Looking Back - 1988: Clowns and tigers and elephants? Oh my!




By Cassandra Wehrhahn

Neepawa Banner & Press

110 years ago,


August 18, 1908

The warship Indomitable, carrying the Prince of Wales, made a record run from Quebec to England, covering the distance from port to port at a speed of over 25 knots per hour.

100 years ago,


August 17, 1918

Brigadier General Elmsley is to command the Canadian forces in Siberia.

Canada has contributed over 13,000 men to the air forces of the British in France.

Jews are now being enlisted in Western Canada to go and fight for the independence of Palestine.

A tank steamer with $1,500,000 cargo of oil was sunk by a German submarine off the United States coast.

There is talk of Karensky taking charge of the Russians to resist German domination in conjunction with allied troops.

90 years ago,


August 17, 1928

Philippe Roy is Canada’s first minister at Paris.

The North Star oil refinery in St. Boniface was wrecked by fire Tuesday night.

Fifteen tenders have been put in for building two destroyers for the Canadian Navy.

80 years ago,


August 16, 1938

Little Marie Dionne provided the Dafoe nursery with a mystery that drew more attention than the battle between her father Oliva and her guardians for possession of the quintuplets.

Marie hatched the mystery by attempting to water wooden hobby horses with a beach pail.

That   act  would  be  ordinary for another youngster but it was extraordinary for a quint because no one could imagine where Marie, who has never been out of the Dafoe nursery grounds since she was two months old, had seen a horse, much less the watering of one.

Leafing through the quint’s picture books brought no explanation to their teacher, Nora Rouselle, or their nurses Sigrid Ulrichson and Molly O’Shaughnessy. Finally they called in Dr. Dafoe and he cleared up the mystery. A year ago a teamster was employed on the gardening work around the nursery and sometimes watered his horses within sight of the quint’s playroom.

Little Marie remembered and, after filling  her beach pail with water, went from one to another of the five hobby horses offering them a drink. She did not seem at all disappointed that they did not cooperate by taking it. She kissed them all.

70 years ago,

August, 1948

A table game-bird of rare delicacy which used to be a familiar sight as they flew in large numbers over Manitoba’s lake areas and well known to Neepawa and district residents, today is on the brink of extinction. Game bird authorities estimate that of the thousands of whooping cranes once common to these parts in the spring and fall, only about 33 survive.

A well-known pioneer Neepawa and district couple, Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Dunsmore, are receiving expressions of congratulations and felicitation from their many friends on the attainment of their golden wedding anniversary.

60 years ago,


August 15, 1958

Mr. and Mrs. Don Tanner will present a program of gospel music in Calvary Chapel on Tuesday, August 19, 1958, starting at 8 p.m. One outstanding feature of the program will be music on a set of camel bells, imported from Pakistan by Rev. Tanner and the only known authentic set on this continent.

Other items on the program will feature violin, accordion, clarinet, piano, vocal solos, and duets by the versatile couple. Many may remember the Tanners from a previous visit made here several years ago.

50 years ago,


August 16, 1968

Construction of a new implement agency building on No. 5 highway was started this week. Concrete for the footings was to be poured Thursday, but was held up by rain.

The new agency will be known as Neepawa Farm Implements, and will sell Case machinery and implements. Proprietor is Steve Fedorowich, formerly of Plumas, who is taking over the agency from William Whitmore Ltd. on November 1.

The new building, located on the west side of Highway 5 on “machinery row” will be of metal clad construction, 40 by 80 feet, with ample room for service and repairs of equipment.    

40 years ago,


August 17, 1978

Ross Bates and Kevin Dagg share the proud ownership of Reo Speedwagon, the fourth place finisher in the Canadian Turtle Derby held at Boissevain August 11-13. In the first elimination heat. Reo walked away with the red ribbon against 15 other turtles. Reo then placed second out of eight turtles in a second race which gave him a starting berth in the final race. Freeway Fredy, owned by Bob Bates and Glen Van Hove, and Reo are now back in the Whitemud River after three to five weeks training and a diet of raw hamburger and lettuce. The success of their first entry in the turtle derby has launched the turtle’s owners into an enterprise called Langford Stables which will train turtles for future derbies.

30 years ago,


August 16, 1988

Storytime was actually circus time at the Neepawa Public Library last Friday as clowns, tiger and elephants came to hear one last story. Besides telling a story, “clown” Anita Gordon also gave the hungry animals some food and provided them with a host of activities to take part in at their last storytime of the year.

20 years ago,


August 17, 1998

Lee Myra of Neepawa topped a field of 200 riders recently winning a motorcycle rally sanctioned by the Iron Butt Association.

The rally, which started and finished in Minneapolis, lasted for 24 hours. The riders from 21 states and three provinces followed their own prescribed route of checkpoints in an attempt to cover the most miles within the time frame.

Myra travelled 1,654 miles in 23 hours on his Honda SST 1100. One other participant rode more miles, but was disqualified when he exceeded the time limit.