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the painting done by Mrs. Edythe Holden, supported Grey Goose Bus Lines for a franchise from Duck Bay, via Erickson to Winnipeg.
In 1974 the Chamber purchased the NW 33-17-18W for $16,000.00 and constructed an airstrip for approximately $14,000.00 and had the Chamber officially incorporated as the "Erickson and District Chamber of Commerce". In 1976 an informal reception for sixteen youth under the "Canada Youth Program" was sponsored and in 1977 supported an all Indian Hockey Tournament. In the late 70's a lot of work was done on improving beach and resort area at Gertrude Lake.
In 1980 the Chamber was involved in promoting a Personal Care Home for Erickson. In 1981 a grant of $4,000.00 was made to the new Erickson Skating Rink and a further grant of $1,000.00 in 1982.
Throughout the years the Chamber had as low as fifteen members and as high as forty eight with the present thirty members being average. Some of the other projects worked on were: sponsoring Home and School Meetings, Parent Teacher Meetings, Agricultural Meetings, worked closely with Council on store hours, street and sidewalk improvements, also on main roads in the surrounding area, supplying and decorating a Christmas Tree for some years, sponsoring a Red Cross Swimming Course for several years. The main projects at the present time were giving special attention to keep Gertrude Lake a viable operation, planning future development of NW 33-17-18W as well as attempting to have the Village of Erickson merchants and businessmen providing the local community and tourists service and satisfaction as good or better than elsewhere.
ERICKSON FLYING CLUB
by Marg Eden and Art Butler
ERICKSON MUNICIPAL AIRPORT NEILSON FIELD
A few people plus those of the Chamber of Commerce saw the advantage of a local airport. On April 4, 1973,
Erickson Flying Club.
the Erickson Flying Club was formed. The first executive was as follows: President L. Siwak, Vice-President C. Ziehlke, Secretary-Treasurer A. Butler. Charter Members 1973-74: Lawrence Siwak, Johnny Gustafson, Eddie Andreychuk, Art Butler, Ivan Humeniuk, Glen Shellborn, C. V. Carlson, A. LeClerc, Ed Oshust, Peter Soroka, Einar Lundman, Cecil Andreychuk, Brent Jacobson, Julian Warwaruk, William Johnson, Conrad Ziehlke, Basil Woloshen, Walter Wilmot, Dennis Skog, Vic Hartry, Henry Oshust, Rick Kayln, Jack Thomson, William Earley, Morley Lundman, John Ewashko, I. Norosky, Terry Geletchuk, Lorne Aikens, Doug Rekken, Ken Chow, Ernie Ullberg, Ron Slobodian, Dennis Coey, Cliff Warrington, Allan Soltys, Jack Sitko, James Shannacappo, Ernie Collins, Aime Gobin, Cliff Lundman, Dwight Ullberg, Leslie Mcinnes, Bob McDonald, Terry Sprott, Terry Gustafson.
A quarter section N.W. 33-17-18W bordering No. 10 Highway directly east of Erickson was purchased from Mrs. Ethel (Neilson) Sloane by the Chamber of Com merce. Since there was a provincial government grant available for local airport development, the Club ap proached the Town and Municipal Councils and established an Airport Commission with representation from the Councils and the Flying Club. Local supporters loaned the Chamber of Commerce money to buy this land.
The summer of 1974, a 2800 foot landing strip was built and on the remaining land a crop of rapeseed and alfalfa was planted. The funds from the annual crop were used to repay the debt.
In early September, the first twin engined plane, a Manitoba Government Airways Piper Aztec, flew in from Thompson delivering a group of Northern Affairs employees to a Clear Lake Conference. The Northern people were amazed and delighted by the crowd who came to welcome the first big plane landing on the strip.
In the fall 1974, the Scandinavia Community Club offered the Erickson Flying Club the Scandinavia school to be used as a Clubhouse. The offer was gratefully accepted. In the spring 1975, the Flying Club had a well marked airstrip, fuel facilities, access road, parking lot and a repaired and furnished Clubhouse, much volunteer time, effort and resources had gone into the airport.
The members had a real sense of pride, ac complishment, and were ready for the grand opening. Commencing with a dance on Saturday, June 14, at the Erickson and District Recreation Centre, following on Sunday with a Fly-In-Breakfast and a ribbon cutting by Mrs. Marinus "Mabel" Neilson, at which time Neilson Field, Erickson Municipal Airport was officially opened on June 15, 1975. Those participating included: CKX Brandon Master of Ceremonies - Ron Thompson, Erickson Flying Club President - Walter Wilmot, Chamber of Commerce President - Henry Oshust, Rural Municipality of Clanwilliam Reeve - Clifford Lundman, Village of Erickson Mayor - Joe Lenkewich, Rolling River Indian Reserve Chief - James Shannacappo, Minister of Education - Ben Hanaschuk. A beef Bar-be que brought to a close an outstanding day.
In 1976, the Flying Club purchased a Cherokee 140 G GEIO. With many students taking flying lessons at the