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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
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POLLON, GORDON AND KATHERINE
by Katherine Pollon
Gordon married Katherine MacPherson in 1955. They moved to Stonewall where Gordon was employed and there a son Brion was born in 1956. They moved back to Clanwilliam where three more children were born in the Minnedosa hospital; Raymond Garfield (Gary), 1957; David, 1960; and Sandra, 1962. Gary was killed in a car accident in 1974. The rest of the family still reside in the area.
Gordon and two of the boys, Brian and David, are employed by C.P. rail out of Minnedosa.
The Gordon Pollon Family. Left to Right: David, Brian, Katherine and Sandra, Gordon - Seated, Gary - Insert.
PROSAK, ANDREW AND ANNIE
by Anne Chisholm
The Prosak family name in the Rural Municipality of Clanwilliam goes back to 1906, when Annie Prosak, widow of Andrew, took possession of a homestead three miles south of Erickson.
Andrew and Annie Prosak, and nine year old Metro, Andrew's son from a previous marriage, came to Manitoba from the Ukraine in 1899. With them came Annie's parents, Harry and Katherine Oleniuk, brother Roman, his wife Magda and daughter Annie who was six weeks old, and six year old brother Nick.
The three weeks it took to cross the Atlantic Ocean was a terrible ordeal for some members of the party. They were very ill from the ship's heaving in the stormy waters. They arrived in Halifax in April, and the rest of the )ourney across to the Prairies was by train as far as they could go at that time, which was Shoal Lake, Manitoba. From Shoal Lake they were taken by oxen or horses to homesteads at Olha, near Oakburn. They were faced with 160 acres of land, covered with spruce and poplar trees
and dotted with sloughs. They lived in tents until their sod huts and later log houses were built. Many times these new settlers wished that they had never left their homeland where the climate was much milder and their life was easier.
Andrew and Annie had four children, John, Wasyl (Bill), Peter and Mary (Mae). Bill, who spent most of his life in the R.M. of Clan william, was born in 1901. He was only five years old when his father died. This is when his grandparents, Mother and family left Olha and moved to Erickson to be near the Roman Oleniuk family, who in 1903, were able to get a homestead two miles south of the village of Erickson. (Where Chamber's farmed later). Bill's mother got the quarter section east of Roman's. She was there a short time when she remarried and went back to the Olha area.
Bill was six years old when he left his grandparents' home at Olha to work for a neighbour, Alex Tocharuk. He did farm chores and looked after the baby. His Mother died when he was eleven years old.
When Bill was thirteen years old, he moved to his Uncle Roman's and helped with the farm work. At fourteen years he worked for Bill McMillan. (where Holmlund's lived later). From the age of fifteen to eighteen, he worked for George Hempstock, where Sanderson's lived in later years. Bill recalls an incident during this time. He and his brother Peter, who also worked in the Erickson area, walked from the Hemp stock's into Erickson where they met the two Neilson brothers and two Burgwall brothers. They all decided to go to Clear Lake in the Neilson's car. There was not much of a highway at that time. For twelve miles they drove, pushed, and put spruce boughs and branches into mud holes until finally they arrived at Clear Lake, six hours later. He now wonders why they were so deter mined to get there, because all they did was buy an ice cream cone each and then headed back home on the same muddy road. Then it was on foot back to the farm, arriving at three in the morning.
The flu epidemic of 1918, found every member of many households suffering from it. Bill escaped the dreaded flu, and was able to do farm chores for three families, the Hempstocks, and Jim and Bill McMillans, who were all ill.
For the next few years, Bill worked at whatever work was available. He worked for several early settlers around Erickson, the Lofgrens, Arvid Ullberg, and Bill Soltys. He worked on the railroad, and as a barber for his Uncle Nick in Erickson. While he was working for the Lofgrens, he borrowed their horses to go to Erickson where he bought some lumber. He built a small building which became the Prosak Brothers Store at Crocus about eight miles from Erickson. He took the train to Winnipeg where he stayed with his sister Mae, and went to the wholesalers to order groceries for the store. He then was given their catalogue from which he was able to order groceries from Crocus. He later sold the store and contents to his brother John.
In 1926, Bill left the Erickson district for five years, during which time he worked for Miss Nielson and her brother Arthur at Wilcox, Saskatchewan. After working for them for three years, he rented a farm from them. He