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Canada Day: visitors, reunions and a bike parade

Meota News

Thank heavens it cools off at night, and is getting nearer normal in the daytime. One more condition we have survived. People are starting to eat their new potatoes, so good.

The Payton ferry was closed last week because of a high sandbar.

Meota was a-buzz over the weekend with motorbikes, trucks coming in with boats, big and little, and lots of personal watercraft. There were people at the beach from the park and elsewhere as most folks had company visiting. The fireworks on July 1 were outstanding this year. Many made their way to the beach area where they were set off. Good job to whoever did it. The golf course also appeared to be busy.

Bridge was played Tuesday afternoon at the Pioneer Center, with high score going to Catriona Winterhalt and Fraser Glen and second to Bob and Betsy Brown

Canasta was played at the Meota Do Drop In July 2. Top scores went to Arlene Walker and Janice Norton. Second were Vernon Iverson and Gail Hilderman and third Svend Christiansen and Lorna Pearson.

The extra-long July 1 weekend proved to be extra exciting in Meota. The Meota Regional Park was able to pull together a fantastic bike parade for all the kids to be involved in. Joanne Kachur estimated between 90 and 100 bikers participated. No one was left out on decorations, although many children came “over-the-top” prepared with decoration on their bikes as well as their outfits. Canada flags peppered the preparation grounds.

This year the Meota Cinderella Coach greeted the children as they decorated their bikes. Children were encouraged to sit and have photos taken with their siblings, parents and grandparents. Eventually the coach will be part of the parade, but organizers are not sure how it will keep up with all the speedy bikers in Meota.

The Meota Lakefront Paddle and Sail had no formal plans for July 1, but that didn’t deter members from coming out to enjoy the water. There are now kayak storage berths for 10 members, thanks to a generous donation from Jerry Hallgrinson and the handiwork of Vern Burgardt.

Patrick Eckerman, a new member of MLP&S, had a rather exciting time when he capsized the sailboat he had just purchased. Fortunately he had quite a crew come to the rescue when Vern Burgardt headed out with his pontoon boat. It was a reminder to us all that wearing a life jacket is crucial.

The club is in the early stages of planning their annual steak night again this year. If SHA regulations allow, Song and Steak Night at the Lake will be held Aug. 7. This will be a fun event with good food and good entertainment.

Many families were able to return to their annual family reunions post COVID-19. The Chase family was no exception. Planning was a little last minute but in the end it became exciting. Bryce Chase, at 98 years young, came from Calgary with his daughter Barbara Chase. Bryce’s sister Pat Thompson Chase, at 90, came from Saskatoon with her daughter Diane Leonhardt.

Due to the high demand for accommodation in Meota, Bryce and Pat were welcomed to stay in their original home by Leo and Trudy Janssens. Bryce got to sleep in his parent’s bedroom, while Pat slept really well in her old bedroom. Sitting in front of their parent’s fireplace in the original log home (Mistic Ooseegan. meaning log home in Cree) brought back many wonderful memories of growing up in Meota. The added bonus was that the poppies are in full bloom even with the heat.

The two eldest Chase boys, Bryce, RCAF, and George, one of the Regina Rifles, were involved in liberating Holland during the Second World War. Leo and Trudy are both Dutch immigrants who are forever grateful for the Canadians who came over to liberate Holland. Seventy years later, their paths have crossed due to their love of this special home in Meota.

Bryce Chase and Pat Thomson had a busy few days travelling and then visiting with their extended families. The stories that are shared are a lifetime of experiences. One of Bryce’s fondest memories was of his mother Blanche stitching up a doctor’s head in the kitchen in the old house. The doctor had been out goose hunting and on his first shot he killed a goose and while he continued shooting other geese, that first goose landed on his head and he required stitches. When Bryce goes into the present day pantry, the memories of that day flood back.

Pat talked about the Sunday evening gatherings that took place around the piano that her mother and her sister, Maude Steele, played. Many students took their piano lessens in the front room and Ted Chase would lean against the fireplace and light the match that would light his pipe.

Bryce recalled as a teenager (for $3.50) he would clean the beach in Meota from Memorial Hill all the way to the sailing club. He relived a trip he did from Meota to Spokane, Wash. on his bicycle in 1939. He left with $4 in his pocket and planned to make money working on the golf course in Banff. On route he met the British royals in Unity as they toured Canada on the train.

I found out that their mother Blanche wrote a regular piece for the North Battleford Optimist. They really enjoyed the fact that I write the odd piece for the News-Optimist.

Even with all the visiting they found the time to visit the Meota Cemetery and take care of grave makers for Donny and David Chase.  

A person could write a book on all the stories these folks have to tell. Very interesting lives lived.