Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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The Mentmore Figure Skating Club was started in the winter of 1960 with Mrs. Susan Drayson as instructor. The club operated from the Mentmore Skating Rink until 1964. Early members were: Barbara North, Sheila Pierson, Glenda Kinney, Margaret Kinney, Nancy Sirett, Faye Redlin, Joyce Hart, Ellen Drayson, Sharon McKee, Judy Hart, Lois Hart, Janice Reilly,Joan Sirett, Marilyn Hume, Marcie Sumner, Lorna Sirett, Laurie Burgess, Julie Ann Ishenberg, Elaine Burgess, Ruth Burgess, Rhonda Drayson, Ray Drayson, Terry Drayson, Beth Jones, Marvin Beaumont, and AllenBeaumont.

When this club ceased operating, there were a few years that there wasn''t any figure skating.

The Oberon Figure Skating Club which had its beginning at Mentmore in 1960 under Susan Drayson''s guidance, moved its activities to Oberon for the 1969-70season under the direction of Phyllis Harburn and Winnie North.

The boys and girls (mainly the fairer sex) aged three years and up from the neighboring districts of Brookdale, Mentmore, Summerville, and Harte participated in the figure skating - sometimes as many as 32 members in a season. Sometimes outside instructors were hired but usually the district girls were capable of doing the job.

During those years the instructors were: Faye Brandon, Bonnie Robertson, Tina Appel, and Brenda Stephenson, all of Carberry, Shelley Shamanski of Wellwood, Gerry and Laura Davison, Donna Mack. Shaunda Drader.

The girls did a tremendous job in their ice revues - the costumes were wonderful and so realistic. Just imagine the time and effort put into the performances for such a short time and how they enjoyed the various races and contests after the show! Some of the themes of the Ice Revues were: Disneyland, Around the World, Reflections, Carousel Craze, T.V. Craze, Centennial Theme, Come To The Circus, Treasure Tunes of the Times, Calendar Holidays on Ice, and Storyland Era.

The 1980-81 season was started with approximately 37 members. The instructor was Kathy Jakubowski, a home town girl who received her instruction in this very club. An ice review was scheduled but due to an early thaw in March was cancelled.

The 1981-82 season started with 29 members putting on their skates and giving it their best try.

Included were members from the Wellwood, Mentmore, Brookdale, Harte and Oberon areas.

The coach was once again Kathy Jakubowski.

Gwen Waterhouse of Carberry was also hired but due to the extra expense of travel the club was forced to cut down to one coach. Kathy with the aid of the senior girls, Niki Thorn and Patsy Drader, continued for the season. A very successful ice review in March was held. The theme was "Sesame Street and Muppets". A raffle and a bake sale were held to supplement the club''s finances.

In 1982-83, another former Oberon Club member, Corrine Oliver was the coach. The club consisted of 26 skaters. Corrine brought with her the skills to teach power skating. The boys found this very useful when it came to playing hockey. In the spirit of Centennial the ice review was very decorative and fun. The mothers joined in with the beginners and did the Bird Dance. It was fun to see who could skate the best, mothers or the kids! Games, races and a draw-to-the-button contest were the additional entertainment.

The 1983-84season saw many changes for the club. With the new NFSA and CanSkate program came the need for a larger ice surface, so the club moved to the Brookdale rink. The coach was Corrine Oliver, with the assistance of Niki Thorn.

Due to Corrine finishing school and moving to the city, Gerri Lynn Nelson from Neepawa was brought in to finish teaching the year.

Therefore, instead of an ice review, a windup games day was held in March, and it was so mild the kids were forced to play outside in the mud. This year the club also established the rule of always holding a fund raising event so the fees could be kept at a minimum. Every year a raffle of some sort has been held.

In the 1984-85 season, the coach was Gerri Lynn Nelson. Four of the senior girls were sent to Carberry to a CanSkate Coaches Clinic for additional training. Avery successful ice review was performed under the theme "Musical Fantasy" with all of the 29 members skating. There were Punk Rockers, Gypsy Dancers, and the boys made a great showing in their attire. We had a guest skater, Kami Rae Nelson, the 1985 winner of the Dodie Wardle Free Skate Award.

The 1985-86 season is nearly at a close. Once again our coach is Gerri Lynn Nelson from Neepawa.

We have a large club of 23 with 14 of these skaters as beginners, therefore the club should have a long lifeas these young skaters have at least eight years or more ahead of them to acquire all their badges.

Due to the large number of little people just learning to stand on their skates, we have decided on a Parents'' Day rather than an ice review to show off our club''s accomplishments.

It was also decided that a new name for the club should be choosen. This project is underway.

The club member who comes up with the most suitable name will be the winner of a small prize.

Therefore in the future history books the club will be under a new name.

We feel that this Figure Skating Club has had a long and very necessary life.It has given young boys and girls in our rural area not only a chance to learn to skate but also to do it with style and grace and along the way have some fun. They had received badges to remember the joy and satisfaction of their own accomplishments. Many of the members are now teaching other children what they have learned through this club.

lf lf lf Iremember when speed skating in the 50''s was popular. Some who took part in competitions at Carberry, Neepawa, and Wellwood were: Phyllis Chudley, Shirley Ellard, Kay Winslow, Jean Marie Slezak, Jack Mitchell and Charlie Swanson.


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