Looking back - 1947: Franklin's oldest pioneer celebrates 92nd birthday


By Cecil Pittman

The Neepawa Press

80 years ago. Tuesday June 15, 1937: When a teacher is disturbed in the middle of taking a lesson, the aftermath is not always as pleasant as it was Friday afternoon, when this very thing happened to Miss. Joyce Heys, retiring member of the collegiate staff and bride-elect for next month.

While the grade nine class was soaking in the knowledge she was imparting to them for nearly the last time before the impending examinations the door opened and in marched the students of the other grades, without the usual courtesy of rapping on the door for admission. Miss. Olwen Hornsby, president of the literary society, made haste to explain the situation and in a short speech paid tribute to Miss. Heys for her appreciated work among the students, while on the staff. As a gift of remembrance, Miss Hornsby presented her with a bronze radio lamp and book ends to match, on the top of which was a miniature bride and groom. The students then sang heartily “for she’s a jolly good fellow.”

70 years ago. Thursday June 12,1947: Franklin’s oldest pioneer, James Murdoch, will celebrate his 92nd birthday this coming Saturday at his farm home in the Franklin district. Mr. Murdoch was born in Ross Township, Renfrew County, Ontario. In 1880, Mr. Murdoch was married to Miss. Jane Bruce of the same district. After farming in Ontario for eight years he and his family came west and settled north of Franklin. Mr. Murdoch was active in the Presbyterian Church and for many years, was chairman of the board of managers and secretary-treasurer. He was district president of the United Grain Growers for many years. He also served on the Neepawa hospital board. He is a member of the Neepawa Lodge A.F. and A.M. until recent years, he was an active and enthusiastic curler. In 1921, Mr. and Mrs. Murdoch retired and moved to Neepawa.

60 years ago. Thursday June 13,1957: A 3-year-old child is in critical condition following fire. Little Athea Zahodonik, 3-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Zahodonik is in critical condition in Neepawa District Memorial Hospital from severe burns she received Friday June 7. The child found a box of matches while playing in a vacant building near her house and suffered 40 per cent body burns when her clothing caught on fire.

50 years ago. Friday June 9, 1967: Students at Eden Collegiate took part in an impressive ceremony at the school last Friday June 2, when a centennial cairn, the student’s project for the centennial year, was unveiled. Included in the ceremony was a centennial flag-raising, sounds from the choir, symbolic tree planting behind the school and the presentation of centennial medallions to all students. The program was conducted by Arnold Hersak, principal, who served as the master of ceremonies. Jim Schmall, who was the staff advisor on the students’ centennial committee, assisted him. The choir was elected by Mrs. M. Goodwin.

40 years ago. Thursday June 9, 1977: McCreary man killed in accident. A two-vehicle accident on PTH #5, four miles south of McCreary on Saturday afternoon, left one McCreary man dead, and injured three other people. Dead is Charles William Bush, aged 67, of the McCreary district. In hospital is Albert Jack Bush (age 62) of McCreary, Lillian Denniel (age 19), and Ronald Denniel (age 17), both formerly from the Laurier district. All three are in satisfactory condition in McCreary hospital. The Bush brothers were driving a 1974 Dodge pick-up and the Denniel’s a 1977 Pontiac, when the two vehicles came into collision.

30 years ago. Thursday June 11,1987: After a brief lay off, the workers at the Springhill Farms processing plant east of Neepawa have returned to their places on the production line. The layoff, which began last Tuesday, affected the cut and kill operations in the plant. On Tuesday, the kill floor was back at work and today, the cut floor was again in operation. According to plant spokesman, John O’Halloran, any problems the plant was experiencing are behind them now.  “I think the board of directors have confidence now,” he said.

20 years ago. Monday June 9, 1997: Winnie Cheetham has made her hometown proud, a Neepawa mayor, Roy McGillvray, couldn’t be happier. A former school teacher, Cheetham helped put Neepawa on the map in the July issue of Canadian Living magazine, as the best hometown in Canada to enjoy cultural events. “Talk about publicity,” said McGillvray. Cheetham received word of the win in the hometown proud contest three months ago. She said she couldn’t believe it when she was told her entry would be published. “I couldn’t believe it, I laughed and laughed,” said Cheetham. “This is the first time in my life anything like this has happened to me.” Cheetham was awarded $250 for her 150-word entry. Under contest rules, prize money had to be donated to a charity of her choice. Cheetham chose the Beautiful Plains Community Foundation.

10 years ago. Monday June 11, 2007: Wayne and Noreen Hollier were granted a conditional use permit to construct a 2,200 square foot office building at 41 Main Street (HWY 16 East). The building will be constructed between the couple’s current main office space and the Chicken Corral restaurant. Parking will be made available at the front and rear of the building. It became a conflict of interest and Hollier excused himself from the conditional use hearing.