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Hilland, tha t they were going swimming in the Assiniboine River, there was no cause for worry. Both children could swim, and other children were allowed to go to the same spot for the same purpose.
They were nice, mannerly, obedient children who were not only loved by their family but admired by everyone who knew them. Many people thought they were twins because they were so close to the same height and were so often seen enjoying the same games and fun.
It was not like them to fail to return home at an appointed time and that is when worry really began for the parents. As time ticked by, they knew something must have happened. But what?
Their fears were not groundless. Little articles of clothing, by the steel bridge where they had changed to dive in to the cooling waters, told the story. Madge and Ernie had drowned.
No one knows how it happened, hut everyone who knew them is quite certain that if one was in difficulty the other would go to the rescue. And that is likely what happened.
The grief-stricken parents didn't know that the tragedy would spark the idea for a project which would prevent the same grief for other parents. They didn't know, as the parents of soldiers in the war didn't know, that the lives of their children had not been taken in vain.
The Lions Club, which was charted on October 20, 1938, with 19 members: W. I. Bradley, E. NJ. Brock, A. Brown Jr., J. Earl, F. L. Gosman, R. A. Gilroy, S. Greene, Dr. G. H. Hamlin, G. K. Hill, A. A. Lang, W. C. Lowry, D. L. McInnerny, C. Miller, R. W. Morton, H. Sparks, W. G. Sterling, K. Stewart, vV. C. Taylor and W. J. Wilson, had dwindled down to a precious few when the Hil land tragedy occurred.
Dr. G. H. Hamlin, who was President of the club, arranged a meeting of the 5 or 6 remaining members and all agreed that a pool for Portage, where both children and adults could swim safely under supervision, was one of the most practical projects that could be undertaken.
Architects were contacted and the costs obtained. The figures for construction were in the neighborhood of $25,000.00 and the mem bers got busy trying to raise the amount needed.
With a worthwhile project as incentive, membership in the club increased.