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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One

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P.O. Berg made his home with us as well, as he now was a widower. He was the only grandparent I knew and one who couldn't have been better. To Mr. and Mrs. Ole Berg two sons were born, Roy and Orville. In 1939, our dad, Ole Berg, died leaving my mother once again to face the responsibilities of having to raise not one, but three, small children alone. They held a farm auction sale in the late spring. When it was over, our mother had one cow and a flock of hens. The farm was rented out to Algot Hall till the time came that the boys were big enough to manage on their own.

Mother kept the chicken flock; gradually, the one cow herd increased. She bought a horse named Queen from Paul Gronback, did janitor work and grew a garden so we, her three children, never felt deprived of anything. We were also fortunate to have had good neighbours. Algot Hall brought the groceries for us the first few winters when we had no horse. In the summer, mother got her own with her bicycle. Our education was gained at Tales School and Erickson High School.

I left home in 1947 to go to Amaranth as a permit teacher. I met and married Steve Kjartanson. Here we have done mixed farming and commercial fishing in the winter.

We have two children, a son Robert (Bob) and a daughter Judy.

Robert has married Betty Ann Tkachyk of Langruth.

They have one daughter Susan Lee. Bob farms with his dad. Judy now resides and works in Winnipeg.

By thrift and determination Berta saved towards a trip back to her loved Norway. The trunk which had come with her from Norway filled with linens, hardanger embroidery and, of course, some necessities, was brought out. We repaired and painted it and into it we packed one hundred pounds of Canadian sugar and one hundred pounds of the best Canadian flour, luxury items for her family after the lean years during and following the Second World War. As she travelled by boat (from New York) this kind of luggage was possible and she wanted the trunk with her for bringing things from home back with her. She came from a family of fourteen. On her third trip back to Norway only two remained to welcome her. This brother and sister had visited her once in Erickson. They were amazed at the vast flatness of the land west of Winnipeg and impressed that people of so many nations could live together in harmony. Let us continue in harmony.

Our mother had many contrasts in her life. She pedalled a bicycle to deliver cream and eggs to the creamery in Erickson. Later when she began teaching, she qualified for admittance to courses at the Banff School of Fine Arts. Here she improved her handicraft skills, especially weaving. What life demanded of her she faced with courage and when opportunities for more refined pursuits came her way, she responded equally well.

Hard work took its toll and, first in 1951, then in 1971, she had hip replacement surgery. When she came home to her family the first time after three months in hospital, she was not sure she would ever walk again, but she did. The second, with improved techniques, and therapy, was much more successful.

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Shortly after I left home Roy finished his high school education then decided to work away from home. He made Calgary, Alberta, his home, where he has been driving trucks for the C.P .R. trucking line since. Orville and our mother stayed on the farm for a few years after Roy left but mother now was finding the farm work getting heavier for her arthritic hips so she went upstairs to her trunk and found her yellowed old teacher's cer­ tificate which she had acquired in Oslo, Norway. With it she acquired a position at Norway House residential school as a home economics teacher. She held that position for five years then worked near Calgary and Vancouver. By now mother was getting older so she decided to come back to Erickson where she lived in her little retirement house which she and Orville had built earlier. Mother died in 1976 while she was a resident of the Minnedosa Personal Care Home. She was laid to rest in the Bethel Cemetery on the farm she dearly loved. She once said God must have cared for her when he placed her on the path to Erickson.

BERG, ORVILLE AND BEATRICE

Orville managed his mother's farm and worked out in the winters and spare time. In 1960, he married Beatrice M. Bone of Elphinstone, Manitoba. In 1961, Orville started into business with D6 Caterpillar clearing and breaking land and building roads in the municipality continuing cat business till 1970, the later years being in partnership with C.C. Warrington. In 1963, they bought their first land from Orville's mother, S.W. 19-18-18. They built their present home in 1965 and acquired a 1/2 section from Harry Brewer in later years, originally the Wetteland farm W 1/2 of 17-18-18. In 1976, after the death of Orville's mother, they bought sister Ellen's and brother Roy's share of the home farm (originally the Berg Homestead). They also rented land from Al Skyer and Ole Lee farm (N.W. 31). They mix farm, growing crops and cattle.

In 1978 Orville acquired a pilot's licence and in 1981 bought his own plane, a 150 Cessna. Beatrice and Orville have a large family. At present three sons, seven daughters, one son-in-law and two grandchildren. At the present time their son-in-law Peter Elias and Cindy live in Onanole. He works for Department of Highways as a surveyer. They still have seven children going to school; Fabian, age 23, is taking Commercial Arts, University of Manitoba, Dawn, age 18, taking upgrading in Regina, Saskatchewan, Lynn, age 14, - grade 8 Erickson Collegiate and Orest age 13. Nancy, age 10, Norman, age 9 and Lori, age 7 in Erickson Elementary School. Judy resides in Onanole and works at Southgate Motel and her. daughter Charlene is 3 years old. Valarie also works in Onanole at Southgate Motel and has a daughter Veronica, age 1 year old.

The best combination of parents consists of a father who is gentle beneath his firmness, and a mother who is firm beneath her gentleness.