Tuesday, December 30, 2014

January 1965 A trip out in the country

January 3, 1965
Sunday. Dick and I drove down to St. John's for Holy Communion at 11:00 a:m. When we got back we called in at the house and found that Harvey Birns had tacked a message over our garage door. Mrs. Goff had phoned and asked us to stop in and pick up her and Doris on the way up to the farm.

The day not being too cold and the highway good we drove up to Lipton and found them waiting for us so we went on up to the Goff farm. The road had been plowed out sometime back and was alright so we had dinner. Just Les, Joy and the three boys there. They have got over their sicknesses pretty well. Uncle Horrie and the boys were there on New Year's day.
 The boys were playing their hockey game on the table. Their wood pile is pretty well buried in snow. Les still has his tractor in Lipton getting it fixed.
We did not stay for supper as Mrs. Goff wanted to get home and so we got back about 7:30 p:m.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Funeral On Christmas Eve

More from the journals of Bill Nevard
December 24, 1970.
Dick got the Christmas pudding made yesterday and started cooking it this evening. I got the half turkey in to thaw out and we made the stuffing.
 I went to the San for the mail this morning and got my senior citizen's travelling card. The wind was blowing hard and a fellow said the Lipton road was blocked by drifting snow. After dinner Harry Lindsey phoned up up to say he was going to the Sid Phillips funeral and would pick us up about 2;45 so he did and we rode with him to the Lipton town Hall. We met the snow plow on the highway. Snow drifting across the highway both going and coming but we had no trouble getting along. A lot of people there and Mr. Badham took the funeral.
 Dick, Phil fisher, John Radwell, Edwin Senft, Hugh Robertson and one other were the bearers. Pat Neil, Charlie Hook, Fred Wagner, Ernest Senft, Sandy Goff and I were the honorary bearers. We all rode out to the cemetery after the service. The bearers in Edwin Senft's car and the honorary bearers in Ernest Senft's car. Cold and windy at the cemetery although we were sheltered from the wind  by a tarp. Then we drove back to town hall but did not stay for lunch, coming home with Harry Lindsey.

Coming into the valley we passed a car that had gone off the road into the deep snow and been left. We had supper and Dick went to bed for a while. He got up in time for us to go to the Christmas eve service at 11:30 pm. It was not cold and the Church was well filled. Mr. Badham asked me to light the Christmas candle. We had a good sized choir and they sang well but I could not sing in exultation having a cold and a sore throat. I helped Harry to count the collection. It was after 2 am when we got home to bed.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 19 1945

From the daily journal of Bill Nevard.
I cut my fourteenth load of wood in the morning and in the afternoon I took the team and tank over to Uncle Arthur's south quarter and helped him get some more lumber from his old bin. Dull today and a raw Northwest wind blowing but the temperature not so low as it was.
I saw the moon partly eclipsed last night. It was threatening to snow but not much fell.
Not Bill,  but one of his neighbours with a typical load of poplar logs for firewood.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Funeral

December 12, 1966

I went to visit Bob Drever this morning. I also cut up three more pumpkins for jam. In the afternoon I dressed up and drove to Lipton for Bill Peak's funeral. It was held in Lipton Town Hall. Most of the people were there when I arrived. Pat Neil, Philip Fisher, Harold Phillips, William Michelson, Edwin and Victor Senft were the bearers. Anne Yackel played the organ. Quite a number of people attended. Les and Joy, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Neil, Gladys Hays and Thelma Kreutzer, Mr. and Mrs. John Senft, Mr and Mrs. Sid Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Hook, Bill Newth, Mr. and Mrs. Reg Waters, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Huber, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Bryant, John Kube. I did not go to the cemetery but came home. It was a beautiful day. Bill Peak was 81 years of age and came out to the country in 1911.
Bill Peak is somewhere in this photo taken at a Church service at Balrobie School.

Friday, December 5, 2014

December 1970

December 11: I cut the beef up this morning and Dick took it out to the shed to freeze. Then we jacked up the Beaumont and put blocks under it to take the weight off the tires. In the afternoon I drove to Lipton and visited Syd and Rose. Their daughter, Irene Huber was there with one of her boys. Rose gave me a cake when I left. Then I went to see Mrs. Fisher. Olive was just leaving. Gladys was there. We had a game of Chinese Checkers. Mrs. Fisher also gave me a cake. I visited Mrs. Goff and Doris, then went to Dave's store for groceries before driving home.

December 18: I got up in good time this morning and got ready to go to Regina with Don on the bus. Dick thought he might be along about 9:50 as he had done before. Dick started the car to warm up at 10:00 am but no Don arrived. When 10:30 rolled around we knew we had missed the first bus and were likely to miss the second but just then he arrived with a truck load of firewood. Dick drove us to the bus depot and the bus arrived just as we were buying the tickets and we were the only passengers. One old lady got on at Qu'appelle and 13 other passengers at Balgonie.

Don was not particular where we had dinner so we walked from the bus depot to the Chi Gardens. It was closed, to our sorrow, so we had to look up another eating place and on the way back we landed up at the Town And Country where we had a nice meal for $2.94. We went to the book exchange where I bought six old books. Then Don wanted to go to the Bay so we did. It was the first time I had been in the store. Don bought three records and I bought two. Then we went to the Medical Arts building between Scarth and Cornwall to keep Don's appointment. We got there by 3:00 pm but had to wait until 3:45 before he could see the doctor. I think the doctor was satisfied with his progress. He has to keep on with the diet and come back in two months.
Then we had to go to a special store to get the stuff Don has for his diet. Then to Simpsons where I stood guard on our stuff while Don looked around and bought some shirts. By then it was time to get back to catch the bus. They had to put on a special bus to take care of the home coming passengers and that one was filled right up.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

December 16 1947-Winter and Winstanley Grove

Got another two loads of wood in and after dinner we went and chopped a bit.
Donald went off on Rusty to phone the doctor. John Fleming and his family went
to Lipton in the morning. Charlie Huber brought the doctor up as far as his place,
then Donald and Joy went down with the team and sleigh and fetched him up to
Winstanley Grove that night. But Bud and Carol had become the parents of a baby
girl before the doctor arrived. Richard Supple brought a Mrs. Tom Berner there.
She was an English war bride and a nurse. Joy stayed there while Bud drove the
doctor back to Lipton. He never got home until about 5 a:m .

December 17: I went up to Silver Birches and heard the particulars of last night's
events. Dick and I put in the morning cutting wood in the bluff and cleaned up the
manure after dinner. Blowing and drifting quite a bit with a nasty cold wind so we
did not bother to get water.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Barn Building

In the fall of 1947 Bill was putting the finishing touches to the new cement block barn.
November 18: Bud came down this morning and threaded a number of bolts to put through the hinges of the doors. Dad and I put some tin on the roof above the hip on the West side. After dinner Bud and I finished boarding it in.

November 19: Bud came down this morning and we pulled all the tin off the roof off the little stable. We were going to finish roofing the barn but it was snowing and quite miserable so Bud went home after helping us move the calf into the new barn. Dad has the doors at each end fixed up now and in the evening we got Raspberry and April Showers into the new barn and they spent their first night there.
November 20: Bud came this morning and we finished tinning the roof. A little awkward but not too bad. Bud had a rope over top of the barn and tied to his waist. He was on the slope and I was on the ridge. Dad busy with the doors.
The barn in 2014. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A letter from Arthur Nevard to his brother, Horace. No date on this one but I would guess around 1911 or 1912.

                                                                                                            2210 Quebec Street
                                                                                                            Regina, Sask.
Dear Horace
I am sending you the receipts, or all I can find of them but don't show them on any account.
I think I paid, I am positive I paid up October and did not miss any before that but I
cannot find the October receipt so the best way would be to know nothing about the receipts but
 find out what is due from me. I have paid anyhow $345 this year. It should be easy enough as
 the bank or the collector would know how much he had to collect and if they don't, deduct $345
 from the amount of the note anyhow. I am glad you sent the money from S. Wheale and Fleming.
I had to pay my mortgage by the 15th so I had to borrow some.
Ask Earn about the October receipt if by any chance he has got it with his as we cannot find it
You had better keep some oats for the filly as I would like her to have some this winter. I think
you had better sell all the wheat off my place if Earn's Marquis turned out well. You can buy some
Marquis from Earn with the money that S. Wheale will pay and if he wants it before, pay it out of
the proceeds of my crop.
Please let me know how much I owe Earn for the wheat sown on my place last spring as I will have to pay for it this winter. I keep forgetting it and he could do with the money.
Also how much is number 3 per bushel, and oats as well? I guess it would be best to buy new oats for
my place but if you think they will be alright you can keep some back for seed. But don't take any
You might let me know how much you made with the outfit. I mean profit, and how did it work? How big is the filly getting? She should be as tall as her mother by now.
I hope all the stock is alright. I will try and spare the money for a fence next year. If you can get
pickets you can buy them but I will write later.
I hope you are ll well. Give my love to all and wish them all a Merry Xmas for me and yourself also.
I remain your loving brother,

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29 1952

Today, October 29 , in Nevard history . Actually I already made reference to this occasion 3 years ago in this Nevardblog post so some of you may think it looks familiar if you have been following that long.
For those that haven't , the wedding of Joy Nevard and Les Goff as seen in this photo.

We did a re-enactment of this historic photo using the same car this past August. It went well.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Late October 1949

October 22: I left the San and started for home on the bike but there was such a strong wind I walked nearly all the way. I found Dad at Jack Goff's. Also Hobetzeder. I bought bread , butter and chocolate bars and then headed for the farm, When I got there Uncle Arthur had just finished his dinner. I went up to Silver Birches and gave Joy Dick's camera. Then went down to the gravel pit and threw out 1000 shovels of gravel. Roy fixing the fence at the diversion , It was broken down.
Jack Goff as seen in the late 1930s.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Today In Bill's History

On his day off from working at the Fort San Bill Nevard walks the approximate 20 miles back to his farm home.
October 16, 1948
A miserable day. I walked most of the way home but Henry Meyer's two daughters overtook me with a car and gave me a lift for 3 miles. I had dinner with Uncle Arthur and afterwards went on up to Silver Birches where I saw Aunt Alice , Roy, Joy and Donald. Bud has gone to Calgary with little Eric. I collected a bag of stuff then headed back South. I had to walk all the way to Lipton getting there just in time to catch the bus. My first bus ride.
Oct. 17: Sunday. Got my first beets ready this morning. A messy job with beet juice all over the floor of the vegetable room making it look  like a slaughter house. At night Dick and walked down to the Fort to an Anglican service. Bill Levey gave us a lift in his car. It was a nice moonlight night.
Lipton main street in the late 1940s.

Friday, October 3, 2014

First Sunday At The San

October 3rd , 1948 marked Bill Nevard's first Sunday spent at the T.B. San. Here is what he had to say about it.
My first Sunday at the San but I worked just the same as Saturday will be my day off from now on.
It was also my first day alone in the vegetable room but I didn't find it too hard and was all through by 2:30 pm. Mr. Poy, the Chinese cook from 31 came in and told me they won't need any spuds on Monday. After supper I climbed the highest hill to the North and West of the San and got a good view of the district. After getting my ear fixed up I went back to my lodgings and washed my head.
The next Saturday.......

October 9: My day off and after breakfast I started out walking to Lipton. I walked about half way and rode the rest being picked up by John Hepting. A cold wind blowing. Dad and Uncle Horrie were doing Jack Goff's chimney. The three of us had dinner at the cafe. Roy came to Lipton on his bike. I picked up some rides on the  way back but walked most of the way and was too late for supper. A big road gang went through Lipton from the East. 8 big diesels with road graders , cabooses and other stuff. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Basement 13 Acres

How the term came to be.
The basement 13 acres. Its a term that shows up sometimes in Bill Nevard's journals. It was a means of describing and identifying one of the fields on the farm.
Obviously it was a field of 13 acres in size. The basement part refers to a basement that had been built some years previous on the edge of the field. It was on the east side of the
yard not far from the house they lived in. There is no mention of the construction in the journals so it must have been built some time previous to the 1930s. It represented
the plans and hopes they had of building a bigger and better house to replace the original homesteaders log house first built in 1903 when they came here. It is likely
that the dry years and poor crops of the 1930s put those plans for a better house on hold indefinitely. They never did build on the basement . It remains today, overgrown by the poplars as nature takes back it's own.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

First Year At The San

September 30, 1949:
Today I completed my first year at the San and after finishing my day's work I started for home on the bike. Got to Lipton about 5:30 and found Jack Goff at supper. I bought bread and chocolate bars at Jampolsky's, then headed North. It was getting dark before I was half way home and I walked most of the way. I found Uncle Arthur at home. Had supper and went to bed.

October 1: The morning after breakfast I walked  up to Silver Birches and found them all well. Threshing and combining have been completed and dad's wheat went about 700 bushels, oats 400, and barley 120. Nine horses have been sold. Spark, Violet, Frank, Jubilee, Betty, Blaze, King, Beauty and May. We now have only Gleam, Embers and Castle. Arthur Lutz has Cloud and wants to buy him. I stayed at Silver Birches to dinner and then went back home. There is water in the big slough and also in our dugout. Donald has done quite a bit of disking but he had to take the new tractor down to Lipton yesterday to get the gears fixed.
I left home about 2:30 p:m and started back for the San. Arriving in Lipton I had supper with Jack Goff and waited a while in case Dad should turn up but he didn't. It was dark when I left Lipton and walked most of the way back to the San but picked up a ride for a little way with Dielson who got his arm scalded last week in the pig's mash. It rained a bit on the way back but not enough to wet me.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Letter From Grove Farm

A letter written by my grandmother, Alice Hall, at Saxmudham, Suffolk, to my grandfather, Horace Nevard in Canada.
                                                                                                                      Feb. 5, 1916
My Dear Horace
I was so pleased to receive your letter today as it did seem such a terrible long while since I heard from you. I was afraid you were ill again with shingles or something so I was very pleased to hear you were quite well. I expect the mails get delayed as it was more than three weeks from the time you posted it before it got to Saxmundham.
There have been three more Zeppelin raids over England lately. Last Monday night there were six Zeppelins over and there were 54 people killed and 63 injured. I don't think they were very near here but I heard the explosions of a bomb once only it was a long way off. I expect it was over Norwich as they went there. I wonder when this dreadful war will be over?
I think I told you we had a letter from Herbert before Christmas and we have had a postcard from him since Christmas and he was quite well and still in France.
I expect you have heard from Emily about your grandmother's death. She died on Jan. 8th. I have not seen Louie since then as I have not been to Sternfield but Dick told us about it.
I hope you are all quite well and also little Dick. He will soon be a year old won't he?Does he look anything like Ernie, his brother , did at that age? I think Mary said he has blue eyes and fair hair.
So now my dearest Horrie I don't think I have anymore news this time so I will close my letter as it is bedtime past nine o'clock. With love to all and my best , truest and fondest love to you my dearest Horrie.
I remain your ever-loving Alice . xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lilacs At The Poplars

After this latest blog post at "Mindless Ramblings" I thought maybe it was more appropriate to show it here in the Nevardblog since it makes reference to Ernest and Mary Nevard's homestead at The Poplars.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

1956 Landslide And A New Chevrolet

58 years ago last week the Fort Qu'appelle landslide was the big local news. As seen here in Bill Nevard's journal.
May 12: We started to clear away a space for our garage today. In the evening I went with George to Balcarres. We saw Bob Greenfield and he took us for a ride in his Chevrolet Bel Air demonstrator as far as the hill down to Lebret. He let me drive back to Balcarres. He has a nice two toned green Chevrolet on the lot but it is a standard drive.
May 13, 1956 Sunday, Dick switched over to morning shifts and I started on evenings again. A landslip has developed on highway 35 a mile west of Fort Qu'appelle and about 80 feet of the highway is covered with earth from the hill about 12 feet deep. Hundreds of people went to see it.
May 14: Dick went with George, Mrs. Birns and Dad to Balcarres this afternoon and bought the 1956 Chevrolet hardtop from Greenfield who is going to two tone it for us before we bring it home.
May 16: Mrs. Birns and I went to see the slide on 35 highway this morning. It has cut a gorge in the coulee 500 yards long.
A partial view of the Fort Qu'appelle landslide in May 1956. Borrowed from the Everett Baker slide collection which you really should have a look at.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Art and Writing

Bill Nevard was pretty handy at writing and drawing . Given a lead pencil and any old piece of paper he could (and did) produce some interesting art work. Like this one from April 16 1942.
Bill's journal entries from that time.........
April 15 We finished wood sawing today. Finished at Silver Birches before dinner and cut Uncle Arthur's in the afternoon.
April 16: Pig killing today. Uncle Horrie came and helped. John Senft called in dinner time.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Long Letter From Lexden 1911

An edited version of a long news letter from Emily Nevard to her sister in law, Mary Nevard, in Canada

                                                                                                    36 Straight Road
                                                                                                    Lexden, Essex

The 3 Nevard brothers had been in Canada over 7 years at the time this letter was written to Ernest's wife, Mary , by his sister, Emily , still back in Lexden, Essex, England.

Dear Mary: We were very pleased to hear you received the parcel alright. I don't mind the trouble of making things and sending them off if you get them. We had rather a business to get it off as we are always so busy.
We always have plenty of work , you see there are 12 of them in family at Hill House. Mr. and Mrs. Husnard, 4 children and 6 servants (2 nurses, housekeeper, cook, housemaid and parlourmaid). Then they are often having visitors so we have plenty to do. Then there are 5 of us to wash and cook for .
Mother is very pleased to hear you spent Xmas day altogether. You were really a jollier party than we were only we were more fortunate than you as we were able to go to Church.
The Parish tea was held on Friday the sixth of January. Cecil and I went. The entertainment was very good. I sat at Miss Colvin's table. She packed me a bonbon box full of things to bring home for Horrie. Ham sandwiches, jam pastries, sausage rolls, currant cake and bonbons.
It was a very wet day so I rode down in the tram car but it cleared off nice in time for us to come home. There were plenty of people.
I don't know if I told you that Mrs. and the Misses Colvins live next door to Mr. Griffin in the Warren Lane at the house where Captain Daniell formerly lived. Lance Stonehouse drive them in his brougham when they are out at night. Also to Lexden Church and back on Sundays. In the summer they drive in their pony trap.
Mrs. O'Grady did not have a table at the Parish tea so she decided to have a party on her own account and invited all the Mothers she knew. Mother, Mrs. Clayden and Aunt Annie and Aunt Vera received invitations and they enjoyed themselves very much.
Uncle Fred has been ill in bed for some time since before Xmas and he doesn't get better. Cecil is doing his work at the hall in the meantime. The Rector has invited the choir and Sunday school teachers to supper and a musical evening Thursday.
Uncle Jim is married but he is not at all well. Charlie died of consumption. A fortnight before he died the disease went to his brain. He was at his father's for 3 weeks. He told Aunt Annie he didn't wonder at people committing suicide if they suffered as he did. He said it felt as if the top of his head was being lifted off. He couldn't get any rest night or day until his father got a bottle of medicine from the Chemist to send him to sleep.
Fred Mann's son, young Jack, who has been in the army was out asked last Sunday and is to be married. They are going to live in the Colne Road.

Thursday Evening: Dear Mary, Cecil has been out to see Uncle Fred this afternoon. He found him very ill in bed. The doctor says he has had influenza and kept about at his work. Now it has settled in his leg. His leg is very much swollen and very painful so he can not get much rest. Cecil says he looks very thin and remind him so much of Father. They live just opposite Stanway Hall now
I have been thinking of paying Louie a weekend visit for some time but I don't know when I shall be able to go as it is hard work for me to get away. Mother get so tired by the time we have finished up the work.
We were very pleased to see the photo of the threshing outfit but we would like to have a clearer view where we could see who they are. I hope one day they will be rich enough to have a real good photo taken.

Grandmother is always very pleased to hear all the letters read. She always tell me to send our very best love to all. Isn't it wonderful how she live so long. It is very dull for her to sit by herself all day, especially washing days but we generally finish on Tuesday night. Horrie amuses her a good bit. It is quite amusing to hear him talk to her. He talk to her so old sometimes. Now I must leave off as I am going to start ironing. Thank Ernie very much for his letter. Now I must say goodbye with love to you all from us all.
From your loving sister, Emily Nevard.

Friday, April 4, 2014

On The Road

An edited account of Dick Nevard's trip from B.C. to 14th Field Dressing Station, Wainright , Alberta.

Dear Bill:  Yes, I have arrived safely in Wainwright on May 30th (1944) and found your letter waiting for me. So Bud is back in England now! I wonder if he will be sent back to Canada soon?
Now I'll continue my journey. I think I got as far as Prince George in my last letter. We left P.G. on the 19th. It was dusty but I enjoyed it. Passed through Quesnel in the afternoon and followed the Fraser River. Crossed it at Prince George. I built kind of a shelter out of short straight saplings for the night.
The 19th and 20th we were passing through the famous Cariboo district which tourists like to travel along in peace time. The road curves and twists about in many directions so one is seeing an ever changing scene. It was interesting to hear the various comments the different fellows made. The boys from Ontario liked the mountain sides partly covered with evergreens with the river flowing past. That was lovely. The rest of it was no good in their estimation. I saw a groundhog. It looks like a gopher only bigger, about the size of a cat.
The second night I built a shelter and shingled it with cedar branches. It served the purpose for it kept the snow and rain off all but the top part of my blanket. Some of the fellows got soaked in the middle of the night and had to get up and collect wood to light a fire and dry their blankets. I never heard any of it but heard later that the air was warm from their language.
The 21st was a cooler day. The country side began to flatten out somewhat as we passed into the Kootenay. Sage brush country although it was still mountainous. There was a river running along the valley with willow and poplar trees growing along the banks. We went into the Indian village of Ashcroft to gas up. Then we went into a bull pasture to camp for the night. We set up the canvas tarp covering from the truck and 15 or 20 of us slept under that.
When we arose the next morning it was raining hard. I helped wash the pots at the field kitchen at meal times that day. We had dinner at Kamloops exhibition grounds. It rained most of the day but the tarps over the trucks kept us dry. We camped that night at Salmon Arm where we were in barracks. It rained most of the next day but we had a good time waving at the residents who lived along the roadside. (especially the girls)
At night we put the vehicles in Revelstoke park while we slept in the arena.
The 24th we traveled the longest distance covering 121 miles that day. We went around the big bend and when we nearly around we came upon a wrecker which had gone over the side into the Columbia River the day before. At the time we reached the scene it was being hauled up by another wrecker.
That night we slept in the back of the truck. The following night we got back to the CPR line again and camped at Golden. There was a dance in the Legion building that night. I guess the residents, musicians and girls were quite tired because that was the third night in a row they had been entertaining soldiers.
May 26th we had dinner just outside Field. All that morning we were gradually climbing until at dinner time we were up to the snow line. It looked rather odd to see green leaves coming out on the poplar trees and snow nearby. We could see a coal mine in a mountain side. We went through the Kicking Horse Pass and could look down into the canyon. As we neared Banff in the afternoon we could see mountain goats on the cliffs and crags, and elk down on the green slopes. We slept in the camp grounds at Banff that night where they have those tables with roofs over them. I slept on a table and rolled off during the night but did not hurt myself. In the evening I walked up town going without supper in camp in order to get more time to see Banff. I went to see the famous gardens that Edward North had sent me a picture of . Only a few flowers in bloom. There was a foot of snow there just a week before. Still the layout of the gardens and waterfalls was well worth seeing. I visited the fish ponds and saw fish in all stages of development. And Bow Falls and Banff Hotel.
The next morning we left the Rockies behind and entered the foothill country where Wilf Carter wrote some of his songs about. We drove through part of Calgary which looked quite pretty with green lawns and trees. The lilacs were in bloom. We camped about six miles outside Calgary that night much to the displeasure of some of the fellows. But they were pleased after supper when two or three trucks drove them down to Calgary. I did not go myself. Well at any rate it seemed more like home. The atmosphere seemed different somehow.
Well cheerio Bill
Your loving brother Dick.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


February 21 John Fleming went for the mail in his cutter and Uncle Arthur went with him. I cut another half load of wood. Uncle Arthur brought back a lot of calendars from Walton for my use.

February 22: After melting snow in the morning I went down on 13 in the afternoon to get a load of oat straw. I saw two coyotes over on the ten acres across the valley. I went down nearly to the south fence and saw five of our horses but not Firelight. So then I went back to the old 1942 oat straw pile, (not much left of it), and I found her there, dead and partly eaten by coyotes. She had apparently laid down in a hole and been unable to get up. None of our horses seem to be in bad condition. This had evidently happened in the last week.
February 23: Sunday at home. Dick came to dinner and helped to eat my birthday plum pudding. He went back at night. He says he will go out of partnership with Eddie in the summer as he can not get on very well with Mr. North.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

From Hen House to Home

                                                Headlands P.O. Sask.
Oct. 25, 1945
Dear Dick; Dad is intending going to Lipton tomorrow so I will seize the opportunity to write a letter and get it off to you. You may find this letter rather more interesting than usual as I have some fresh developments to tell you about. Not exactly fresh either as they have been in the making for some time but i was waiting until there was something definite to tell you.
It will be no news to you to hear that Uncle Arthur and Bud don't get along very harmoniously  together. That was one fly in the ointment as far as Bud was concerned. His other trouble was with the new settlement board. After working 100 acres of summerfallow all summer and getting it prepared for next year's crop, he was told by the board that they didn't think the farm was suitable and they wouldn't help him with it. Bud was inclined to chuck it up and get out but I guess he didn't like to lose his summer's work so now he has leased the farm from Uncle Arthur until the end of 1947. The other development will interest you. You remember that Dad was building a new hen house near the basement, a second new hen house I should say. He had put a pitch roof on and shingled it but had never got around to plastering it and getting it finished. Well Uncle A. is going to live in it. He has bought cement and lime and we have been busy the last few days on it. The outside walls are plastered but it has to be done inside and door and window put in. It should be comfortable when it is finished so when you get back you may find Uncle A well established in his new domicile.
Last Friday Bud went to Lipton to get an x ray and posted my letter to you.
I picked some more stones . on Saturday Bud finished tillering our 25 acre piece, had dinner here and then went home and started tillering Uncle A's wheat stubble. I picked stones in the morning and hauled water after dinner.
On Sunday Dad and I went to North's for dinner in the democrat. We found them all well. Eddie had just received your letter of sympathy and you will be interested to hear that it was the first one they had received from England. Mr. North is still able to hold up his end in conversation and seems much the same as ever. Eddie told me that Syd has got his discharge and intends to get a job in Regina for the winter. We had supper at Tom's. Tom Heggie, his wife, and two daughters were there. Ethel went away in the afternoon to a confirmation at Cupar. Shirley Wheale and Mrs. Franklin (Ivadelle) were going from Headlands to be confirmed. After dinner I went for a walk with Eddie to look at his hens. A fine lot of Hampshires. He is getting rid of his older hens to the Keliher creamery. They have a plucking machine there now so he doesn't have to pluck them. He'll likely tell you all this when he writes. He was telling me that he'd like you to go into partnership with him in the chicken business after you get back as he finds it too much for himself alone and with a good partner he could expand the business a bit.
Of course I mentioned the Christian citizenship course you were interested in and that you were thinking of taking up Church work. Anyway, you'll have time to settle it when you return to Canada and I suppose that time is steadily drawing closer. Different fellows keep coming home. I hear Bert Binnington is back and looking for a job in Regina. William Michelson is taking the old Harry Millward farm. Bill Grainger is back on the farm again I hear.
Last Monday Bud caught the bus to Regina. Uncle Horrie and Donald took him to Lipton in the democrat while I hauled water and gravel. This was the day of John Walt's sale. I hear that Mrs. Bordass bought the car. For Malcolm I suppose, and its likely he'll do little else but exercise it as long as he can get gas.
On Tuesday Dad, Uncle A. and I were working on the hen house. Filling up holes in the walls ready for plastering. Uncle H. there too. Bud came back from Regina yesterday and today we have been busy plastering and have got the outside done.
Yesterday afternoon John Fleming took Uncle A. and Bud to Lipton and they fixed up the lease. I forgot to tell you that on Sunday morning we woke up to find our first snow covering the ground. Most of it has gone now.
So long and happy landing from your brother,   E.W. Nevard.
                                     Uncle Arthur and the new house.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Time 70 Years Ago

Headlands P.O.
March 27, 1944
Dear Dick
Since I wrote to you a week ago there has been nothing very thrilling occur around here to get into the headlines. Last Tuesday ,the 23rd, Dad and I loaded up 5 or the young pigs in the sleigh to take to Lipton. It wan't a lot of trouble an I started out for town about 8 am.  getting there at 10:30. So I went along fairly good. The road wasn't too bad most of the way down and of course five pigs didn't make a big load. Bailey who is in the lumber yard ships pigs every Tuesday and Buster Dobson's boy helped me unload them at the stockyard. After the pigs are unloaded they are stamped on both shoulders with a special instrument. Every owner's pigs having a different set of numbers. Uncle Horrie came down with a load of wheat but he was quite a bit later than me getting down. I think his team had all it wanted to do in spots as some places it was pretty well bare. Roy came down with him. I posted a letter off to you. I guess you should have it by now.
Monday was a mild day and the snow kept melting as the day progressed. On he way home near town the ditches had water in them while the highway was getting bare. I had planned going to town with wheat on Thursday but that thaw fixed the roads. I got home about 5 pm. The 22nd was another mild day and the snow going quite a bit. I hauled away 5 days manure and got water. Roy was helping Uncle Arthur get his oat straw home before the loose horses eat it all up as that is where they mostly stay now. He was hauling some to Uncle Arthur's and some home. Dad let the hens all out of the new hen house for the first time. After dinner I cleaned out the old chicken house.
Dad heard from Goffs that McCullough is in hospital with a bleeding ulcer and had to have two transfusions. On the 23rd I went on 25 with the team and sleigh and got 30 green poles for a hen house and had a look at the barley to see that it was ok.
Dad made a steak and kidney pudding, Uncle Arthur and Donald being here to help us eat it.
On Sunday I picked up the mail at Silver Birches and got your latest letter and , believe it or not, one from Bud. A fairly long one too and more interesting than usual. He had been to visit the ruins of Pompeii and was writing mostly about that. Uncle Arthur got a letter from him too but I haven't heard anything about it yet. Bud wants me to write to him but he didn't send any address. I suppose I can get that from Uncle A.
Sunday being a nice day I let the team out and likewise the cows. Dad went up to Silver Birches for his usual Sunday afternoon constitutional and while he was away Sandy Goff came along bringing the saw back. He didn't stay as he had chores to do. Tom Goff is sick with the flu and in bed quite a bit.
Today I took three loads of wheat out of our big bin up the hill to put in another bin to make room so I can begin fanning. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I'm taking two more young pigs to Lipton and will post this letter.
So long and don't tumble off any mountains. From your loving brother,
E. W. Nevard
Joy Nevard, probably going for the mail on Rusty

Monday, March 10, 2014

1937 Hospital Time

More from the journal of Bill Nevard......
1937 May 8: I went to Lipton in the democrat with Topsy and Violet starting out about 6 a:m. Taking Dick to catch the 9 a:m bus to Regina. Dick arrived ok and went into hospital after seeing Dr. Waddell.

May 24: As I am writing this on July 31 and have written down nothing in between , there will perforce be many gaps in my journals, but I will note down what I remember and let the rest slide.

May 25: I took Mother to Lipton with the democrat to catch the bus to Regina. Uncle Arthur rode down with us. We had to start early as the bus left at 9 a:m.

June 1: I went to Lipton with oats and Oswald Weiss rode down with me. We got a letter from Mother saying that Dick would be operated on Thursday, June 3.

June 2 &3: I hauled water and finished seeding using Gleam on the seeder for the first time. Dick had his goiter operation in Regina General hospital.

June 6, Sunday. Billy West came from Regina in a car and woke us up about 2 a:m this morning. Mary Wahl, her sister and another chap were with him. They took Dad back to Regina with them to see Dick as he was not doing very good , leaving me desolate. I went to John Senft's during the day to hear if they had seen Dick while in Regina but Mrs. Senft could not tell me very much.

Left to right Doris Creamer, Billy West, Mary Wahl, Aunt Flo Gerrard

June 7: I hauled six loads of water to day with Gleam and Violet. 24 barrels. Dad came back by train and got a ride to the farm with August Zielke. Dick is showing considerable improvement.
June 11: Dad kalsomining. I plowed in the morning and helped Dad in the afternoon. Seels brought Mother safely home in their car.

July 11: A somewhat eventful Sunday at home. The Frank Monks brought Dick home in their car about noon. Mr. and Mrs. Monk, Leslie and Aunt May all coming and we had a lunch outside. As a storm was coming up from the Northwest they left for home rather early. Between 3 and 4 p:m the rain came. It rained for about an hour. The biggest rain we have had for years, and when we went out afterwards we found the pasture sloughs nearly full of water. In one slough the water was higher than my knees. It had washed deep furrows out in the summerfallow and must have flowed in a stream 30 yards across down in our valley. Most
of our neighbors North and South of us didn't seem to get much rain.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Narratives, The Final Chapter.

Tommy was our first cat. . I had suggested to Dad that we might get a cat and he replied, "what do we want a cat for, we have no mice?" I asked cousin Joy to save a kitten for us. I bought a case of cat food and put it in the shed. Dad saw it and asked "what is the cat food for?" I replied that it means we are getting a cat. Dad said nothing more. He only smiled.
That fall we got Steve Tomenchuk to haul our firewood down to the new house for us. Dad went with him and brought the cat back too. As they started back Dad had Tommy in a sack on the cab floor. Tommy was protesting so Dad carried him home on his lap. The cat was quite comfortable and content there. Dad and Tommy became quite attached to each other. Dad would get up in the night to let him in.
Aunt Alice passed away on April 27 of 1953.
On October 29th, 1952 my cousin Joy, and Leslie Goff were married at St. John's Anglican Church in Fort Qu'appelle. The reception was held here in my house at Dad's suggestion. It was a warm, sunny day. Even Tommy the cat joined in the celebrations by eating some leftover ice cream.
In 1956 neighbors George and Jennie Birns gave us driving lessons and that summer we bought a new Chevrolet. We built a double garage and gave the Birns half of it in payment for teaching us to drive.
My father, Ernest Nevard, passed away September 5, 1958 at the age of 80. Uncle Arthur on January 11, 1965. My brother Bill passed away on November 7, 1975.
The author, Richard A. (Dick) Nevard passed away March 14th, 1995. Just past his 80th birthday.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Narratives 17 Post War Days

Shortly after my arrival home to the farm I went to work for Ed North on his poultry farm. I worked with Ed for a year and a half. In the winter of 1947 I came home for a while and on the 29th of April , 1948 I began working on the orderly staff at the Fort Qu'appelle TB sanatorium. Later that year, in October, my brother Bill came to work at the San as well. He took the job of vegetable man where he remained for 3 years. He then transferred to the orderly staff.
We purchased two lots along the road south of the Sanatorium from Ernie Millard in 1950. Dad and Uncle Horrie came down and started building our house. Dad moved into the new house that fall but Bill and I continued to board at the san until next spring due to the fact that it was hard to obtain furniture.
Dick Nevard at the "Fort San"

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Narratives 16 To The End of WWII

On August 9th of 1944 a thunder storm worked it's way up from the West and brought hail with it. Some of the stones were as big as a turkey egg. 144 filled a pail. Bill collected 3 pails of it for soft water.
In July of 1944 I arrived in Keliher for embarkation leave prior to leaving Canada. I went to the post office and asked Mr. Eric Stevens if there was anyone in town from the South country so I could get a ride. He said, I will get you a ride. Last year I got stuck down your way and your brother pulled me out with his team of horses. Mr. Stevens would not accept any payment. I offered him money for smokes but he said he did not smoke. I said , for beer then, and he said he did not drink. Mr. Stevens just wanted to pay back my brother's good deed and he hired Hector Thompson to drive me home that day.
I believe my embarkation leave ended on cousin Donald's 17th birthday. Anyway, it was a Sunday and Sandy Goff drove us up to Leross to catch the train for the East coast. It was the same Model T Ford that his Dad had met Aunt Alice and Uncle Horrie with at the train station in 1919 when they arrived in Canada. It was now 25 years later. While I was home on embarkation leave, cousin Bud came home having been discharged from the army.
I went over to England on the troop ship Empress Of Scotland. Before the war this ship was named The Empress of Japan. While in England, besides my many duties, I visited most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. They all made me welcome and I had an enjoyable time.
On the 26th of January, 1946, we set sail for New York on the world's largest ocean liner, the Queen Elizabeth. We ran into some very rough seas with waves 20 feet high but we never felt it as it was such a large ship.
Dick Nevard with the relatives in England, 1945.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Narratives 15 WWII

In 1944 the Reverend Tingey took the Church services at Headlands school. He came from Cupar. Up til then we had been having the rector from Ituna.
Anglican congregation at Headlands school in later years. 1951.
In the summer of 1941 Cousin Bud joined the Canadian Army and went to England later that year. On January 19, 1943 Bill drove us to Lipton with the team and sleigh  . It was a cold morning with the temperature dipping down to 40 below zero. I took the train to Regina to begin my life in the army. The saddest part of my life came in September of that year when I got a letter from my brother Bill informing me of the death of our mother. My Major granted me ten days compassionate leave so I caught the midnight train from Wainright, Alberta where I was stationed at the time. I arrived the next morning in Ituna at ten a:m. I did not stop for anything to eat there figuring I would reach Keliher by dinner time. I headed West on what is now the grid road not realizing that Keliher was further North and I would not pass it. It took me 12 hours to walk home. Towards the end I sat down for a rest every now and then. I was hungry, not having eaten for 24 hours. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Narratives 14 to 1942

In 1937 the Reverend Thomas started taking services at Headlands. In June of 1937 I had my first goiter operation and the second one the following January.
In May of 1938 I saw three deer on NW13, something I had never seen before. Bill had seen them when I was quite young. I remember Bill coming home for dinner and asking Mother and I to guess what kind of an animal he had seen. I guessed lions, tigers, and various others not seen around our hemisphere. So you can guess how old I must have been. I might add that I was rather disappointed in his not seeing something more thrilling.
On October 18, 1938 John Leslie sold out and moved from the district. He had been our faithful mail man for over 20 years. People coming home to our district from Regina knew that if they came to Lipton on Friday's train they could get a ride home with Mr. Leslie. John Fleming took over the post office (Headlands) until it was closed in 1947. On November 25 Bill recorded the sad death of Drizzly Inkblot Dwump, which was one of our cats. I was rather amused over the odd name Bill gave this particular cat.
On October 10, 1940, cousin Joy was confirmed in the Anglican Church in Ituna.
In May of 1942 the Reverend Frank Turnbull came and took Church services at Headlands. Cousin Donald was confirmed November first of 1942, also at the Anglican Church in Ituna.
In the spring of 1942 I had my first experience of working away from home when I worked for the Norths for two weeks while Tom North was laid up with the mumps.

Picnic at Winstanley Grove about 1934. Left to right: Arthur Nevard, Alice Nevard, Uncle Eddie, Horace Nevard, Roy Nevard, Don Nevard, Dick Nevard, Joy Nevard, Bill Nevard, Mary Nevard, Unknown, possibly Mrs. Hammil.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Narratives of the Nevards continued

In 1933 the Reverend Cleesby came to assist Reverend Badham.
In November of 1933 a steer got into a storage well that we had dug. The only way to get him out was with a rope around his neck which, unfortunately, strangled the steer. Bill skinned it. The same thing happened some years later but that time Bill and Uncle Horrie chopped a trench in the frozen soil and got the steer out. Wet and thoroughly chilled, but ok. That year of 1933 we had all bull calves born. Bill named them, Hero, Zero, Nero, Gay Caballero and Qinque.
On the night of August 17, 1934 the worst wind storm we had ever experienced occurred. Our threshing separator blew over and was rendered useless. Our stable was pushed out of plumb. Two haystacks had their tops blown off. An open bin on a rise was flattened. One wall was scattered for a quarter mile to the East. The wind came from the West. Bob Miller, six miles to the West of us, also lost his granaries, two in number. This was a dry year. We only dug ten pails of potatoes. The following year we dug 37 bags which was , I think, our best year ever.
Dad put new roofing on the chicken house. We called this building "the Jew shack" It had been on Uncle Arthur's South quarter and Mr. Fastofsky had originally homesteaded that quarter. He was of the Jewish faith. Bill also referred to it as "the Israelite's cottage".
In July of 1935 the Reverend Hillary came as our rector and held services at Headlands. On Sunday, September 17th Bill and I took cousin Roy to St. Michael's Church in Lipton for confirmation.
Down through the years the Nevard family had an assortment of dogs and cats. Rustler had a family of kittens. One was Little Vengeance, another was Sunflower . Possibly a ginger cat or tortoise shell. Bill named them all. I believe he got the names from Treasure Island, a novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. A story that Bill was very fond of. There were also two dogs, Bud and Snookums. Uncle Arthur had Bud and we had Snookums. We may have got them from Hobetzeders . Their rather short lives were ended by getting poisoned from a carcass on the way home from town.
Uncle Arthur also had a dog named 'Pants" . He got his name in the following manner. When he was a pup he was fond of grabbing and pulling on pants legs. Roy was just learning to talk and he said "Pants!" in disapproval. Uncle Arthur heard this and was highly amused. From then on he called the dog Pants. On December 21, 1935 Bill recorded: "Pants went to the happy hunting ground". And the following March, another obituary notice, "Sad demise of the venerable Grip from an attack by an unknown assailant. Grip had been Uncle Horrie's dog.
Christmas day of 1936 was spent at our home with the usual family gathering. That year we had a Christmas pudding made by Grandmother Nevard in England who was well up in her eighties at the time. She was the oldest resident living in the village of Lexden at the time.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Narratives 12, Into the 1930s

It was about the year 1927 when the Reverend Bowley left and Reverend Linder came and took the Anglican Church services at Headlands school.
In the spring of 1928 I caught pneumonia and Mrs. North kindly came and helped nurse me. My parents called the doctor. He got his car stuck in a mud puddle and Bill and the doctor walked up to Uncle Arthur's for a team of horses. Mr. Linder was there and so he drove them back to our place in his old Ford car. He came to a mud puddle and went flying through it with mud and water flying in all directions. He remarked for the doctor's benefit, "Thats the way to go through a mud puddle". The doctor said to Bill (and they were in the back seat) "some driver!"
Reverend Linder left in the fall of 1929 and the Reverend Horne came the following spring.
In December of 1930 Bill and Uncle Arthur took wheat to the flour mill in Keliher to be ground into flour.
In mid February of 1931 Mother and Aunt Daisy went to Regina hospital where mother had a goiter operation. This meant no school for me for a month. I stayed home to help Dad and Bill with the chores. Dad did the cooking. One of the puddings he made was so rich that it acted as an excellent laxative.
The Reverend Horne left in the spring of 1931 and the Reverend Robertson came to take his place for Church services at Headlands.
June the 14th was a Sunday in 1931 and Bud and I were confirmed in St. Michael's Church at Lipton. About ten others were also confirmed that day. Reverend Robertson only stayed one year. In 1932 the Reverend Badham came with Reverend Brown as his student minister and assistant.
June 27 was my last day of school. I had passed my grade 8 and it was time to helping Dad and Bill on the farm. It was a good year for Saskatoons and Mother put down 27 quarts of jam. On the third of January Bill and Bud took wheat up to the Keliher flour mill owned by Mr. Humphreys. They stayed the night in Hunter's livery stable.
This quote is from Bill's journal from January 13th, "Old Dan, Aunt Daisy's famous white horse died." February was a sad month for our district. Tommy Goff died at the age of 19 of pneumonia. The funeral was on February sixth, a bitterly cold day with the temperature down to 46 below zero. Aunt Daisy had an accident that injured her leg. Martha North came and nursed her. Aunt Daisy passed away very suddenly. Her funeral was February 25th. It was a nice bright day.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Narratives 11 School Days

A few days later Aunt Daisy took across Section 26 and the southeast of 35 to Headlands school which had been moved a mile east to the southeast quarter of 34 that winter. Aunt Daisy drove us with Dan and the buggy for a few days until we got to know our way. She put about 3 flags or rags on long poles to guide us. I did not go to school much the first year due to illness and other things. I did not learn much. The things I was most interested in were the songs and games. These were the things I told Mother about when I arrived home. Mother wanted to hear of the serious side of my education.
There was some excitement in the district that summer when some of the pupils came to school one morning telling us of a lunatic being at large in a nearby district. Mother had dad's rifle across a cream can although she did not know how to use it. Bill and Dad went to bed armed with clubs. One night Bill's club rolled off the bed on to the floor causing Dad to awake and wonder what was up.
The fall of 1924 was a wet one with lots of water in the sloughs. There were lots of ducks also and they raided the stooked wheat. Uncle Horrie was especially bothered as he had a big slough on his SW quarter of section 30. Some duck hunters came up from Regina and camped in Uncle Arthur's yard. Just at that time my cousin Joy was born. Mr. Cresweller, one of the hunters went in his car to phone for the doctor. Bill went with him to the gate with a stable lantern so the doctor could find his way in. They had just begun threshing our wheat but we were stopped for a wet spell.
Just after that I had my adenoids removed using the kitchen table as an operating table. There was no more school for me that year.
The Reverend Bowley started holding Church services in Headlands school. The first service was held on a week day evening in the fall of 1924. During the service, the lamp which was suspended from the ceiling, fell to the floor. Aunt Daisy grabbed Mrs. Creaser's coat and smothered the flames. Mrs. Creaser was not pleased over her coat being used for such a purpose.
Mr. and Mrs. Bowley slept at Uncle Arthur's and Aunt Daisy's home that night and did some visiting the next day.
In the spring of 1925 I started back to school again and attended more regularly. At Christmas that year I took part in my first Christmas concert. I had learned a recitation for the concert the year before but the weather was too cold for us to attend. I will never forget my first concert in 1925. I got so far and then got stage fright. I could not think of the next words. It seemed like ages before the teacher, Miss Mill, came to my rescue with the next word. Mother knew it by heart. Aunt Daisy said later that she should have come to my rescue and prompted me. In 1927 Aunt Daisy took seriously ill and went to a hospital in Winnipeg where they put her on a diet containing liver. In July of that same year my cousin, Donald, was born to Aunt Alice and Uncle Horrie. Mrs. Orford nursed Aunt Alice.
Arthur and Daisy Nevard

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Narratives Ten

That year Dad had a large steer butchered for beef. Charlie Gregory came to do the job. He shot Goliath (the steer) and the beast went down but did not stay down. Dad was standing close by and Charlie said , "jump on it". Dad was close enough but did not think they could have held down an animal that size. Goliath headed north for the bushes.  Charlie had a high powered rifle and used it. I think they used Tom, the horse, to drag the carcass back to the yard. Dad had the hide of Goliath tanned and lined and made into a robe.
That same fall we had a severe frost in early October and the potatoes were frozen in the ground.
In 1920 Uncle Horrie built his house and Dad helped. I was up there one day with Aunt Alice. The men were building the rafters when I asked, "Aunt Ack, is that where your children are going to play?"
That was the summer that the first plane flew over the district. Aunt Alice and Uncle Horrie were working on the house and were used to seeing planes fly over in England. Aunt Alice waved and called out, "have you any mail for us?"
Gordon Lawson came out and worked as hired man for Uncle Arthur. Dad had sciatica that year and was layed up for most of the summer. The sciatica never left him until he went to Regina and had all his teeth removed. He was never bothered with it after that. Dad never got dentures until many years later. He would cut the food up fine and was able to eat his meals faster than the rest of us.
Christmas day of 1920 the family gathering was at our house. The day after Christmas, boxing day, being Aunt Daisy's birthday, we all went to her house. Uncle Horrie and Aunt Alice stayed there.  On New Year's day of 1921 my cousin Roy was born. First child for Uncle Horrie and Aunt Alice. They got Dr. Hall from Fort Qu'appelle. Kelsey brought him up by car. Kelsey caught a coyote at our gate. Uncle Horrie held the coyote up to the window for Aunt Alice to see.
After a short stay at Winstanley Grove Uncle Horrie and family went to live in their new home which they called, "Silver Birches".
Alice and son, Roy Nevard in front of "Silver Birches"

In 1922 Dick Winstanley came out from England to work for Uncle Arthur. In the winter of 1922 there was a concert at Shawlands School. One item on the program was a play entitled "The Entomology of The Black Beetle". Thought up by Dick Winstanley. Bill watched them practicing and also saw it at the concert. I never saw the play but Bill related it all to me and it did not take long for me to have it memorized. The results, when Dick Winstanley came along I repeated the play to him. Mother said she did not think Dick was very pleased. He thought I was making fun of him, but such was not the case.
In the 1920s there was not the amount of entertainment that there is today. I remember hearing Aunt Daisy remarking to Mother that the Chautauqa had been in Lipton and May and and Annie Fox had gone to see it. She used a tone of voice that indicated this was a great society event.
One Sunday afternoon Harry Creaser came for a visit and entertained us with some of the popular music. He played some of them on my harmonica. "It Aint Goin To Rain No More" had sharps and flats and could not be played so he sang it instead.
In the fall of 1922 the Goffs and Nevards dissolved the partnership in the threshing outfit which had begun in 1910. We took over the portable engine and bought a smaller separator in 1923. That year we threshed for Bob Grainger and Syd Fox.
In the spring of 1924 cousin Bud (Sherwood Eric Holmden) came to make his home with Aunt Daisy and Uncle Arthur at Winstanley Grove.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Narratives 9 Home From The War

In 1917 Mr. Moffat left the parish of Fort Qu'appelle and the Reverend Cox came in his place and stayed until 1924. He was the first rector I can remember. He stayed at our home Saturday nights. I think Mr. Moffat did the same. I think I was about two or three when I told Mr. Moffat that I was going to harrow the summer fallow next year. I guess I had seen my big brother doing the job and wished to do likewise.
I am not sure when Bill began driving horses by himself but it happened in the following manner. Dad had gone over to Goff's so Bill told mother he was going for a load of straw. Mother was pretty worried. Bill was just pulling into the yard from one direction just as Dad came in from the opposite direction. mother said dad just looked. he could not believe his eyes. After that Bill was allowed to drive alone.
In the early days Mr. Lochead had the Headlands post office. When Bill was old enough he used to go for the mail. The Leslie homestead was on the northeast quarter of section 26. Bill used to call in at Leslie's on his way for the mail and he and Andrew Leslie used to go for the mail together. Bill would stop and have dinner at Leslie's and he and Andrew would play together. Bob Drever homesteaded a little north of Leslie's in 1910. Bill used to fetch mail for him. I think it was in the summer of 1911 that Mother baked bread for Bob Drever. Bob used to come for his bread on Sunday evenings. one Sunday Mother and Bill were visiting Mrs. McNeil. Bob was sitting on the doorstep waiting for them. His remark was , "They say Mrs. Nevard never goes visiting but I never find her home".
In April of 1918 Dad bought another quarter section of land. It was the northwest quarter of 13. I think he broke 22 acres that year. In the fall of that year the War ended. In the early spring of that year our dog Nell died from a kick from a horse. It happened at night. Next morning Mother saw Nell laying in front of our house. She looked as if she was asleep. I can still se her in my mind's eye. Mother went out and looked at the dog. Dad remarked, "Its no good". I guess had already been out and seen here.
Worse was to befall  us when two fine steers died of hemorrhagic septicemia. They either had to be buried deeply in the ground or burnt. The ground was frozen so Dad and Bill burnt them down on section 13. They made a large pile of straw and wood. Nell, some chickens and a pig were burnt at the same time.
Now to turn to a happier incident. When Uncle Arthur came back from overseas in the summer of 1919, I don't remember it but I do recall Uncle Horrie and Aunt Alice arriving at The Poplars on a bright and sunny September day. They had been married in England on January first of that year. At the time Dad and Bill were harvesting. Aunt Alice thought I looked rather puny. That evening after supper Mother had been down in the cellar emptying the cream. Aunt Alice was clearing the table and not noticing the open cellar door she tumbled down into it. She was bruised and shook up but nothing broken. The following Sunday we went to Church at Balrobie. I remember being disappointed that Aunt Alice did not come but she was feeling stiff and sore from the fall.
I was fond of Aunt Alice and used to tease her with an old alarm clock. When she was resting in her room I used to stand at the door and say "Aunt Ack can you hear me"? while setting off the alarm clock. There was an old Harry Lauder song called "Theres A Wee Drop In The Bottle For The Morning" and I used to sing it for her benefit because I knew she didn't like it.
Aunt Alice was very kind to me. I remember the next summer finding a wasp's nest and poking it with a stick when mischief got the better of me. When I came home crying from the stings Aunt Alice took me on her lap and got the bluing back and dabbed the sore spots with it. I never let on it was my fault.
Horace and Alice Nevard wedding photo

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Narratives 8 The War Years

On April 3, 1916 Uncle Horrie enlisted in the 195th battalion of the Canadian Infantry Corp. In November he sailed on the Empress of Britain for further training in the U.K. and by the end of the month he had landed in France to join the battle.
Uncle Arthur joined up in August of 1916 with the 238th Battalion of the Forestry corp and went to Scotland.
Reverend Moffat was now taking the Church services at Balrobie. He came in 1915 and had the loan of Uncle Horrie's horse, Captain. Bill was confirmed while in Regina in 1915 at Grace Church by Bishop Harding.
Around that time Dad built a log stable for the livestock. For the first years he had a sod stable. In 1917 he added on to the log stable. I was just beginning to get about outside by that time and very helpfully put my foot in the freshly mixed plaster Dad was using on the walls. He carefully washed my foot saying, "it would not do for your mother to see that".
Bill Nevard by new barn.

We had a dog named Nell and her pup, Frank. Mother said that when I was out playing with the dogs she could hardly tell boy from dog. In that year Mr. North bought a pair of pigs from us. They came for these one Sunday morning. Mr. North had his two sons, Tom and Ed with him. Tom Smith was also along with  him on this occasion.
That summer Aunt Daisy came up from the city for a while and lived in their house on the farm, Winstanley Grove. Our farm was named "The Poplars'. Mrs. McNeil had suggested calling it "the bluffs" but Mother did not agree. Mrs. McNeil had named their farm "Murdock" after a place in Scotland.
On the southeast quarter of section 12 just south of McNeils's lived Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson and their daughter Shatty. In 1917 at haying time Mr. Ferguson had his team run away with the hay rake and he suffered bad head injuries so Shatty came over to our place to get Dad to drive them to the station to catch the train for Regina. Mother had Shatty stay the nights at our place while her parents were away. That year we had Christmas at Fergusons. The next year they came to our place. Mrs. Ferguson said she was going to keep me. I thought she meant it and was quite worried. Actually I don't remember it, being aged two at the time, but have heard it referred to since.
Aunt Daisy held a picnic at her place in 1917 in aid of the Red Cross. I imagine all the neighborhood would be there. I remember hearing that the North family were there. Ed North told me that he remembers sitting on the running board of Tom Goff's Model T Ford.
                   Goffs and Nevards. Model T in background.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Narratives 7

That same year, Tom Goff and his  bride, Mary Elizabeth Lane were married in the Arthur Nevard home on November 27.
1911 was also the year of the earthquake. It happened on a Sunday afternoon. Dad, Mother and Bill were visiting at Braithwaite's (the farm that Hobetzeders bought later). There was an earth tremor that rattled the dishes in the pantry.
The Leslies homesteaded on the northeast quarter of section 26. They were burning some rubbish one day when the fire got away and traveled across Uncle Arthur's land and burnt his shack down. On the Sunday the Leslies followed the path of the fire finding out that Uncle Arthur's shack was no longer there. They paid him for it.
In 1911 the crop was hailed. Now the next paragraph will sound a little inconsistent but according to what I was told, Bill shoveled grain for Uncle Horrie. Uncle Arthur had an accordion and Bill played it so naturally he wanted one of his own. Uncle Horrie promised him that if he shoveled the grain for him he would buy Bill an accordion. Mother remarked that Bill got a little weary so Uncle Horrie would make the motions of playing an accordion to encourage Bill to continue on with his shoveling.
Aunt Daisy enjoyed company so one week a couple of young women came and spent a few days with her. When Mother and Dad got the mail and weekly paper there was a letter written by Aunt Daisy stating that there were lots of bachelors around and Aunt Daisy closed the letter with, "Come along girls".
I believe it was that fall when Uncle Arthur and Aunt Daisy went to live in Regina. The crops were hailed again in 1912. I think Dad worked in Regina that year. He worked on the jail one year, the Normal school another year , and lastly, the Regina General Hospital.

The Reverend H.A. Lewis came as rector of St. Johns Church in Fort Qu'appelle in 1911. He began holding Church services in Balrobie school. He came to our home Saturday evening, spent the night there and held the service the next morning. While here he would give Bill lessons. One day Mr. Lewis came along and Bill did not see him approaching while he was stooking. The stook fell down and Bill got rather angry at the miserable stook. Mr. Lewis said "too bad" and helped Bill to put the stook back up. They sat on some sheaves and Bill had his Sunday school lessons. Bill did all the stooking in 1913 when he was eleven years of age.
In 1914 Uncle Horrie worked in Regina. That was the year that war was declared in Europe. In February of 1915 Mother and Bill went to Regina. Bell went to Wetmore school until the end of June. Yours truly was born March 4, 1915 on Atkinson Street. I believe it was in the 2100 block. On the fourth of April I was baptized in Grace Church , Regina. That is where St. Matthews Church now stands. The Reverend Erp was the minister. Mother wanted Bill to be one of my god-parents but he was not well that Sunday as he had just his tonsils removed the day before. On the Monday, Mother and Dad brought me home to the homestead. Uncle Horrie was there to meet us and take us home from the train. The big item of news that day was the Jack Johnson-Jess Willard world championship heavy weight boxing match. As there were no radios in those days the news came over the rail station to telegraph wires. As the train stopped at each station they heard how the fight was progressing. The match was over before they arrived at Lipton so they were not kept in suspense. Jess Willard won in twenty or more rounds.
Dad made a cradle for me but I would not sleep in it. The cradle was used as a newspaper stand or holder instead. The Sunday following my arrival home was a nice day so Mother took me to Church at Balrobie school. The Reverend Lewis asked Mother about having the baby baptized. Much to his surprise Mother told him that it was already done. I understand the reason for my baptism in Regina was because they heard Mr. Lewis was leaving and there was a possibility of not having a replacement for a while.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Narratives of The Nevards 6

In 1910 Goffs and Nevards went in partnership and bought a threshing outfit between them. It was an Aultman-Taylor thresher with 27 inch cylinder, 42 inch body, powered by an International Famous 20 horsepower engine. It was a six team outfit and fed both sides. Tom Goff ran the threshing machine. They would thresh Goffs first one year and Nevards first the next. They also did some custom threshing for other farmers. Some of which were Jake Martin, Jimmy Gray and Cecil Lewis.

They had some bad luck the first year. During a spell of damp weather when they could not thresh, the separator was burnt beyond repair by a prairie fire. My family was sitting at dinner when they noticed the smoke to the West. Uncle Horrie jokingly commented, "Oh that is probably the separator burning down". The next day Tom and Alf Goff came over with the bad news. They had to buy another separator.
That fall, at the age of 8 years, my brother Bill dug all the potatoes. All the men were away threshing.
One year Dad and Uncle Horrie rented Friedgut's quarter which was the northwest quarter of 18. They grew oats and grew such a heavy stand that Dad got fed up with cutting it and said "lets quit". They left the rest and Friedgut got a man by the name of Witzey from the Garnock district to finish the job.
The winter of 1910 Uncle Arthur and Aunt Daisy spent at Redpath's who farmed in the Parklands school district west of Lipton.
I think it was 1911 when Uncle Arthur and Aunt Daisy held a Church service in their home. The clergyman came from Cupar to conduct the service. He played the coronet and provided the music for the hymns.
Church service at the Arthur and Daisy Nevard home in 1911.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Narratives 5 Winstanley Grove

In 1909 Dad bought a  binder from Cassidy, the Massey Harris agent in Lipton. Also in 1909 Aunt Daisy (Margaret Montagu Winstanley) came out to Canada. She and Uncle Arthur were married in St. John's Anglican Church in Fort Qu'appelle July 15th of that year. They came to the farm and lived in Uncle Arthur's shack. Uncle Arthur was busy building his house but was not ready in time for the wedding. They named their home, "Winstanley Grove".
                                                     Daisy Winstanley

One day Aunt Daisy was out for a walk and landed up at Captain Boyle's homestead, about 3 miles north of her home. Captain Boyle directed her home. Aunt Daisy often went for walks and met many settler's wives. Grace Hobetzeder told me this amusing little story told by her mother. Her uncles Tom and Alf Goff saw a lady walking into their yard with long flowing skirts. This chickens, cats, and dogs all fled in fright heading for the nearest bush. They had never seen anyone dressed in this English fashion before. This was how Aunt Daisy and Miss Kate Goff met. Kate later became Mrs. Karl Hobetzeder.
In July of 1910 Dad took out a mortgage on the farm. He was able to pay this up in 1920.
Dad had a collie dog named Nell. She had been given to him as a pup at one of the places he was working. He fed her bread and butter. One day mother asked Dad what to feed the dog and he told her. After that Nell was glad to get just plain bread minus the butter.
Nell was kicked by a horse and suffered a broken leg. Dad put her on the front room table and Aunt Daisy set the leg. Some years later a heifer named Lorna broke her leg and Dad set it. Her first calf, Oliver , broke his leg and again Dad set it. The leg had a little twist in it but he got along. Nell was very knowing and intelligent. One evening one of the hens was missing and mother could not find it. Nell knew where the hen was and led Mother to where the hen was stuck between two logs in the old stable.
I believe it was also 1910 that the Nevards all went to a Church service at Spondon. About ten miles east and a little south of our homesteads. The clergyman from Fort Qu'appelle took the service. The Church was built on the homestead of Mr. Jobson. After the service they were invited in to dinner.
The family attended a picnic at Eskdale. Mrs. Dragushen saw Mother's hat and took a fancy to it. Shortly after this Mr. Dragushen came along and wanted to borrow Mother's hat. He presented his case as follows. My frau is going to a marriage. Dad was owing Dragushen a little money at the time , otherwise I don't think Mother would have allowed it. He brought the hat back but Mother never wore it again.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Narrative 4, Working On And Off The Homestead

In 1907 Dad went out to work and Uncle Arthur stayed on the farm and did some breaking. This was the year Uncle Horrie worked for Dick Copithorne in the Wideawake district north of Indian Head. Uncle Horrie filed on his homestead in September of 1907 taking the northwest quarter of section 24 which the Browns had previously filed on. Tat was the year that Bill had a bad scare, there was a prairie fire north of the house traveling from East to West. Uncle Arthur was fighting fire. Mother ran across to tell him something and left Bill on a rise of ground in a safe spot. When the blaze got into a bluff of dry wood the flames suddenly shot sky high. Bill thought they were all going to be burnt in the blaze.
When they first came to the homestead there were no tall trees, just low bushes. Frequent prairie fire had destroyed the trees over quite an area. These low bushes reminded Mother of the English hedges. Mr. Bellrose lived about three quarters of a mile south and west and for a few years until the trees grew, they could see the Bellrose shack over the top of the bushes.
Mr Bellrose had a lime kiln dug into the side of a hill. Dad, Uncle Arthur and other settlers bought lime from him to plaster their houses with.
In 1907 the crops were frozen. In 1908 Uncle Arthur was looking after the homesteads. There was sadness in the community that year when our neighbor, Mr. McNeil died. Uncle Arthur, Mother and bill attended the funeral in Fort Qu'appelle. About the same time Mr. Phillips died. My people did not know the Philipps family until later.
Mr. Niels Larson was doing some breaking for Uncle Arthur. Mother had left some food for him. In those days jam came in wooden pails. Mother had just bought three pails of jam, each one different. Later on when my parents began using the jam they found that Mr. Larson had taken a sample from each pail and then nailed the lid back in place. This happened while they were away at Mr. McNeil's funeral.
In 1908 they harvested their first crop. It was threshed by the Dummy outfit, so called because several of the men were deaf mutes. Mr. Larson acted as interpreter. Uncle Arthur worked on the outfit as separator man or fireman on the engine. Tom Goff was on the crew and the Nevards and Goffs met for the first time.

 I think that was also the year when Max Desjarlais was on the threshing crew. Bill took a fancy to him. Uncle Horrie was working out that year and when he came home in the fall mother said to Bill "Who is that"? Bill replied, "Max Desjarlais"? Mother told him in a disgusted tone, "its your Uncle Horrie". Fate decreed that Bill and Max were not to meet again for many years and by that time Bill's infatuation had worn off.
Mother found herself running short of groceries one day so she and Bill walked over to Mrs. McNeil's. She said "you must have your parradge". Mother did not cook any porridge until the men went to town and bought sugar . Mrs. McNeil had not given her any sugar.
Uncle Arthur and Uncle Horrie each had an ox. Uncle Arthur had Jerry and Uncle Horrie had Billy. They bought from Charlie Neil. I believe they got away and went back home. The uncles had to walk back to Neil's to get them back.  Poor Billy met an untimely end after getting into a neighbor's bin of oats. He bloated and died. Uncle Horrie hauled him a short distance from the yard and the coyotes had a merry time. Uncle Arthur had a dog named Toby who thought that beef belonged to him and was barking at the coyotes all the time. Mother said he barked so much that winter that he lost his voice. From then on all he had was a squeaky yap.
One day Uncle Horrie was churning cream into butter by shaking it in a ten pound syrup can. The butter was slow so he decided to try rolling the can along the floor. All went well until the lid came off.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Narratives 3/ From Winnipeg to The Poplars

More in the continuing saga of the Nevard's journey to the new land.

Dad was waiting for them in Winnipeg and from there they travelled by train on to the town of Indian Head in what is now Saskatchewan. Dad rented a house from Captain Corse for them to live in for the summer.  Uncle Arthur and Uncle Horrie had work there for the summer too.
During the summer Uncle Horrie had purchased a bicycle which he rode up to the homestead one day. Along the trail he had a flat tire and nothing to repair it with. He called at Fort Qu'appelle but they had nothing to repair the tire with. No luck in Lipton either. He had to stop often to pump up the tire. It was difficult riding the old Touchwood trail where in places the ruts were so deep that one had to be careful not to hit the edges with the pedals or over you would go.

 In October the weather was turning colder. Captain Corse, who was living in a tent for the summer wanted to get back into his own house for the winter so Dad and Uncle Horrie went up to the homestead and built a two room log house. Uncle Horrie said there was a snow storm while they were building.
I believe it was on a Friday when they left Indian Head for the homestead. They started with a loaded hay rack on wheels. When arriving at Fort Qu'appelle there was snow on the ground and they switched the hay rack over to sleigh runners.  They spent that night in the Fort Qu'appelle hotel. I think Dad ate a whole duck for his supper. He said meals were 25 cents.
Saturday morning they continued their way along the Touchwood trail until the reached the Niels Larson stopping house north of Lipton. Larson kept this house for travellers along the trail. They were no more than 3 miles from the homestead so they arrived in good time next morning. Just as they got on to the home quarter the horse tied behind the load broke loose. Uncle Arthur went running off after it and was successful in catching it before it went far. When mother came around the bush and caught first sight of the house I don't think she was very impressed. Bill was safely hid amongst the various household effects and could see nothing.
Uncle Horrie chored for Tom Norris that winter of 1906-07 while Uncle Arthur chored for one of the Watsons. One day Bill thought that snow looked tempting, so nice and white. He took a lick of it off the edge of a metal dipper and his tongue stuck to the metal. Results were that he had a very sore tongue for the next few days.
It was a long cold winter and they were only too glad to see spring come  Bill enjoyed running from one bare spot of ground  to the next. Mother never saw another woman all winter.