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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
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About 1946 the Women's Institute was instrumental in forming a Garden Club with Mrs. Mabel Neilson as its leader. Mary Thoren and Harriet Lee served as leaders also, until the club disbanded in 1954 because of interest in a calf club. The boys and girls each planted a garden plot of designated vegetables and had an exhibit in the early autumn. They also took field trips to such spots as the Brandon Experimental Farm and the Skinner Nursery at Dropmore.
Under Clifford Lundman's and Les McInnes's leadership the Calf Club was organized in the fall of 1954. Cliff served as leader for over twenty years. Their main interest was the raising and showing of their animals and animal husbandry. Little emphasis was put on public speaking, demonstrations and displays in inter club competition. The club attended the district rallies and the Brandon Fair and often won at district 4-H bonspiels. Glen Johnson was leader for a year and then the club lapsed for a while. It was reorganized in 1982 with Clare and Colleen Larson as leaders and it is again quite active. Currently there are twenty-two enthusiastic members.
The first Clothing Club was organized about 1947, again through the Women's Institute. Mrs. Marion McKenzie was the first leader. Until the early 1960's the only project was the various units of sewing, a seven-year course altogether. The girls functioned first as the "Erickson Clothing Club", then the "Erickson Busy Needles". When the Foods Project was added it became the "Erickson Buttons and Bowls." In the last few years it has become the "Erickson 4-H Club" as there are now several projects offered and there are both boys and girls in the club.
If anyone has put Erickson on the map during the years, the 4-H girls did their share as they always made a good showing in club activities. Ribbons and trophies were brought home regularly for project work, public speaking, demonstrations, exhibits, judging, modelling and marching in the rally parades. In district bonspiels, however, they had a rough time against their male competitors. Several girls and leaders were awarded National and International trips as well as 4-H camp and Leadership weeks.
For many years the Neepawa-Minnedosa District and the Brandon Fair rallies were the highlight of the club activities. Up to nine hundred boys and girls was not unusual for this area and competition was keen in all the judging classes, the public speaking, demonstrations, and interviews for the Gold Watch Award. The big parade with the banners and matching uniforms of the clubs thrilled the spectators that gathered to see it. The girls' most attractive uniforms were those made from the 4-H print which Viola Miller got from Chicago, a white background with the green 4-H emblem scattered over it.
Mrs. Miller tells a story of being invited to march in the parade at Portage la Prairie and when getting ready for the parade discovered she had forgotten her saddle shoes. The streets were lined with people waiting for the parade so she walked along the street until she saw a lady wearing saddle shoes that looked like they might fit. She borrowed the stranger's shoes and took off to the parade.
For a project for Canada's birthday in 1967 the girls
Erickson Calf Club. Back Row, Left to Right: Cliff Lundman, Gerald Larson, David Lee, Ralph Gusdal, Elgin Hall, Garth Lee, Les McInnes. Front Row: Dolores Hall, Craig Lee, Delmar Larson, Clare Mclnnes, Evelyne Anderson and Harvey Anderson.
planted spruce trees on the centennial grounds behind the buildings. Tom Bertram gathered the small trees and Jean Bertram and Harriet Lee dug the holes in the hard ground. Only a few have survived but now make a nice showing.
Head Leaders since this club's organization have been Marion McKenzie, Ina Burkett, Viola Miller, Harriet Lee, Jean Bertram, Shirley Thomson, Betty McInnes, Alma Paulsen, Catherine Furevick. (Hopefully no names have been omitted).
Erickson has always had a very active 4-H group and always well supported by the community. There has also been a very high calibre of leaders, who willingly give of their time and talents. The Women's Institute have sponsored 4-H since its beginning and are still doing so at the present time.
ERICKSON UKRAINIAN DANCE CLUB
The Erickson Ukrainian Dance Club was organized in the fall of 1976, with Edna Duchominsky as organizer and President and Linda Dobroski as Secretary Treasurer. There were sixty pupils enrolled under the direction of Joanne Henderson and Dave Lukie. The dancers performed at Supper Club meetings at Erickson, and concerts in Erickson, Sandy Lake, Mountain Road, Riding Mountain National Park and Brandon. The Club participated in parades, winning first prize several times.
They invited a Ukrainian Dance Club from Winnipeg to perform at the Erickson Collegiate which was enjoyed by all who attended.
At present the Ukrainian Dance Club is not active but hope to be in the near future.
A quitter never wins - a winner never quits.