This page is a text version of the History of Portage la Praire and Surrounding District. You can get a PDF copy of the book on our full version page. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the full version. The full version also includes each image in the original book.

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Portagers are eagerly anticipating seeing the performance of this talented little trio during "Old Horne Week" in Manitoba's Centen­ nial Year of 1970. Relatives in Poplar Point and Portage will have an added reason to be proud that day.

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE ARTISTS

Everyone is familiar with the friendly, smiling face of J ellicoe La Freniere, either by seeing him on the street or behind the counter in the Manitoba Liquor Commission store. What many may not know is that he is an accomplished musician and dancer; one who is helping to keep the pioneer style of jig-dancing and fiddle-playing alive. His grandfather, Isdore Zastre, was the winner of both "fid­ dling" and Red River Jig trophies in the Western Canada competi­ tions in 1928 and taught Jellieoe the art of both.

When Mr. Zastrc was nearing the final days of his musical life he ga\'e his grandson his precious violin and said, "Corry on boy; don't let up until you have become a champion in what I have taught you". Those remembered words spurred J cllicoe on, and com­ hined with his love of music and dancing he was trophy material from the start. In 1930 he won the Western Canada Red River Jig trophy. In 1951 he fulfilled his grandfather's dream by winning both Red River Jig and "fiddling" in Western Canada competitions,

J ellicoc La Freniere is a man we proudly claim as a Portager and Poplar Point proudly claims us one of their own, so he is doubly blessed. His home is in Poplar Point hut his work days are spent here.

Mr. A. E.MeGee, of Portage, became quite Iurnous as <1 portrait painter back in 1892. Miss Freeman, who V·.'aS the urt teacher in Lansdowne college here, can be credited with recognizing and en­ couraging this man's talent.

At the first opportunity he went to study in Illinois Art School at Rockford. His next move was to the Buffalo Art Academy where for H year and a half he studied and sketched from life. He then went to New York city where he accepted a good position with the New York Portrait Supply Co.

When he came back to visit his paren ts in Portage, in March of 1892, he was so overwhelmed with portrait orders that he stayed a month longer than he had intended to stay, ruther than disappoint

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