1987: Major flood at Riverbend Park




Cecil Pittman

The Neepawa Press

80 years ago. Tuesday, August 3, 1937
Langford Miller and Manson Martin brought provincial distinction to the town when they annexed the Manitoba grass court men’s doubles tennis title at the tournament in Minnedosa last week. Their sparkling three set victory was scored at the expense of Sidney Hancock and G.T. Turley, of Minnedosa, the standings being 7-5, 6-1, 6-3. They brought home with them the coveted Turley cups and prizes. These cups have been in circulation since 1922 and have never been outside Winnipeg, Brandon or Minnedosa before this year. Congratulations to the local boys who scored for Neepawa.

70 years ago. Thursday, August 7, 1947
L.P. Parsons, popular and widely known barber of Neepawa, retires this week after 50 years of business in Neepawa. Parsons has seen Neepawa grow from a struggling hamlet, with wooden sidewalks, prancing horses and buggies/sleighs, to a fully modern town, which is a credit to the pioneers like Mr. Parsons.

60 years ago Thursday, August 1, 1957
Donna Cook, of Eden, was one of eight 4-H club members who left Saturday to attend the Alberta club weeks at Olds, with side trips to Banff and Edmonton. The group is going straight to Banff to spend two days and from there, to Olds, where the convention is being held. Their main contribution to the Alberta club will be a talk on 4-H clubs in Manitoba, but they will take part in workshops, sports and discussions.

50 years ago. Tuesday, August 1, 1967
One man was hospitalized and two cars were damaged in an accident Saturday evening, just west of Neepawa. Suffering a severe gash in his right arm was Douglas Hannah, of Winnipeg, a passenger in one of the vehicles. He was taken to the Neepawa hospital for treatment. The accident occurred about 7 pm on Saturday, involving a 1957 Ford, operated by George W. Emms, of Winnipeg, and a 1963 Acadian, operated by John Parayeski, of the Eden district. Both vehicles were going north on Highway #5 when the right front fender of the Emms vehicle came in collision with the left rear fender of the Parayeski vehicle. Police reported the Parayeski vehicle was badly damaged in the crash. Also injured in the accident was Mrs. Parayeski, who required medical attention for neck injuries.

40 years ago. Thursday, August 4, 1977
Vandals smashed glass doors and windows at both Neepawa Area Collegiate and the Yellowhead Centre, causing extensive damage to the buildings. NACI damage is estimated at between $600 and $800. A Yellowhead spokesperson estimated their damage to be approximately $300. The incident is believed to have taken place in the late hours of Monday or early hours of Tuesday morning. The local RCMP are investigating the incident.

30 years ago. Wednesday, August 5, 1987
Residents of Neepawa who suffered extensive damages as a result of last Friday’s storm may be able to get some compensation. Neepawa’s mayor Homer Gill said anyone who suffered damages “May, and I use the term ‘may’ very strongly, make application to the town office.” Gill said at this point, the Town has no way of knowing how many applications will be made, or even what sort of compensation people will receive. Private citizens aren’t the only ones who will be making claims as a result of the flood damages. Gill said the Town has suffered “probably $30,000 - $35,000 of public road damage.” In the extreme south end of Second Avenue, the entire end of the street was washed down the hill. Other areas suffered surface breaks and erosion.

20 years ago. Monday, August 4, 1997
The censorship, Margaret Laurence fought against during her lifetime may threaten availability of work detailing her death. The biography - The life of Margaret Laurence  by James King - says Neepawa’s world famous author committed suicide rather than face a lingering death from cancer. The book also details Laurence’s problems with alcohol, suggesting that, when drunk, Laurence became boorish, maudlin, unkind or sexually aggressive.
In an ironic twist, the book may not be available for sale at the Margaret Laurence Home, even though it has been written in co-operation with Laurence’s surviving family. In the book, to be published in September, King says that Laurence chose suicide rather than face the prospect of a long painful death from lung and kidney cancer, or run the risk of being a burden to family and friends.

King, a literary scholar of McMaster university in Hamilton, Ontario, says Laurence left a suicide note along with funeral instructions. “Please, my near and dear ones, forgive me and understand,” Laurence’s note says. “I hope this potion works, my spirit is already in another country and my body has been a damn nuisance. I have been so fortunate.” King says that on January 5, 1987, Laurence used a knife to crush up several Nembutols and dissolved the pills in water heated by a coffee maker before drinking the fatal potion and ending her life at age 60.

10 years ago. Monday, August 8, 2007
A former Neepawa man - now a long time resident of Sandy Lake - says one of his first bosses deserves some of the credit for his ability to establish an endowment fund in Sandy Lake. Earl Symonds has provided $25,000 to establish the Sandy Lake and Area endowment fund. But his generosity doesn’t stop there. The retired 73 year old father of three grown children also plans to match any donations up to $100,000.
“I got some really good advice from my former station agent in Neepawa, Doug Thom,” Symonds said. “He got me started in investing.” Symonds, who spent a life on the railroads working for CN, said Thom suggested that instead of just depositing his pay cheque, he should invest in a new company called TransCanada Pipeline. “And am I ever glad he did,” Symonds said.
With the advice of a good stock broker, he was able to parlay his investments in to good returns over the years, and now it’s time for him to give something back. “This place has been good to me and I wanted to do something good in return,” he said.