1977: Westman marching band featured in Calgary Stampede Parade



Photo courtesy of Cecil Pittman Archives
Millie and Bill Johnson standing in front of “Band Shell”, located on the west side of the court house.

By Cecil Pittman
The Neepawa Press

80 Years Ago
Friday, July 16,1937
Robert Lee, the new miller at the Neepawa four mill, comes from Winnipeg but he knows Neepawa well, as he worked here before for the late R.C. Ennis, for 10 years. The family is taking up residence in the house on third street recently vacated by Geo. Agnew. 

70 years ago 
Thursday, July 10, 1947
The Franklin community and entire Neepawa district was shocked last Thursday morning to learn that Hugh Orr, aged 44, had been found in his garage dead, with a bullet wound to the head. Mr. Orr resided five miles northwest of Franklin. He was unmarried and he had his hired man, Mike Rawliuk, batched in the farm home.
Mr. Orr was in Neepawa Wednesday evening and left for home around midnight, to drive the 15 miles to his home. On Thursday morning, the parents of Rawliuk phoned chief Fred McClain, of Neepawa, and advised him that Mike was at home with a car, which had a rifle and some blood on the inside. Chief McClain phoned the Mounted Police in Minnedosa, giving them the information he had received and requested them to investigate. He also phoned the home of Clarence Orr, brother of the deceased, and advised that he should go to Hugh’s home and investigate. At this time, it was unknown that the car Rawliuk had belonged to Hugh Orr.
Clarence Orr and a neighbour went to Hugh’s farm and found him dead in the garage, with a bullet wound to the head. The coroner arrived on the scene about noon Thursday and found the body in the garage, fully clothed, with the exception of a suit coat. He found a bullet wound at the front of Hugh’s right ear. He was of the opinion that death took place between midnight and 6 am. A post mortem disclosed a .22 bullet within the skull.
Mike Rawliuk was taken into custody by the Mounted Police, from his parents home, which was four miles from the scene of the shooting. At the same time, Mr. Orr’s automobile, the rifle and a bill fold belonging to the deceased were recovered.
Rawliuk was taken to Minnedosa jail and later, to Brandon provincial jail. As of now, no charges have been laid but it is alleged that Rawliuk has admitted to the shooting and has given several different versions as to what took place during the early morning of the tragedy.

60 years ago
Thursday, July 18, 1957
A driving wind and hail storm Tuesday evening hit crops on district farms north of Neepawa and heavy damage was reported in several areas. The storm cut a swath from the Springhill district, east several miles, with farms in Springhill and in the area around Howden elevator reporting considerable damage. Some hail damage was reported near Eden. Gardens, which were particularly good this season, were levelled in the storm. The amount of crop damage has not yet been estimated but some farmers believe their fields had suffered 80 per cent to 100 per cent damage.

50 years ago
Tuesday, July 11, 1967
Some of the members in the Neepawa community 4-H club attended the 4-H rally at Portage la Prairie last week. Bonnie Harper and Nancy Hunter were champions in the senior demonstrations with their demonstration “Textile treasures,” and they will go on to compete in the provincial competition in Winnipeg. Both girls won prize money in the judging competitions and also took part in the parade.

40 years ago
Thursday, July 14, 1977
Once again, the Westman marching band from Neepawa and Carberry gained recognition and represented Manitoba in a first class manner at the Calgary Stampede parade on July 8. The band, composed of students in the Neepawa Lions band, the Carberry Legion band and Majorettes, was given “honourable mention” in the classification of towns under 40,000 in the new band section of the competition. They marched among 25 other Canadian bands and four American bands. The parade was viewed by many Canadians across the streets of Calgary when it was carried on a national television network.

30 years ago
Wednesday, July 8, 1987
The successful completion of the first safe grad ever held in Neepawa has the class of 1987 hoping they have started a tradition which will carry over to the class of 1988. “This grade 12 class hopes the next year’s class will do it too,” said grad committee chairperson Myrna Wiebe. Wiebe added that “the graduates’ dance was a success because so many people worked to make it that way.” The teacher liaison for the grad committee said the grade 12 class proved a safe grad could work.

20 years ago
Monday, July 14,1997
Even though public perception might differ, statistics collected by the Neepawa R.C.M.P detachment over the past seven years suggest vandalism is on decline. The number of reported instances of vandalism hit an all-time high in 1993, with 124 cases of mischief under $1,000 reported. The years before, that number was only 48. In 1994, 103 reports of mischief under $1,000 were reported. The following year, that number dropped to 75. However, in 1995 the law books were rewritten, changing reportable damage to under $5,000. Despite the change, Neepawa R.C.M.P Sergeant Wayne Jacobsen said vandalism in the area is probably no worse today than it was five years ago. Jacobsen said vandalism statistics in small towns like Neepawa, may also seem high, since people report incidents that would never make it to the police in the city. For instance, he said in a city, few people would bother reporting that their garden had been vandalized. Here, police come out to investigate. “In the city, it’s so easy to be anonymous, so a lot of things go unreported, but in a small town, we have a reasonable chance of finding the culprits.” A reasonable chance is about 50 per cent Jacobsen said. However, that too may change. He said the implementation of a Citizens On Patrol Program (COPPs), which began patrolling last weekend, should help take a bite out of crime.

10 years ago
Monday, July 9, 2007
A 35 year old Brandon man is dead following a collision one kilometre north of the junction of Highway 10 and Provincial Road 355, near Minnedosa last Monday. Sean Curtis Friesen was killed when his all-terrain vehicle was hit by a 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue as he attempted to cross the Highway around 6:15pm. Friesen, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, was taken to Minnedosa hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. The driver of the Oldsmobile will not be charged. “By the time the car came upon it, the ATV was in his path,” Sergeant Eric Davidson said. “When all of a sudden an ATV pulls out infront of you, there’s not much you can do to avoid collision.” Police couldn’t say if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the accident.