ball diamond to dry. It was a small diamond and was relegated to the small kids later, but was good enough for a game of "Scrub".
There were so many good games to play. I believe most of them are almost lost now. I did hear recently that some school board were hiring older (not old of course) people to teach some of these games to cut down on school yard bullying and hooliganism.
I remember "Anti I Over The Shanty" was played over the barn. "Red light, green light", "Mother, Mother, May I?", and a host of various "tags" were also played on the south side of the school. Hop scotch was played summer and winter. If the winter weather was too miserable we were sometimes allowed to make a grid on the basement floor to play "hop-scotch", but it was mostly an outdoor game. Skipping songs were too numerous to remember. Sometimes the boys would "run-in" to skip and some were really good at "Double-Dutch" but they usually just took part to try to annoy, or impress?, the girls.
When the school yard was all dry, various softball games were played. About the middle of April, I think, the teacher would get a list of the exercises we would need for the "Field Day". Marching and PT (Physical Training) practice would then take up a little school time most days and basketball would become a serious recess and noon-time activity to prepare for the ten (or more) school play offs.
There are so many memories of the Foxleigh Field day. This event took place on the first Friday in June from 1921 to 1967. It will depend upon which school you attended or taught and in which era for our memories.
My Grandfather, Edward Day (Ted) Wilson and Mr. Towill, a teacher at
The schools in those days did not have any physical education equipment. If we were lucky we got a NEW bat and ball every year! The committee, made up of teachers and trustees, had rigid rules as to the training for this event. Each school marched on to the field behind the school’s banner. This marching was judged as was the physical drill. There were certain exercises to be done and a closing display such as building a human pyramid. There were a cup and shield for these events and all points went toward the Points Per Capita cup at the end of the day.
Then every student had to participate in six events, such as racing, broad jump, high jump, etc. The children of all the schools were put in classes according to a formula made up of age, weight and height. The organizers wanted every child to have a fair chance of success. After the events were finished, the ribbons and medals were awarded. The teachers were each in charge of a group, recording all the winners. This was the largest picnic of the season so the parents were all there, watching every race! It must be told that the food in those picnic baskets was wonderful. Then there was the booth! Each child was given five or ten cents to spend at the booth. What a treat in the 1930’s.
After the races came the ball games. I can remember teaching 9 children at Bluffview from 1951-53. We fielded a team even though 5 of them were in Grades 1 and 2. Not only at field day, but in preparation we visited another school or two for practice. The final ball game went till nearly dark. Then there was the dance. The first dances were held at Foxleigh hall but later they were held at Etaples Hall.
The cup for highest points per capita was purchased for the Silver Jubilee in 1945 and in 1948 a cup was purchased in memory of E.D. Wilson for the baseball trophy. A lot of the cups and shields are stored and displayed at Valleyview Community Centre (
In 1980, organized by Ewald Wagner and a large committee, we held a reunion and invited all former students and teachers back for an old-fashioned Field Day. We were so gratified to have well over a thousand people return for this event and what a good time we had! A grand parade had everyone marching behind the old banners and ball teams were organized in every district. Some of the “old” boys and “gals” played with their children and revived old rivalries. It showed how much field day had meant to the children in those little rural schools.
After this reunion, Ewald and Doris Wagner published the histories and pictures of each school and some of the minutes, etc., of the Field Day Association in a little book. They had one of these books placed in the Archives of Saskatchewan.
The last reunion was held in 1990 at the same grounds. Grandpa would have been pleased that his foresight and vision was enjoyed by so many.
Front Row: Gordon Usherwood, Morley Read, Haig Nichol, Jim Nichol (always has, and probably always will wear his hat with a little bit of a tilt to it), Tony Zimmerman
Back Row: Ed Hubick, Murray Clemence, Hugh Usherwood (another one that always wore his hat like that), Don Clemence, Elmer Hubick, Alf Fuchs
When I was a young boy in the late 30’s & 40’s we had a lot of time to entertain ourselves. We didn’t have electricity, TV, or computers to play on but we had other kids to play with. The country was more densely populated, families were bigger and the schools were packed. These were very tough times. Our parents could only afford the bare necessities. Around the farm there were always chores boys and girls could do and were expected to do, no questions asked. At school, recesses and noon-hour were the fun times when we would go out and play and compete with our classmates. Rural schools were small; the weather had to be pretty bad before we didn’t go out winter or summer. This was much the same at home where we entertained ourselves a good part of the time outdoors.
In the summer, for a lot of us the main sport was playing ball, either playing catch, scrub, 500, or choosing sides and having a game. Here we had a goal, make the school team and compete with other schools for the right to play in the play-offs at the annual field day. The prize for the winning school was a big silver cup the school got to keep for a year. Although there was a lot of other sporting events held that day it was the finals in the ball competition that brought everybody together. Everyone stood along the sidelines to cheer, scream and yell for their favorite team. There was a lot of rivalry between schools not only with the kids but the parents also. The grand finale of the day.
Back in those days the rural areas were divided into school districts with some schools as close as five miles apart. People were always referred to by what school district they lived in. We lived in the Etaples school district until my fifth grade and then moved to the Ravenswood school district where we live now. All the schools played fastball and that’s what we continued with in senior ball. Etaples had a ball club and when I joined them in 1949 they all lived and farmed in that district. A lot of young people were moving off the farms to jobs in the city or other parts of the country leaving few in some districts. Not many who farmed had an unrelated farm job. It was often after seeding before the ball club would start practicing for the upcoming sports days. Most small towns around would have their annual sports day, with women and men’s fastball (softball) and men’s baseball (hardball) tournaments. They would draw a lot of people at these sports days and would charge a fee at the gate to get in to the grounds, competitors included. Some of the towns we played in were Craven, Lumsden, Earl Grey, Southey, Cupar,
The draw for the ball games in all towns was the same, straight knockout, first loss and you were out. When you lost, everybody usually stayed for the rest of the day watching the ball games or other activities. We didn’t have a lot of success and the main reason was pitching. We didn’t have anyone with a good arm to compete in this type of competition. There were some excellent teams around from small towns and from
We started having a lot more success at winning at sports days now that we had a good pitcher. I recall one particular sports day at Lumsden; we won the tournament in a pitchers duel and a two to one win over Lumsden’s team. They also had one of the top pitchers around in the name of Walter Matlock. The prize money at these events was not a lot, something like $25.00 to $35.00 for first prize. In 1951 Cupar decided to put on a ball tournament with first prize at $250.00, big money for a small town at that time. We needed a couple more ball players if we were going to enter. Morley Read had played with us before but left to play baseball with Edenwold, came to play for us that day and Ed Cooper who was playing for Craven also joined us. We were excited to enter our team and that day we won our first game, then the second and third, we were on a roll, and into the final for the grand prize of $250.00. The final game was against a good league team from
(RF), Earnie and Stan Polsom as subs. That was our biggest win with the win with the
Etaples Ball Club. The next year we went back to the same tournament and were knocked out in the first game, kind of a shock.
It was getting harder every year to find enough players to keep our ball team going. Some other players who played for us a short while were Joey and Tony Zimmerman and Alf Fuchs from Braemar district that bordered south of Etaples, Ed Cooper from Kennel district that bordered west of Valley Brook, and Elmer Hubick and Murray Clemence from Ravenswood.
I believe it was in 1955 Hugh and Gordon Usherwood, Ed Hubick and I joined Lumsden’s ball team. Morley and Stewart Read from Etaples district also joined us after previously playing baseball for Edenwold. By this time more towns were staging ball tournaments with bigger prize money and holding them on Sundays. We had a good team and for a couple of years won quite a few of them.
Next came a move into B league ball in
Next year we moved up to A league ball in
I used to haul butchered hogs and veil calves to the
In the R.H. Williams Department Store you could buy real diamond rings, furniture and food. They also had a big long candy counter and you could go along and “test” the wares. But then as you wouldn’t have any money, you’d say “I don’t like any of these today”!.
I remember one time driving a team of horses in for a delivery for Cliff Thompson. I was only about 13 years old, so it would have been about 1937 or 1938, and they were pretty scared of the street cars. I never had an accident though. The law at the time was you could drive right on the sidewalk if there was no snow on the street, so that’s what I would do, because the streets would have been cleared for the street car. The livery stable was located on
Cliff Thompson had given me fifty cents. Twenty-five cents was for the livery stable and I took the feed for the horses. The other twenty-five cents was for the me. So, I went and had dinner at the little café north of
In the cafes you were known in, you could go in and if you had no money, they’d let you sit at the table. On the table there was always a big long narrow wooden box of soda crackers and you could have that with ketchup and water for your meal. They never discouraged this because they knew when you had money you’d be back to order a meal from them. You could have anything that was on the table to eat, but they would give you nothing from the kitchen, which included coffee, without having money.
Market Square was located between 10th and 11th Avenues and
There was a weigh scale there and you’d take your hay and wood and wait for someone to come along and buy it. The Indians would camp here in their tents and you could buy and sell just about anything there. Market Square was busy six days a week. Then
owned a garage and you could leave you car there for 5 or 10 cents a day.
North of the train roundhouse, at Pasqua and McKinley, was called
The size of