Looking back - 1977: George Rey retires after 50 years


By Cecil Pittman

Neepawa Banner & Press

80 years ago. Tuesday, December 21, 1937: Santa Claus arrived from the north on the train Saturday and entertained over 1,000 youngsters ranging in age form one year to seventy. He visited with the boys and girls for 2 hours in the afternoon and gave them each a little gift. The boys and girls will not soon forget the thrill of Santa’s visit.

70 years ago. Thursday, December 18, 1947Miss Mary Stimpson, Kelwood Garden Club, won a trip to Winnipeg on Dec. 8 while competing in the Kiwanis Public Speaking Contest. In July a district contest was held in Neepawa, in which Mary stood first, in November an elimination contest was held between the Minnedosa and Neepawa districts with Mary placing second and winning a trip to Winnipeg to compete against club members from other parts of the Province. 

60 years ago. Tuesday, December 17, 1957: Neepawa Lions Club was host to the junior group of Majorettes and junior members of the club band Monday evening at their regular dinner meeting in the Royal Cafe. President Fred Anderson presided at the enjoyable affair. A plaque was presented to the band in recognition of the local organization’s fine showing in the big Lions International Parade. Vocal numbers by a male quartet and the singing of Christmas Carols contributed to the evenings enjoyment. 

50 years ago. Tuesday, December 19, 1967: Residents of western Manitoba were assured of a “White Christmas” for this Centennial Year as a heavy covering of snow blanketed the area on Sunday. In Neepawa, the snowfall Sunday was measured at 8 and a half inches, marking this one of the heaviest reported. It provided a “Winter Wonderland” atmosphere, as trees were laden with several inches of snow on each branch and even hydro lines and clotheslines had snow up to two and three inches thick.

40 years ago. Thursday, December 22, 1977: After close to 50 years in the dry-cleaning business, George Rey has decided it’s time to retire. Mr. Rey, owner of Rey’s Dry Cleaners. He first came to Neepawa in 1930. His father opened a dry cleaning operation in Portage and his older brother came to Neepawa to manage a depot for the Portage operation. The brother caught Typhoid fever, Mr. Rey came to relieve him, and he’s been here ever since. In 1938 he opened a men’s wear store in the depot. In 1945 he built his own dry cleaning plant, and by 1948 the dry cleaning business had become lucrative enough that he sold the men’s wear business to Bob Fulford. Mr. Rey, however, has much more than just the dry cleaning business to occupy his time while in Neepawa. He served as mayor from 1960 to 1967 and spent over 12 years in total on municipal politics. 

30 years ago. Wednesday, December 23, 1987: The public had a chance to tour the new Beautiful Plains School Division office after it was officially opened last Monday. At the ribbon cutting ceremony Eric Shaw spoke on behalf of Education Minister Roland Penner. The new building on the corner of Hospital Street and Mountain Avenue was built at a cost of just under $150,000. The school board had been thinking of getting an adequate office space for a number of years, and at one time considered renovating the old Viscount School. However, costs to renovate were projected to cost several times what a new energy efficient building would cost. Financing for the building will come from the sale of the present building with the remainder coming out of the capital reserve account as required. Trustee Ernie Sydor said at the opening all trustees and tax payers could be pleased that no special taxes had to be levied for the new building to be constructed. 

20 years ago. Monday, December 15, 1997: Neepawa’s Citizen on Patrol Program (COPP) is being credited with helping to track down an auto thief. A young offender has been charged with taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and driving with no licence, after allegedly stealing a vehicle from a Neepawa residence and abandoning it outside of town. Members of COPPs helped police track the youth through footprints in the snow. 

10 years ago. Monday, December 17, 2007: A Minnedosa area farmer is the recipient of the L.B. Thomson Conservation award for 2007. Robert (Bob) McNabb was recognized for his commitment and efforts toward soil and water conservation and wildlife habitat restoration and protection. In 1976, McNabb took over the family farm from his father who had established it in 1939. McNabb was one of the first area farmers to embrace zero tillage. His interest grew to the point where he helped establish the Manitoba Zero Tillage Research Association. The association research station which is used to explore different methods of zero tillage, and how it can be applied to different regions and climates, in Canada and around the world. McNabb received his award in Brandon last Tuesday at the Manitoba Conservation District Associations 32nd annual convention.