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Family Histories, Part 26

Sanche, J. Felix A.

Felix Sanche.
Glenn, Felix, Pauline and Clifton Sanche.

Felix was born on a farm in the Marcelin, Saskatchewan area on November 30, 1939. Felix went to a country school to grade eight, attended two years of high school at Notre Dame College in Prince Albert, and finished his high school in Marcelin, Saskatchewan.

In June of 1959, Felix became an employee of the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan. After working there for 16 months, Felix was transferred to Big River, Saskatchewan, in October 1960. He roomed and boarded at Mrs Guilda Brownfield's residence.

Felix's first winter in Big River was spent curling, as there was no covered ice hockey rink at that time. The summer of 1961, Felix played baseball with the Big River Barons Baseball Club. The winter of 1961-62, Felix played hockey with the Big River Braves. It was during the spring of 1962 that Felix met Pauline Otte and they were engaged in October 1962. About this time, Felix was transferred to the Imperial Bank of Commerce in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.

In the spring of 1963, on May 15, Felix married Pauline Otte at Big River Catholic Church and they began their life together in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. They were then transferred to Biggar, Saskatchewan in 1966. They spent two years there and were then transferred to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1968.

Soon after, Felix left the bank and went to work for Intercontinental Packers for ten years. Felix then worked for the City of Saskatoon for the next 21 years until his retirement in April of 2000.

Their family consists of two sons, Glenn and Clifton. Glenn was born in Meadow Lake in 1964. He works for Safeway as a pharmacist and is busy with his two children, Danielle and Lauren. Clifton was born in Biggar, SK in 1967. He works for AIT Canada as a Marketing Analyst and often travels to Big River with his children, Dylan and Claire and his wife, Sherri (Swanson) Sanche. They both reside in Saskatoon with their families.

Felix Sanche family.
Back Row: Felix.
Front Row: Dylan and Pauline holding Claire.
Lauren and Danielle.

Felix and Pauline remain active in their retirement, staying in close contact with their many siblings and enjoying their four grandchildren. They continue to spend weekends travelling to Big River for family get-togethers or to fish and camp. It was at Nesslin Lake where Clifton met Sherri and their not-so-secret romance began. Felix remains active in 60+ old-timer hockey and 55+ old-timer slo-pitch. He enjoys socializing at the "coffee shop" or visiting garage sales to add to his many collections.

Sanche, Sherri Lynn (Swanson)

Sherri Sanche.
Sherri, Claire, Dylan and Cliff.

Sherri was born in Big River on May 16, 1967, to Eugene and Merle (Marshall) Swanson. She lived on her parent's farm one mile north of Big River with an older brother, Lee, and younger sister, Glenda (Oleksyn), and attended the Big River Schools: Junior School, Junior Intermediate, Senior Intermediate and High School from 1973 to 1985. Sherri is proud to have had her mother as her teacher for her grade six-year. She was an active participant in many activities such as figure skating, drama, curling, softball, SRC member and driving around town with her friends.

Sherri moved to Saskatoon in 1985 to follow in her mother's (and many maternal relative's) footprints to become a teacher. She served as the Social Director on the Education Students' Union during university, curled and took Kung Fu which resulted in a trophy. Sherri convocated in 1989 with her Bachelor of Education degree at the same time as her future husband, Clifton Sanche, completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Sherri's teaching career led her on an eleven-year whirlwind tour of Saskatchewan schools while Cliff found an accounting job in Saskatoon. Sherri's first teaching job was located in very southern Saskatchewan teaching a split-Grade Three, Four and Five classrooms in McCord, Saskatchewan. Cliff or Sherri faithfully completed the four-hour trek between McCord and Saskatoon to be together almost every weekend. The following year Sherri moved back to Saskatoon to find herself teaching in a small town outside of Saskatoon. Cliff and Sherri were married in Big River on May 16, 1992. They were happy to meet their firstborn, Dylan, on November 28, 1995, and his little sister, Claire, on March 15, 2002.

Sherri is a teacher in Saskatoon. Cliff is a Marketing Analyst for AIT Canada. Dylan is active in hockey, music and soccer. Claire is busy growing up and trying to keep up with Dylan. The family attends St. Anne's Parish church. They often travel to Big River to go to "the farm" to visit Cliff's relatives (the Ottes and Coopers) on long weekends and holidays, to go camping or to go dancing at the Ness Creek Music Festival.

Sherri has fond memories of camping in the rain, catching "the itch" taking swimming lessons at Phillips' Beach, raising money for the Recreation Center in 1979/80, curling with her dad, brother and sister, laughing at "Wayne and Shuster" while visiting Gramma Viola Swanson, playing Anti-Anti-I-Over at the picnic grounds south of Big River, meeting people at the Provincial Drama festivals, placing "nickel bets" on the pony chuckwagons at the Big River Rodeo, experiencing the Outdoor Education canoe trips, and slurping on an orange pop at the "Chicken Coop". Sherri is proud to tell people that her hometown is Big River.

Sanders, George

Submitted by Grace Colby

George Sanders.
George Sanders.

George Sanders came to Canada from Latvia in the early 1930s. He lived where Pickerel Point Resort is today. Carl Colby was a very good friend of George's and spent much time there, fishing and hunting together. When George decided to move into town, Carl talked him into building on our land.

George was a quiet, gentle and very kind man. He also was a skilled carpenter, not just in woodwork, but he made some of the most beautiful crafted carpenter tools. He made Lynne a lovely pair of skis. His secret he always said was in the seasoning of the lumber, which should be anywhere from seven to eight years.

George always had a bag of hard candy to share with the young people. George spent much time at the Colby's. Grace did his laundry and shared their homemade bread and buns with him.

George sent parcels to his sister in Latvia and always had a pair of shoes for her, which he purchased at "Timothy Eaton's".

When Ruth graduated from grade twelve, he bought her a watch. George had a stroke in 1960 and passed away shortly after.

I, Grace Colby, write this in memory of a dear friend, who we remember with very fond memories.

Sawatsky, Derek and Leanne

On April 23, 1997, Derek Sawatsky, along with his wife Leanne, took his first RCMP posting in Big River. This was good news for Derek and Leanne, as home for Derek was Leoville, and home for Leanne (Lavoie) was Spiritwood.

In October of 1997, Derek and Leanne were blessed with their first child, a girl, Courtney Kathleen.

In December of 1998, Leanne became employed with the Lakewood Lodge as a Special Care Aid. She is very happy with her work and the people she has gotten to know through her work.

It seemed like this would be home for a while, so they decided to add to their family. In May of 2000, Derek and Leanne gave Courtney a baby sister, Kaylee Brooklyn.

Derek joined the sport of curling and very rarely missed a game. He became involved in the curling club, and let his name stand as President for the 2002-2003 season. Many Wednesday nights in the summer you would find Derek on the Golf Course.

Leanne seemed to find interest in getting together for a coffee and meeting new people in the town.

After six years of making Big River their home, Derek received news of a transfer. This transfer will take him and his family to a new home in Allan. Derek will be working in Colonsay. In July of 2003, Derek and Leanne moved to Allan, Saskatchewan.

Schmaltz, Tracey (Gilbert) and Barry

Tracey Schmaltz.
Josh, Tracey, holding Peter and Barry.

Tracey Sue Gilbert was born in Big River, Saskatchewan on February 25, 1968, to John and Susan (Warriner) Gilbert. She was raised in Big River around her grandparents, aunts, and cousins until 1980 whereupon her family moved to Fox Valley, Saskatchewan. Tracey has one brother Bartley, who is married to Kim and they have Mercedes (their dog). She also has one sister Brandy, who is married to Merle and they have a daughter, Mandy.

Tracey married Barry Schmaltz in their home on January 5, 1997. Barry was born in Leader, Saskatchewan in August 1962 to Peter and Marie Schmaltz. He was raised on a farm north of Fox Valley and has never left Fox Valley. Barry is the youngest of eight children.

Tracey and Barry have two children: Joshua Robert who was born on February 15, 1989, and Peter John who was born on March 27, 1999. Josh is fourteen years old and is finishing grade eight at Fox Valley School. Peter is four and need I say more. Barry currently works for Apache Canada as a gas field operator. He also farms with his sister.

They have cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, rabbits, ducks, a pony, greyhounds, cats and a Border collie.

Tracey is currently on the Division School Board, sells Discovery Toys and is kept busy being a housewife.

The Schmaltz's currently live in Fox Valley in a bigger house with four bathrooms, two noisy birds, two barely alive fish and one crazy dog. They like to watch movies, The Discovery Channel, MTV and Nickelodeon. They all take part in keeping the house clean, working in the yard and chasing Peter down the street. They like to go fishing in the dugout and riding quads to look for sheds. Barry likes to hunt, polish his "57 Chevy" and bug his wife. Tracey likes to grow plants, scrapbook, iron clothes, read, sleep and torture all the kids in town with the potential for a water fight. Josh keeps busy with his schoolwork, volleyball, computers, videotaping and his friends. Peter keeps everyone else busy but he does like to watch cartoons, ride his bike and go swimming. He considers everyone he sees and meets to be his friend. Tracey and Barry plan to stay in Fox Valley and raise their family.

Schmidt, Mr and Mrs Joe

Submitted by Sandra Schmidt (Archibald)

I was born on May 3, 1951, to Dorathy and Ash Archibald. I attended Ladder Valley School for grades one and two, and four to eight.

One of my favourite memories from this one-room schoolhouse was the yearly Christmas concert. Weeks, before we would pick special skits and plays and the kids, were given parts to practice and memorize. The week before we would push all the desks along the walls and build a stage from scratch (including scenery and props) and then the wire was strung for the old stage curtains. The day of the concert a chosen few were sent out to chop down a Christmas tree, which we would all decorate. That night all your family and neighbours would pack the school. The best part was when Santa would run in calling, "HO HO HO!" delivering brown bags of candy to everyone.

I attended Big River School for grades three and nine to twelve. I moved to North Battleford in 1969 where I met my husband. We were married August 28, 1971.

We have two children, both of whom live in North Battleford. Kim Wouters (Tracy), and Mark. (I work at a nursing home and love it)

Schmitt, Charles (1934)

Charles Schmitt, son of Jean and Yvonne Schmitt, was born in Domremy May 25, 1934. Like his brother Louis, he learned at an early age, the responsibilities of farm life. He grew up in Bodmin and attended a country school a few miles away.

Charles spent most of his adult life as a guide for tourism in Northern Ontario and as a slasher operator for the paper mill of Dryden.

On March 23, 1961, he married Katriona (Kit) (nee Groschart) Fife (born June 30, 1930) from Glasgow, Scotland. They made their home in Dryden, Ontario, where both Charles and Kit worked.

Gordon Fife was born in 1948. Kit, and later Charles raised him. He married Camilla Amenti from Dryden. Both he and Camilla work in Dryden. They have three daughters: Shelley is single and works in Dryden. Jaime is married to Patrick Corvello, and they have two daughters, McKenna, three years old and Avery, born in June 2003. Jodi is single and is studying to pursue a career in Social Work.

Unable to have a family, Kit and Chuck decided to adopt children.

Charles (Chuckie) was born June 23, 1967, in Kenora, Ontario. In August 1993, he married Dana Bertrand at Sioux Lookout, Ontario. They are blessed with two children: Eric, born October 2, 2000, and Molly, born September 2, 2002. They reside in Dryden Ontario.

Quincy (Tracey) was born on April 5, 1969. She married Scott William. They have no children. They both work in Dryden and live a few miles out of Dryden on a beautiful acreage.

Charles is now retired. For the last few years, he took care of his ailing wife. She passed, away June 29, 2003. Charlie loves the outdoors... fishing is one of his passions and what better place than in Northern Ontario to enjoy his favourite sport!

Schmitt, Louis

Louis Schmitt.
Louis and Leonette Schmitt.

I was born to Jean Schmitt and Yvonne Gaumond on September 28, 1932. I was named Jean Batiste Louis Schmitt after my father and great grandfather Schmitt. My father was the son of German and French immigrants. My mother was born in Quebec. Her parents moved to Saskatchewan in 1913, when she was only three months old, and settled in the Shell River district.

My father was a labourer. He worked mostly for farmers. In 1930, he met my mother and they were married in 1931.

My first years, which I do not recall, were spent in the Domremy area where dad worked for farmers in the surrounding district.

Later, around 1937, my parents moved into a house on my grandparents Gaumond's farm, where Dad was cutting ties with Grandpa. A few months later, we moved to Devil's Lake. I started school at the same school my mother had attended.

In the late summer of 1942, our family, which consisted of myself, a younger brother Charles, and a little two-year-old sister Lorraine moved to a camp north of Big River where Maurice Tremblay owned a sawmill. Dad was foreman there and Mom was cook and laundress for her family and ten men. In the early spring of 1943, a forest fire raged around our camp. We had to move all our furniture into tents close to the lake. I remember lying flat on the ground, so we wouldn't choke in the smoke.

Later that spring, Dad bought a farm in Bodmin. A few months later, Dad started working for the CNR as section man.

In 1944, the CCF came into power in Saskatchewan. Shortly after the roads and schools were built - a road from Highway 26 to Lake Four; and, another one, from our place to Dumble was built. A new rural school, Winterlake School was built three miles from our home. That is where, at twelve, I started school in earnest. I had a lot of catching up to do. But I enjoyed school and three years later, when I quit school, I would have been going into grade seven.

In front of the schoolhouse was a slough. So in the winter, when it froze, all of the children would clean it and skate and play hockey.

Life on the farm was good with lots of responsibilities. Charlie, my younger brother, and I were well prepared to work hard all our lives. Chores had to get done before and after school. That meant, feeding and watering animals, milking cows and separating the milk. The cream was brought to the hamlet of Bodmin (five miles north of our place) two or three times a week to be sent by train to Prince Albert. In the winter, on weekends, we had to haul hay with the horses from the meadows further away.

Not too far north from home, there was a big lake. That is where we learned to fish, swim, etc. In the winter, we cleaned the ice and organized hockey games with the neighbour's kids. When I was fourteen, Dad bought a .22 rifle. At fifteen, I bought my own .22 repeater gun, which I still own. Charlie and I enjoyed practising shooting squirrels, gophers and later wild game.

At fourteen, I started going on harvest runs. Charlie and I were also hired to cut cordwood, posts, rails, pulpwood firewood contracted for different companies. That brought us a little income to buy our clothes for the winter.

In 1945, a little brother, Joe came to join our family. At sixteen, in Big River, I wrote my test to get my operator's license. After my test, I was hanging around, waiting for the cop to give me my driving test. I was talking to one of our neighbours and when the cop came out, my neighbour quickly told the cop that he knew I could drive because I had been on his crooked road and I had made it okay. Then and there, the cop signed my license.

In the spring of the late '40s, I was picked up to go fight forest fires up north. I remember doing a lot of walking and putting out moss fires. We had to carry a five-gallon water tank with a pump on it, a shovel and an axe plus our ration for the day. Since those days, I have great respect for the natural elements. Though I love nature, I know what fire, water and wind have the power to destroy.

At home, although we considered ourselves poor, we had a warm and loving family life. We always had lots to eat. Mom was an exceedingly good cook. In the summer, we went berry picking which was always lots of fun. At a young age, Dad taught us to play cribbage. Cards were always a diversion. In the summer, we played softball, especially on weekends. Once in a while, we attended school dances. We used to save our pennies to go to the movies on Friday and Saturday nights in Big River and Debden, which we enjoyed tremendously. It was our family outing of the week.

Because Dad was transferred to Meota, in 1950, he sold the farm in Bodmin to a Mr John Anderson. In the summer of 1951, I went to work on road construction in Alberta, operating a caterpillar, northeast of Drumheller.

The next year, I went brush cutting in Meota. In 1953, I went to work as a section-man for the CNR. In the winter, I did commercial fishing and was drayman, hauling coal, lumber, cement & bricks.

In 1955, I went to work on house construction in Edmonton Alberta. In the spring, I worked for the ACE power line construction. In the summer of 1956, I went to British Columbia, working on pipelines in Vancouver. Once the project was over, I worked at the sawmill, cutting logs, etc. in Quesnel. In 1958, I returned to Saskatchewan where I worked mostly as a mechanic in Prince Albert and finally, for 23 years, as a maintenance man for the Village of Domremy where my parents had taken up residence. Dad worked for the CNR for 25 years. Over the years, he worked at different places and ended up in Domremy where he retired.

In 1974, when Dad was struck with cancer, being single, and having to take a year off because of injury to the elbow, I returned home to help care for him and took the job of maintenance man for the Village of Domremy. Dad passed away peacefully at the hospital in Prince Albert, January 22, 1975. I remained home with Mother.

On July 9, 1993, I married Leonette Gareau (Fortier), a single mother of three children: Denis Fortier, married to Ji-Hae Song in 1998, in Korea. Denis is a schoolteacher and teaches in Lloydminster. Sylvie Fortier, single, also is a schoolteacher in Regina. Claude Fortier is married to Laurie van der Kamp and they both are employed in Calgary, Alberta. Claude works for Shell Oil.

In 1996, due to failing health, Mom moved in with us. I retired from my job of maintenance man of Domremy on my 65th birthday in 1997. Mom, Yvonne Schmitt passed away on June 28, 1999, at the age of 86. Since then, although both my wife and I have suffered a few illnesses, I still enjoy puttering around, gardening, building projects and occasionally, I still work on small motors for friends and neighbours. It seems that there is always something to do. We both enjoy our home in Domremy and enjoy being grandparents to our only two and a half-year-old granddaughter, Mia. I like to reminisce... and remember fondly my growing up years in Bodmin.

Louis Schmitt family.
Back Row: Joe, Charlie and Louis,
Front Row: Lorraine, Yvonne and Jean.

Schneider, Carmela Marie (Derworiz)

I was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan in August 1974. I am the oldest of three children born to Ernest and Kathleen (Diduck) Derworiz. I was raised on a farm south of Kamsack, Saskatchewan, where my parents and brother still reside. I attended high school as a boarder at Rivier Academy in Prince Albert and moved on to Saskatoon for three and a half years of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan. In January 1996, I began training with the R.C.M.P. at Depot Division in Regina and was sent to Big River (I remember saying, "Where's Big River?") for my first posting in July 1996.

My original intention was to spend about three or four years here and then continue on my way for a glamorous and exciting career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Big River proved to have its brand of excitement both for my career and my personal life as fate intervened and I hooked up with a local (I guess that can be taken literally when one considers Kelly's occupation) when I married Kelly Schneider in June 2000.

We now live just south of town at Les and Gail Dunn's old place. Kelly and I have two sons, Braden Kelly, born in September 2001 and Marek Andrew, born February 2003.

Schneider, Henry and Marie

Henry and Marie Schneider moved to Big River in the fall of 1958. Henry was employed by Waite Fisheries Limited. He bought fish at Dore Lake. Henry and Marie had five children Stanley, Robert, Deedie, Shirley, and Jaynell.

Stanley joined the Smoke Jumpers, which was part of the Department of Natural Resources. He lived in La Ronge, Saskatchewan in the summer and spent some winters working with his father freighting fish from lakes north of Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan. He married Geraldine Dunlop in 1959 and lived in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and then moved to Drumheller, Alberta and settled in Red Deer, Alberta. They have three children Sterling, Robert, and Tracy.

Robert moved to Big River and worked with his father for a few years then ventured on his own, trucking and buying fish. He married Clarice Pederson in 1963 and have three children Kelly, Kari, and Stacey.

Deedie started grade nine in Big River and attended school until she married Andrew Lomsnes in 1961. They have three children: Delano, Kenneth, and Cheryl. Andrew and Deedie farmed north of town.

Shirley started Grade Two in Big River. She graduated in 1969 and attended teachers' college in Saskatoon from 1969 to 1970. She married Earl Beebe in 1970 and they trucked and farmed in Big River until the present time. They have three children: Jason, Leanne, and Dallas.

Jaynell went to school in Big River and graduated in 1974. She moved to La Ronge and works for the Saskatchewan Government. She met Peter Ross in La Ronge and they have two children: Kami and Kara.

Henry worked at the Big River sawmill and for Max Wilson trucking until his retirement. He passed away on July 9, 1979. He was always a very colourful person. Marie worked at the Big River Union Hospital as a night nurse for ten years. She always enjoyed her job of looking after sick people and bathing all the new babies that were born in the community. She always enjoyed teaching Sunday School at the United Church. Marie passed away on April 25, 1969.

Schneider, Kelly Robert

I was born on February 19, 1965, to Clarice (Pederson) and Robert Schneider. I am the oldest of their three kids and the only boy in the family. I grew up in Big River and spent a lot of time with my parents at the various fish camps where they worked. For the rest of my time, I learned to love cars, Pepsi and sports, especially hockey. I was fifteen when I moved to Nipawin to play hockey with the Nipawin Hawks of the SJHL. I then moved on to play with Prince Albert Raiders, Humboldt Broncos, Moose Jaw Canucks and then back to Nipawin.

My dad passed away in May 1980 and with his passing, I lost my drive for hockey. I returned home to Big River to torment my mother and complete high school. I graduated from BRHS in June 1985. After school, I worked at Len's Gas Bar and in 1981 moved on to work in a gold mill in Star Lake, north of La Ronge. I moved to Yellowknife in 1989 and worked for Echotech Labs and then went to work for Giant Mines underground. While in Yellowknife, I met and married Terese Duncan in December 1989. Our oldest son, Tyrel Robert, was born in July 1991 in Yellowknife. We moved back to Big River in May 1993 after I lost three good friends in the strike and mine explosion that occurred at Giant on September 18, 1992.

Once back in Big River, we purchased the trailer on Main Street where I grew up as a kid. I worked for my mother and stepfather, Larry Hunter at Hunter Fish Agencies. I also worked at J & R Contracting, Weyerhaeuser and for Len Zinovich. My second boy, Mason Stuart was born in July 1994 and Larry passed away in June 1995. After we lost Larry, Mom and I became a team at Hunter Fish and my job was to look after the overall operation of our seven agencies in Ile-a-la-Crosse, Patuanak, Pinehouse Canoe Lake, Dore Lake, Wollaston Lake, and Big River.

Terese and I separated in early 1998 and she moved Tyrel and Mason with her to Prince Albert. I met Carmela Derworiz and we got married in June 2000. Carmela and I have two sons, Braden Kelly and Marek Andrew.

Schneider, Stacey Jay

Stacey Schneider.
Claude and Stacey.

Stacey was born in Big River on July 15, 1973. She went to school from kindergarten to grade nine in Big River. She was involved in sports from an early age such as figure skating, track and field and playing on the boys' hockey team. Track and field was the sport that she particularly liked as she won several medals and competed at the Local, Unit, Districts, and Provincial levels. The Legion sponsored her to attend a Track & Field Camp in Saskatoon to enhance her skills when she was a young teenager.

Upon losing our school to a fire, she moved to Prince Albert in 1988 and attended Carlton Comprehensive High School. She chose to move there to further her athletic talent in volleyball. She immediately made the Senior High School team and played on that team throughout her high school years. She also played Club Volleyball during the off-season of High school volleyball. She also made the Provincial Volleyball team in the 1988/89 school year and played for that team for three years until she graduated from high school in 1991. She also attended Team Canada Elite Camps at the age of seventeen. The provincial volleyball team she played for won the Western Canadian Midget Elite Championship in 1989 in Red Deer, Alberta and she was awarded the MVP of the tournament and also won "Best Hitter" award which is why she was nicknamed "Hammer".

On April 26, 1992, she had her first child and named her Brittany Lauren Schneider. After the birth of her daughter, she moved to Saskatoon in the fall of that year to begin her Administrative Assistant course at the Saskatoon Business College. After graduating from this course, she worked at several different businesses in Saskatoon.

In January of 1997 she met her husband, Claude Henry, and on March 19, 1999, their son Ja' Shon Caden Henry was born. On September 18, 1999, they were married at the Holy Spirit Parish in Saskatoon. Their son, Lamor Richard was born on December 2, 2003.


In January 2000, Stacey got a typist job with Saskatchewan Government Insurance in the Injury Department in Saskatoon. She was then promoted to the Injury Dispatcher in August 2003. Her husband, Claude, is employed by Canadian National Railway (CN Rail) as a Thermite Welder who has been with the company for over ten years. They remain residents of Saskatoon to this day.

Brittany and Ja'shon.
Brittany and Ja'shon.

Schuler, Bob and Merelyn

Bob was born on the farm in the Lake Four District on November 29, 1937, the eighth of ten children of Gwen (nee Faber) and Fredrick Schuler. He attended school at Winter Lake and helped on the farm until it was sold and he and his parents moved to Vulcan, Alberta. He then moved to Big River where he worked at the planer mill from 1957 to November 1969.

Merelyn was born on April 15, 1941, at home in Big River with Dr Afanasieff in attendance. She was the fourth of eight children born to Wilma (nee Emery) and Ernest Doucet. She attended school in Prince Albert, Little Pine, Cutknife, Erinferry and Big River. She completed her grade twelve many years later in Canal Flats, British Columbia.

Merelyn worked for and lived with Hank and Lil Randall for four years and they became her second family.

Bob and Merelyn were married on May 19, 1961, in the old Big River United Church by Reverend Bould. Their first home was an apartment above Waite Fisheries. They have three children; Vaughn, Annette and Kevin.

Vaughn was born November 5, 1962, in Big River. He is married to Sheila Anderson of Oyen, Alberta and they have three boys; Christopher, Kalen, and Liam. They live in Calgary.

Annette was born July 2, 1964, in Big River and she is married to Daryl Sagar of Canal Flats, British Columbia. They have one son, Joshua, and live in Edmonton.

Kevin was born March 25, 1968, in Saskatoon. His wife's name is Dalene. Kevin has one son, Kyle and a stepson, Dwayne. They live in Calgary.

We moved to Canal Flats from Big River in November 1969 where we still live today. Bob was lead planer man for thirty years, and is now retired, and is enjoying a lot of golf. We both enjoy camping and spending time with our grandchildren, family, and friends. We have had many trips back to Big River over the years.

Schuler, Fred and Gwen

Submitted by Brenda J. (Quelch) Schuler

Fred Schuler.
Back Row: Jean, Hazel, Dora, Irene and Grace.
Front Row: Denise, Cliff, Gwen, Bob and Dick.

Fred was born in Monchenbush, Germany to Ully, which is her real first name, (Canadianized as Lucy) (Dingwall) born November 27, 1880, in Berlin, Germany. Her mother passed away at her birth. Her father later remarried and had a son, Charlie Schuler, born August 9, 1875, in Monchenbush, Germany. His twin brother, George, also came to Canada and they lost contact with him after this.

Lucy and Charlie came to Canada in 1908 by ship landing in New York, USA. They then travelled by train to Melfort, Saskatchewan. Charlie was an Office Supply salesman. He travelled by a team of mules for years before he got a car to drive his route from Melfort to Saskatoon. They had six children: Lucy, Fred, Margaret, Jack, Carl, and Pete.

Lucy was born on November 22, 1901, in Berlin, Germany. She married Buster Brown John. They had three children: two girls Phyllis, Edith and a boy Wilford. Lucy passed away in the spring of 1952 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Fredrick (Fred) Karl was born January 20, 1903, in Mochenbush, Germany. He married Gwendolyn (Gwen) Margaret Faber of Saskatoon. They had ten children: Jean, Hazel, Dora, Grace, Irene, Cliff, Nancy, Bob, Dick and Denis. Fred passed away on April 24, 1971.

Erica "Margaret" was born on November 20, 1906 in Germany. She married Charlie Krush in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and they had a daughter Ruth. They had a Barbershop there. Later, they were divorced. Margaret moved to the Vulcan, Alberta area in the 1930's looking for work. This is where she met and married Jack Hanna on October 4, 1940. They farmed ten miles north of Vulcan, Alberta. Jack was killed in a car accident on September 9, 1957. Margaret was also a foster mother and continued to live on the farm with the help of her niece, Dora. They raised and showed dogs for years. Margaret passed away on December 8, 1989, in the Vulcan Hospital due to heart failure.

Jack was born on January 1, 1912, in Melfort, Saskatchewan. He married Jean White from Big River. They had two boys and one girl, Debbie. They were later divorced in 1970 and Jack remarried and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. He passed away in 1995 or 1996.

Carl (Heinz) was born May 27, 1913, in Melfort, Saskatchewan. He married Lilly from Enchant, Alberta. They had a family and later divorced. Carl remarried and moved to California where he was Finance Minister of California. He then moved to Hawaii and had more family. Carl passed away in 1994 or 1995.

Pete (Jochiem) was born June 22, 1917, in Melfort, Saskatchewan. He married Eileen South of Bodmin, Saskatchewan. Their children are Dave and Garry and a girl, Barbara. They moved to Vulcan, Albert and later to Calgary, Alberta. Pete passed away on March 21, 1995, at his residence in Calgary.

Lucy Sr. and Charlie moved to the Vulcan area to be closer to Margaret and other family members. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1950. Charlie passed away 1952 in Vulcan Hospital. Lucy passed away in 1964 in a nursing home in Medicine Hat. They are both buried in the Vulcan Cemetery.

Gwen was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Bertha Ann (Ball) born on October 14, 1864, in Brighton, England at home and Nicholas Faber Jr. born November 24, 1873, in Iowa, US.A. Bertha's parents were Sarah Anne Plum and David (believed to be his first name) Ball. They lived in Brighton, England (SE Sussex). They had five children: Albert, Arthur, Bertha, David and George. There were five boys and one girl from a previous marriage.

Bertha owned a "Dressmakers Shop" in Tilbury Dock or Gravesend (in Kent) along the Thames River. She had five girls working for her in her shop. One of her nieces was a seamstress for Queen Victoria/Queen Mary in London, England. Bertha helped with some of the patterns for the Queen. The Schuler family, still have some of these Royal pieces, which included curtains, dresses, hats and robes. They were used for Royal Ceremonies. Bertha sold her shop one year after her Mother's death.

In 1908, she travelled by ship and then by train to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to stay with her brother, Dave Ball and his wife Daisy, on their farm. On a neighbouring farm lived Nicolas Faber Jr. and his brother John, (their parents were Annie Anderson from Sweden and Nicolas Sr. from Germany), Nicholas Sr. and Lucy along with some of their family came to Chicago, then to Galva, Illinois. There were seven boys and one girl: Matt, Frank, John, Nick Jr., Charles, Clayton, George, Andrew and Mary. Nicholas married Bessie and had a son, Norman. (The baseball player, Urban Clarence, nicknamed "Red Faber", born September 6, 1888, in Cascade, Iowa, died September 25, 1976, Chicago, Illinois who is in the Baseball Hall of Fame is related to one of the Faber brothers).

After they divorced, Nicholas came to Northern Saskatchewan in 1904 settling in the Saskatoon area thirteen miles east on the Sutherland Road. Nicolas Jr. and his brother, John with his wife, Bessie and a son Nonnan and a daughter Ethel, farmed one and a half miles from Dave Ball's farm.

Prices were good in this area at the time, so this is probably why people came to this area. Nicolas Jr. and Bertha married and their farm was located two miles from John's. Their only daughter, Gwendolyn "Gwen" Margaret was born November 4, 1909, at Saint Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Gwen and Fred met at hockey and baseball games. After they married, they farmed where the Saskatoon airport is now located.

In the 30's Gwen, Fred and family, along with Nicolas and Bertha, moved to Lake Four to homestead. They stayed at Winter Lake while their house and barns were being built. Nicholas passed away in June 1941 at the age of 70 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan hospital. He had been out seeding with the horses, got a chill, which turned into pneumonia. He also had a few other health problems, as well. Bertha passed away August 3, 1951, of a heart attack at the age of 86 at the Schuler's farm, the old Peterson farm, at Winter Lake.

Bertha was there for her grandchildren's births and helped to raise them. She had made quilts for each of her grandchildren before her death. They are still greatly prized by all and will be passed down. Dick's beautiful quilt was made when she was 86 years old. She was greatly loved and still sadly missed by the Schuler children. The day of her death she had been out working in the family garden and picking berries. She had gone into help with company that had come and later went outside. When she did not return, the family became concerned and went looking for her and found her laying on the ground out back.

Fred and Gwen made their home at Lake Four, Saskatchewan about fifteen miles southeast of Big River, Saskatchewan. They lived there for twenty-five years. They had ten children: Jean, Hazel, Dora, Grace, Irene, Clifford, Bob, Nancy, Dick, and Denis.

Vivian "Jean" was born May 13, 1930, in a Maternity Nursing home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She married Irvin Lebsack from the Champion area on October 9, 1958. Irvine passed away ten months after their marriage on August 3, 1959, of cancer. Jean later married Norman Richards, a shop teacher from Coaldale/Vulcan Alberta on July 11, 1964. They are now living in Lethbridge, Alberta.

"Hazel" Anne was born October 14, 1931, at home at Winter Lake, Saskatchewan. She was premature by a month. Bertha Faber assisted at her birth. Hazel married Dennis Carlson from the Champion, Alberta area. They farmed and raised their family here. They are now retired and live in Lethbridge, Alberta. They have four children: Jack, Linda, Patti and Cathy. Jack is an airline pilot for Air Canada and is based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. He was married to Penny, who had a daughter from a previous marriage named Jaymie. They have since divorced. Linda was married to Ward Nelson from the Milo, Alberta area they have two girls Andrea and Trudy. Linda, Andrea, and Trudy live in the Red Deer, Alberta area. Patti married Brock Justnick from High RiverNulcan and they have a daughter Jennifer and a son Jack Jr. and are now living in Calgary, Alberta. Kathy married Rob Brooks from Ontario/Calgary. He is with the armed services, stationed in Brandon, Manitoba where they are now living.

"Dora" Mae was born November 10, 1933, in the Maternity Home assisted by a doctor in Big River, Saskatchewan. Dora travelled and worked throughout Western Canada until coming to Vulcan, Alberta, to stay and help her Aunt Margaret on the farm after her Uncle Jack Hanna was killed in a car accident in 1957. Dora stayed, worked and looked after Aunt Margaret until her death. She is still living on the farm about ten miles northwest of Vulcan on the Brant Road. She is still enjoying her beloved dogs.

"Grace" Madge was born July 5, 1934, at home on Winter Lake. Bertha Faber assisted with the delivery of the twins, Grace and Irene. Mrs Schuler Sr. also was there to help. The twin girls were a surprise and born five minutes apart and were both over five pounds. Grace married Albert Doucette from Big River, Saskatchewan. He was born January 29, 1929. Albert passed away March 11, 2002, of a heart attack on their farm in the Big River area.

Grace is still living on the farm. They had eight children: Larry, Kenney, Elwin, Caroline, Wendy, Sharon, Lawrence and Ian. Larry married Donna (Doucette) from Victoria, British Columbia/Big River. They have a son Adam and live in Mackenzie, British Columbia. Kenney married Darlene (Doucette - Donna's sister) from Victoria, British Columbia/Mackenzie. They have a son Nicholas and a daughter Shelley. They have since divorced. Kenney is now married to Ruth (Bell) from Prince Edward Island/ Thompson, Manitoba. They live in the Big River area. Elwin was married to Casey Speer from Vulcan.

They have two daughters Candice and Gillian, and they live in High River, Alberta. Caroline was born premature and lived for only seven days. Wendy married Craig Townsend from Ontario/High River, Alberta. They live in Yarrow, British Columbia and have a daughter, Ashley and a son, Michael. Sharon was married to Henry Rody from Big River and they have a son, Tyler who is presently working on his Bachelor of Biblical Studies in Pastoral Ministries at Millar College of the Bible, Saskatchewan and a daughter, Danielle. Sharon and Danielle live in Big River.

Lawrence married Tracy (Bradley) from Big River and they have two sons Levi and Quinton. They live in Big River. Ian married Trish (Chaykowski) from Big River and they have two sons, Matthew and Andrew. They live in the Big River area.

"Irene" Margaret was born July 5, 1934, at home along with her twin sister, Grace. Irene married Leo Tardif from Bodmin born October 11, 1926. Leo passed away in May 1981. Irene lives in Big River. They have three girls Nancy, Phyllis and Judy. Nancy married Clayton Nelson from Stump Lake, Saskatchewan. They have two girls Charlane Ann married Darryl Ray Balman from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on August 23, 2003, and Leah. Phyllis was married to Stanley Reimer from Big River and they had one son Kevin married Jill (Chenard) from Big River. They have three children Madison, Landon, and Sara-Lee. Judy married Russell Watier from Big River, and they have two daughters Nicole who has Jayden and Kieren, and Crystal and a son, Mark all of Big River.

"Clifford" (Cliff) Vernon was born September 2, 1935, at Winter Lake. A midwife assisted at his birth. Cliff passed away March 16, 1999, of a brain haemorrhage. Cliff was married to Minota (Webster) from Big River, and they had two girls: Bernardine born in Honolulu married Gary Nelson, Ward's brother, from the Milo area and they have three sons Chris, Dale married Kristine (Prusak) of Nanton/Vulcan February 16, 2003, and Garrett. They run the local Esso Gas Bar and Subway and they live in Vulcan, Alberta. Brenda was also born in Honolulu. Brenda was married to Neil Tyler from Vulcan. They later divorced. They had a daughter, Bridget. Brenda married Ivan Dansie from High River, Alberta. They later were divorced. Brenda and Bridget now live in Airdrie. Cliff and Minota divorced and he then married Isobel Neufeld from Lethbridge. She has a son Rob, married to Margaret (Woodruff) from Lethbridge, Alberta. They have two sons, Scott and Ryan, who live in Lethbridge, Alberta, and a daughter, Colleen who was married to Hermie Woelders from Lethbridge, Alberta and she has three sons Trevor, Kenny, and Jason. She lives in Kelowna, British Columbia. Colleen and Hermie later were divorced.

"Nancy" Esther was born February 23, 1936, at Winter Lake. Bertha assisted at this birth. Nancy passed away in infancy due to diphtheria January 1937.

Robert "Bob" Gordon was born November 29, 1937, at Winter Lake and married Merelyn Doucette from Big River. They live in Canal Flats, British Columbia where Bob is retired. They have three children: Vaughn married Sheila Andersen from Oyen, Alberta. They have three boys: Christopher, Kalen, and Liam. They live in Calgary and Vaughn is presently working on his Dr. in Engineering and is an instructor and an administrator for Devry Institute in Calgary. Annette married Daryl Sagar from Canal Flats, British Columbia. They have a son, Josh. They are stationed in Edmonton, where Daryl is in the Medical Core of the Armed Services. Kevin married Dalene and has a son Kyle and lives in Calgary.

Dianne, Brenda and Dick.
Dianne, standing, Brenda and Dick.

Richard "Dick" James was born October 16, 1940, at home at Lake Four and was assisted by a neighbour at his birth. Dick was married to Faye Love from Vulcan, Alberta. In 1964 they divorced. Dick then married Brenda J. (Quelch) daughter of Ashley Richard Quelch and Jean Elizabeth (Ross) from Lethbridge, Alberta on June 26, 1982. They have one daughter, Dianne Grace born September 5, 1984, and they live in Vulcan. Dick works in Calgary at Spruce Meadows.

"Denis" John was born July 6, 1946, in Prince Albert Hospital. Denis married Connie (Grant) from Rangley, Colorado, USA. They live in Kimberly, British Columbia. Denis works in the mill in Canal Flats, British Columbia. They have three sons: Stephen, Shawn, Shane and a daughter, Stacey.

Fred served in World War I - Sergeant, with Saskatoon Light Infantry (1920-1925) and also served his country in World War II, Trooper with 14th Canadian Army Tanks as a Tank Gunner (1941-1945). He was stationed in England and Sicily, Italy. He was in the Dieppe Raid. He talked about having to tread water for over six hours while bullets flew over and around him. He contracted malaria while in Italy from which he never fully recovered. Fred was honourably discharged in 1945.

In 1951, the Schulers moved across Winter Lake, Saskatchewan, six miles from Bodmin and twelve miles from Big River. They cleared a lot of land in this area for farming. Their home was about fifty yards from Winter Lake. In the wintertime, the children used to slide down the hill from the back of their house down to the lake. They now say how did we not get hurt doing this? At the time they thought it was lots of FUN! There was lots of pick-up hockey played on this lake. There was fishing, hunting as well as lots of pick up baseball games, cricket, croquet and dodge ball played here. Fred loved his sports!

In 1957, Fred and Gwen along with Jean, Dick, and Denis came to Vulcan, Alberta and joined their daughters, Hazel and Dora. Fred worked at the curling rink, golf club, the Legion and the hospital in Vulcan. Fred was well known for his "water witching" (he found the water wells and helped design the Nanton and Vulcan golf courses). He retired in 1969. He enjoyed camping, cards, fishing, trips, and visiting. Fred passed away April 24, 1971, in the Calgary General Hospital of heart failure and complications from gall bladder surgery and a blood clot. Many still dearly miss him.

Gwen is still living in Vulcan, in her own home and in relatively good health. She is very thankful to have such a faithful family who are there to help her keep her independence. She still enjoys her garden, her flowers, plants, fishing, and numerous family functions, such as anniversaries, birthday parties, dinners, holidays, reunions, visits and weddings. She keeps busy making afghans and quilts for all of her many family members. For her 80th birthday, we had a family reunion with eighty family members in attendance in 1989 over the Thanksgiving long weekend in Vulcan, Alberta. On her 90th birthday, we had a family reunion. There were over sixty family members in attendance during the long weekend in July 1999 in Vulcan, Alberta. She has 24 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, 9 great-great-grandchildren and still counting. There are now over 100 family members and more to come!

Scorgie, Bruce and Edna

Bruce Scorgie.
Back Row: Nettie, Les, Pete and Audrey. Front Row: Edna and Bruce.

Bruce and Edna Scorgie moved to the Rapid Bend District in 1935 on the homestead land NE 22-55-6-W3rd. They spent many days clearing land and establishing a home. Bruce took on many jobs such as road construction, fire fighting, as well as hunting and trapping to supplement their relief income of $7.30 per month. Bruce joined the army in 1940 and spent nine months in training before injuring a foot and returning home without being sent overseas. Two children were born to the Scorgie's: Audrey Jessie was born in 1936 and Douglas Leslie was born in 1937. Edna spent many hours alone on the farm, raising children, looking after the livestock and gardening. She was part of an Agricultural Incentive, set up by the University of Saskatchewan in sheep farming and she eventually had 65 animals that provided her with wool for knitting. Picking berries and selling butter were other ways she helped support her family

On the Doctor's advice, Bruce and Edna left the farm in 69-70 and moved into the town of Big River. Bruce worked for the Big River Lumber Corporation grading lumber for several years before retiring. In September of 1995, Bruce and Edna moved to Kelowna, British Columbia to live with their daughter, Audrey and her husband, Pete Bergen.

In March of 1997, Bruce passed away following a series of strokes and complications associated with that. Edna continues to live in Kelowna where she will celebrate her 89' year in February of 2004.

Scorgie Girls

Scorgie Girls.
Back Row: Janice, Les, Nettie and Bonnie.
Front Row: Jean, Brenda and Valerie.

The five females who grew up as the children of Les and Nettie Scorgie spent their early years learning about the house and yard we lived in. As we got older, we learned about the garden, the barnyard, the hay yard, the pasture, and the bush beyond. Les and Nettie believed in teaching us a strong work ethic and we learned that each of these areas had jobs attached to them. Berries to pick, potatoes to hill, peas to shell, and weeds to pick kept us out of trouble. Cleaning out the barn, crushing grain into chop, chasing cattle, and cleaning bush were pastimes we did not always look forward to doing. Les thought that his daughters should not have to do some of these things, but Nettie thought it was teaching us important lessons. She was right.

One day while weeding the garden, we had an unusual experience. We were tired and all too eager to go into the house for a drink when we saw an orange streak go through the bush that bordered the garden on the West Side. We knew it was way too big to be a farm cat, and it was incredibly fast. Later that night, we heard the most blood-curdling scream come from the east.

By the next day, our closest neighbours had heard it too. Some tracks were found, and the local Conservation Officer told us it was a cougar. A few more incidents of tracks and the scream occurred, but no one else had the close call we had had.

Having our Scorgie grandparents living in the same yard for several years meant we were privileged. One of the earliest lessons Grandma taught each of us was how to wash new potatoes in a pail with a stick. Grandpa taught us that drinking too much tea at a young age would turn your knees black, and we watched carefully for that just in case. Dad and Grandpa had a sawmill on the farm and we always argued over who would carry the water pail of lunch and the glass jar of tea out to the men. When we would "sneak" through the bush to Grandma's she would tell us to "sneak back home" and ask permission if we could come over.

Winter months brought taking turns with Dad's jack-knife as we fed bales to the cattle, skating on Long Lake on a warm day, sliding down the river hill by Johnny and Tena Reimer's, and snowmobiling with the Davidsons. Occasionally, winter brought danger too, such as the January we went up to the trapping cabin at Nesslin Lake to see our grandparents. The hill from the top of the ridge down to the lake was very icy and Les had to manoeuvre "Old Nellie", our one-ton truck, down the icy road and back up as we almost slipped over the edge more than once.

The Ladder Valley Curling Rink- first the old single sheet and later on the "new" double sheet and hall, became the focus of many Saturday and Sunday bonspiels. Hot chocolate and a huge slice of homemade pie was an integral part of the kid's bonspiels and the all-night "smokers".

Summer weeks were busy, but the Sunday afternoons spent at Nesslin Lake, before the campsites and with the beach of trees and the wooden boardwalk, were a reward for good behaviour. Autumn brought blueberry picking expeditions with a picnic along the Sturgeon River and the annual chicken plucking day. A return to school in late August or early September meant that once again, the yellow school bus would stop at the driveway at 8:05 a.m. Jack Cennon's voice on 900 CKBI was our beacon to begin the weekday.

These carefree days of our childhood and youth allow us to reflect on some precious memories and share them with our partners, spouses, and children.

Scorgie, Les and Nettie

Les Scorgie.
Nettie and Les Scorgie.

Les and Nettie were married in 1959 and farmed with Bruce and Edna, Les's parents, for ten years, eventually taking over the farm. Fourteen cows were milked by hand and cream was sold for grocery money. Chickens, pigs and a big garden kept the family fed. Les and Nettie had five daughters in eight years, which meant a busy household. Les logged on a permit in the Prince Albert National Park taking out dry trees and sawing his own lumber, which was used to build their first house. A trip to Edmonton for building supplies brought the cost of the house down, as supplies were much cheaper there. Cement was $1.00/bag, nails were $.21/lb., and Tom Swift was paid $1.00/day to build. Neighbours came in to help pour cement.

In the early years of their marriage, the only vehicle was a truck shared with Les's parents and groceries were purchased only when someone had to go into Big River for repairs. Les and Bruce were breaking land and they kept Mike Skopyk in business welding and building shears and coulters. The rate for breaking land was $10.00/ acre. It took a 45-gallon drum of diesel a day to run the 444 Massey and on a good day, you could do five acres.

Les logged and trapped during the winter months, calved out eighty cows, and farmed grain and canola. Due to some gradually increasing breathing difficulties for Les, they made three trips to Toronto for major surgeries in 1994. The surgeries provided some improvement with breathing, but Les continued to have health problems. He suffered a major stroke in 2002, which left him unable to continue the mixed fanning, and a farm auction sale was held in May of 2003. The land and the cows were rented out which provide some income for them today. They remain on the original homestead in a newer house built by their son-in-law in 1995.

Brenda Ann - born on May 15, 1960 - married Arnold Lueken on Sept 10, 1983. Their children are Kendell Ann - born December 31, 1983, Jessica Kara - born March 2, 1989, and Cody Douglas Herbert - born February 25, 1991.

Janice Edna was born October 16, 1961 - married Robert Olson on October 27, 1979, and their children are Connie Lynn - born March 28, 1980, with Ken Halowsky and have a baby, Brooke Reed - born October 13, 2001, and Robert Leslie - born June 24, 1982.

Bonnie Gaye was born on November 17, 1963 - married Ken Lueken August 21, 1982, and their children are Terri Alicia- born December 5, 1988, Kelsi Lynn - born April 15, 1991, and Kirsten Ann - born August 24, 1995.

Leslie Jean - born on August 12, 1965 - married to Sheldon Knoll October 16, 1999.

Valerie Lynne - born October 7, 1968 - with Dwain Smith and their child is Taylor Bree Lynn - born December 13, 1999.

Scrimshaw, Charles (Charlie)

Charles Scrimshaw.
Marion and Charles. Charles 75th Birthday.

Charlie was born to Herbert Scrimshaw and Louise Filomena Chiles on the family farm at Bield, Manitoba on September 3, 1920. He was the third of thirteen children. He moved to Big River with his parents and siblings in 1927.

Life was difficult for the Scrimshaws in the late twenties and early thirties. However, the family planted a large garden and there was always plenty of deer meat and rabbit stew. There was no opportunity for formal education for the children out in the country. When Charlie was nine years old, he went to work for the Ziegler family for room and board and he was able to go to school. After two years, he was such a good worker his family was paid two dollars and fifty cents a month to help buy flour.

In 1935, Charlie quit school and went to work commercial fishing. He started working for Carl Olstead for twenty dollars a month including room and board and tobacco. Charlie spent his winter's commercial fishing until 1939. He worked for Olsen's, Waite's, Nels Edson, and Cliff Albertson fishing all over Northern Saskatchewan. In the summers, Charlie found work at Stoney Lake (Delorande) mill for Alice and Pinkerton and peeling fence posts for one cent apiece. Charlie was a hard-working man.

In 1940, Charlie decided to join the war effort. Many times he rode the bus to Saskatoon and Prince Albert to enlist but each time he stood in line the quota was reached before him. Finally, Mr Haley from the Red and White Store took him to Saskatoon and used his influence to get Charlie a medical exam for the army. Charlie passed and was sent to Dundurn for six weeks of training.

Charlie was in the army for five and a half years. His Unit arrived in Scotland and they were later stationed in England where they stayed at Ebsen Downs and Kingston. Charlie's Unit invaded France and was involved in the raid at Dieppe. By chance, Charlie was in the hospital with foot problems the day his unit left. Many soldiers were killed that day. His Unit also spent time in Belgium and Holland where the German he learned from the Ziegler family proved useful as he translated for officers. When the war was over, Charlie spent time in England before returning to Canada.

When Charlie returned to Big River, he and his brother Tom became partners in commercial fishing on Dore Lake. Charlie later fished with Bob Snell. In 1950, Charlie bought farmland from Raymond O'Connor and started his mixed farm. His farm later grew to four and a half sections.

While fishing and farming for a living, Charlie was married to Ruby Dunn of Big River in 1948. Their children: Janet born 1949 married to Jim Healey of Rosetown, Sharon born 1952 married Ken Hodgson of Big River, Douglas born /deceased 1956, Glen born 1959 at Duck Lake and Lynn born 1962 of Saskatoon were raised on the farm until 1970. Sundays the family often went to the lake where they loved to fish. In 1970, they sold the farm to the Kohlruss brothers and the family moved to the town of Big River. They later moved to an acreage one mile from town. In 1978, Charlie and Ruby divorced.

Charlie worked for the Big River sawmill and was a job steward for the union until his retirement. In 1981, he was remarried to Marion Sidor from Prince Albert. Charlie then became stepfather to Terry (Joanne) and Edward (Donna) of Edmonton. In his retirement, Charlie took time to enjoy many leisure activities. He was an avid curler and was the skip of many teams. He won many trophies for curling, fishing, golfing and even Christmas light decorating. He and Marion loved to dance and when the Happy Wanderers came to town they would always be found on the dance floor waltzing to "The Blue Canadian Rockies".

Charlie and Marion loved to travel. Some of their destinations included California in 1989, British Columbia and Washington in 1994, and the Maritimes in 1998. Charlie was a proud Legion member for fifty-four years. In remembrance to his time at war, Charlie and Marion travelled to an Army Reunion in destinations around Canada every two years without fail. When Charlie was seventy-five, he was invited back to Holland for a service honouring the Canadian army's role in liberating Holland. Charlie and Marion attended.

The Scrimshaw home was always welcoming. Family and friends gathered there for holidays and home cooking. It was also the meeting place and host of many political gatherings. Charlie was an active member of the New Democratic Party. He was a local contact person and spent time entertaining local and provincial politicians.

Charlie was especially proud of his family. He had four children, two stepchildren, fifteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He passed away peacefully in Shellbrook Hospital on September 26, 2000, surrounded by his loved ones. Charlie's final resting place is the Big River Cemetery.

Scrimshaw, Glen (Canadian Artist)

Glen Scrimshaw.
Artist Glen Scrimshaw.

Glen Scrimshaw left Big River after graduating high school in 1977. Glen worked at various jobs ranging from logging, pipeline, and road construction and in a fish plant at Kinoosao, Reindeer Lake. From the fish plant, Glen began working in the local Co-op store and soon became a manager. It was here during the long winter nights that Glen began painting, which was an interest he had since childhood. After four years in Kinoosao, he left and worked for the Hudson Bay Company for a few years and then returned to a Co-op at Wollaston Lake. It was at Wollaston that Glen decided to take a large step. He quit his job and was off to be an artist.

Moving to La Ronge in 1986, Glen worked for a newspaper while simultaneously pursuing his art career. Glen attended many shows throughout Canada promoting his work, and he also opened an art gallery in La Ronge. Around this time, Glen formed a company Scrimshaw Artworks Inc. with his cousin, Wayne Dunn, who later sold his shares to Sheldon Yurach, George's son.

In 1991, he painted a mural for the town of Duck Lake. During this time, he was invited to move his gallery from La Ronge to Duck Lake. That same year Scrimshaw Artworks Inc. purchased property along Highway #11 and began renovations on an old service station, which became a Duck Lake landmark, Northcote Art and Antiques.

Over the next twelve years, Glen has enjoyed many career milestones, such as winning an Abex, Sabex and a Tourism Saskatchewan award all in the same year. Glen Scrimshaw is also known for his generosity to all organizations in their fundraising efforts. Since 1999, he has helped to raise over one million dollars annually for various organizations through his donations of artwork.

There is currently a Glen Scrimshaw Gallery in both Duck Lake and Saskatoon. Glen now resides in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan and has three daughters: Jessica, Glenda, and Gabrielle. Glen is engaged to Donna Nieman, of Outlook and she has a son, Chase. Glen and family are in the process of renovating and expanding the former Anglican Church of Milden into a home and studio. They anticipate moving to the country north of Duck Lake shortly where Glen will be able to spend more time near the beauty of nature that he depicts in his artwork.

Scrimshaw, Thomas (Tom)

Tom Scrimshaw.
Isabelle, Tom, Charles and Burt.

Tom was born to Herbert Scrimshaw and Louise Filomena Chiles on the family farm at Bield, Manitoba, March 20, 1919. He was the second oldest child of thirteen. He moved to Big River from Winnipeg, Manitoba with his parents and siblings in 1927.

Although the family lived reasonably near to schools during his formative years, Tom received very little formal education. During the early depression years, Tom helped the family by earning money selling gopher tails in the summers and squirrel pelts. Harvesting these animals resulted in his becoming an excellent marksman. He had a great work ethic believing that one should do an honest days work for an honest day's pay.

At the age of sixteen, Tom took a homestead near the park, next to the quarters taken by his father and older brother Herbert (Bert). Meeting the requirements of the day, he received title to land three years later. The land proved to be very poor and it would not provide a living, so he began fishing for Johnny Thompson, first on Stoney Lake and later Dore Lake. He did this until drafted into the army. After completing his basic training at Dundurn, Saskatchewan, he was discharged from the army because of poor legs. Although he did not complain, he never understood why, considering all the hard work he did throughout his life.

When Waite Fisheries opened a filleting plant on Dore Lake, Tom became one of the first fishermen to set nets for the plant. Upon the return of his brother Charlie from the war, they became partners and began Scrimshaw Brothers Fisheries. This business later dissolved, with the brothers continuing to fish on their own. When the fishery on Dore Lake began to weaken, in the early 1950s, Tom began working at the sawmill first as an edger man, later on, the boom boat and then the jack ladder. He continued at the mill, taking his vacation to fish, until his retirement at sixty-five.

Tom has posterity of thirty-three. This includes three children; Ron born in 1943, Lois born in 1947 and Dennis born in 1952, fifteen grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren with more still arriving. His family lives in Saskatchewan, Alberta and New York. Their occupations range from banker to policeman, from a plumber to electrician to photographer. Five of his grandchildren are in university studying engineering, education, counselling, international business and dental hygiene.

Tom was a quiet, non-assuming person, believing one learned more by listening and observing than speaking. He did not speak negatively about people. He loved to garden and to fish. He always planted a large garden, which he contributed to the difficult times of the 1930s. He was noted for keeping a very clean yard and home and for keeping his equipment in good repair.

Tom passed away on March 3, 1998. He is buried in the Big River Cemetery.

Scriven, Dan and Leah

Daniel Wayne Scriven was born to Malcolm and Agnes (Waugh) Scriven on July 4, 1955, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He spent most of his growing up years in Big River. He did spend time playing hockey in Watson, Saskatchewan and Yellowknife, North West Territories. In 1976, he moved to Calgary, Alberta, where he worked in construction and carpentry for Don Wopenford and Brian Brownfield at BryDon Construction Ltd.

Leah Louise (Colby) Scriven was born to (William) Carl and Grace Marie (Patrick) Colby on January 1, 1958, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. She was raised in Big River until she completed high school and then moved to North Battleford for one year to attend Business College. In 1977, she moved to Calgary and worked for Pan Canadian Petroleum Ltd.

On May 20, 1978, Dan and Leah were married. They continued to live in Calgary until the fall of 1979 when they returned to Big River.

They have two daughters. Kari Marie Scriven, born January 3, 1980, and Janene Louise Scriven, born November 27, 1981. Kari graduated high school in Big River and attended DeVry Institute of Technology, obtaining a Degree in Information Technology. She met Jamie Predinchuk and they have a son, Ethan Daniel James Predinchuk, born January 8, 2002. Jamie was born on February 20, 1975. His family is from the Norquay, Saskatchewan area. They were married September 4, 2004, and live in Calgary where Jamie works as an Electronics Engineer and Kari works as Administration/IT Support.

Janene graduated high school in Big River and moved to Calgary where she lives and works as a Shipper/Receiver.

Dan and Leah reside in Big River. They enjoy fishing, snowmobiling, and the outdoors as well as being active in community committees and functions.

Scriven, Malcolm and Agnes

Submitted by Vivian Kennedy

Malcolm Scriven.
Agnes and Mac - Sept.28, 1946.

Mac was born March 7, 1921, in Houghton, Saskatchewan. He moved north in the spring of 1934 with his parents, Frank and Edna Scriven. The family travelled by horse and wagon taking a month to get to Prince Albert. They homesteaded north of Weirdale, Saskatchewan. Mac was seventh in a family of eleven children. He joined the Canadian Army on February 15, 1944, where he served in the World War II, overseas and was discharged June 6, 1946, having the title of company Quarter Master Sergeant.

Agnes (Waugh) was born August 19, 1923, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Her parents, Robert and Catherine Waugh, immigrated to Canada from Scotland and settled on a farm near Paddockwood, Saskatchewan. There were four children, Agnes, Robert, Hunter and Jack Waugh in her family. Agnes joined the Canadian Army and served as a cook in the Sergeant's mess at Fort. Garry, Manitoba.

Mac and Agnes were married September 28, 1946, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and made their home on a farm north of Weirdale, Saskatchewan. They moved into town where Mac began work, buying grain for Searle Grain Company elevator in Weirdale. They moved to Big River in the early fall of 1952. Mac was the elevator agent in Big River for 15 years.

Mac and Agnes had two children: Vivian born March 7, 1948 (see Robert and Vivian Kennedy) and Daniel born July 4, 1955. (See Daniel and Leah Scriven).

Scriven family.
Standing: Vivian and Dan. Seated: Mac and Agnes.

Mac sold Watkins for several years. They also operated a fast food restaurant "Chicken Inn" at Christopher Lake, Saskatchewan, and then settled to sell Insurance. The insurance office was in their home in Big River. Agnes worked at the Big River Union Hospital, in the kitchen for ten years. Pat and Donna Panter purchased their business enabling mom and dad to retire. They enjoyed many years of camping and fishing on the lakes around Big River.

Agnes passed away on May 2, 1989. Mac continued to live in Big River until his passing on June 17, 2004.

Servatius, Jack and Sylvia

Submitted by Vivian Gould

Jack Servatius.
Jack and Sylvia, Larry, Vivian and Garry.

Jack and Sylvia emigrated from the United States with their parents. They were married in Shellbrook, Saskatchewan in 1935 and lived in the Valbrand area until Jack joined the army in 1940. Sylvia then moved with their three children to Big River where her parents lived. In 1944, Jack was wounded in action and spent the next year in hospital in France and Dundurn, Saskatchewan. In 1945, they bought land at Ladder Valley and farmed there until 1965 when they moved to Prince George, British Columbia.

In 1975, they moved back to Big River and Jack worked for the DNR. Jack passed away in 1984 and Sylvia passed away in 1996.

Five children survived them: Larry (Lorna Bale) of Kelowna, British Columbia., Vivian (Grant Gould) of Big River, Garry (Annette Doucette, who passed away in 1994) of Lake Cowichan, British Columbia, Diane (James Olson) of Kelowna British Columbia and Rocky (Lori-Anne Johnson) of Prince George, British Columbia.

Servatius, Lorna Laverne (Bale)

Myrtle Servatius.
Myrtle Bale.

Lorna was born in Big River, Saskatchewan on September 13, 1939. Her parents were Richard and Myrtle Bale (Olsen) who lived in the Delaronde Lake area. Their occupations were farming and commercial fishing in this area. Richard passed away in 1972 and Myrtle lives with her son in Prince George, British Columbia.

Gordon Bale.
Gordon Bale.

My brother Gordon Bale (married Barbara Chenard) is retired and lives in Prince George. Barbara passed away in 1997. They have a daughter, Ali Bale, who resides in Surrey, British Columbia.

I married Larry Servatius (son of Jack and Sylvia Servatius) in Big River in 1958. Larry was born in Shellbrook, Saskatchewan on November 24, 1936, and was raised in the Ladder Valley area. We moved away from Big River in 1959. We lived in Alberta for a short time then moved permanently to British Columbia where we are retired and live in Kelowna British Columbia.

Larry Bale.
Larry and Lorna.

Larry's brother and sisters are Vivian Gould, of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Gary Servatius of Lake Cowichan, British Columbia, Diane Olson of Kelowna, British Columbia and Rocky Servatius of Prince George, British Columbia.

Larry and I have three children Lori Servatius of Burnaby, British Columbia, Shelly Sawley of Kelowna, British Columbia, and Stacey Servatius of Prince George, British Columbia.

We still enjoy our visits to Big River to visit family and friends.

Shakotko, Don and Shaye and family

 Don Shakotko.
Don. and Shannon - July 5, 2003.

Don and Shaye moved to Big River in August 1971. Don had just graduated from the University of Saskatchewan and was hired to teach Sciences in the Big River High School. Shaye was hired at the school as a part-time typing teacher, school librarian and secretary. They both immediately became involved in all aspects of school life and various clubs and organizations in the community.

On March 29, 1973, their first son, Jesse Dylan was born in the Big River Union Hospital with Dr Wezelman attending. The students in Don's classes became very involved in our family life and enjoyed babysitting and playing with the teacher's son.

When Jesse was almost a year, a position became available with the RCMP and Shaye worked there until their next move.

After four years, Don and Shaye moved to Ontario where Don worked at jobs other than teaching. However, in 1975, Maisie Krienke called them and told them that the Science position had opened up and encouraged Don to apply and return 'home' to Big River.

In 1977, the Shakotko family returned and rented Betty Braidek's house. The Shakotko household had increased to four by this time as Jordan Peter was born in Oshawa, Ontario on December 20, 1976.

Don was active in the community. Board member of the Big River Union Hospital, Town Council, Recreation Board, and the Big River Evangelical Free Church. He was actively involved in school sports of all types, directed drama, and organized various groups and clubs within the school. He was admired and respected by all his students, peers and colleagues.

Shaye was busy for the first few years babysitting the Krienke and Devonshire children and working at the Liquor Board store for the Krienke's. When the children became older, she did some work out of their home, which they bought from Dave Birkland after he moved to Prince Albert. Later she was hired at the Big River High School where she became the full-time secretary.

Both Jesse and Jordan were active throughout their school years. They were both very involved in and excelled at basketball, drama, track and field, church events, fundraisers, and school clubs.

In 1989, one year following 'the big fire' at the high school, the Shakotko family moved to Caronport, Saskatchewan. They had been part of the Big River family for almost seventeen years.

Follow-up: Don and Shaye were divorced in 1994. Don is remarried and he and his wife, Shannon now live in Forget, Saskatchewan. He completed his Doctorate at the University of Saskatchewan and is now the Principal in the high school in Carlyle, Saskatchewan.

Shaye lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with her husband, Cliff Isaak who works as a Consultant and commutes from Moscow, Russia. They have relocated to Canada after living abroad and working internationally in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Moscow, Russia from 1995-2002.

Shaye Shakotko.
Cliff and Shaye, July 25 - 1998.

Jesse, his wife, Tammy, and their daughter, Niah Anneshae was born June 25, 2003, live in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. Jesse is a teacher and Vice-Principal at Jonas Samson School, and Tammy is a Dietitian and has taken a maternity leave from her position with the Meadow Lake Tribal Council.

Jesse and Tammy.
Jesse and Tammy, holding Niah - July 7, 2003.
Jordan - May 2, 2003.

Jordan completed his final year of Kinesiology at The University of Saskatchewan in April 2003, and tree planted for his ninth consecutive year and has now planted over one million trees. He is an accomplished songwriter and lead guitarist in the alternative rock band "Sturgis Trash". The band has been privileged to play at the Ness Creek Music Festival and is currently making their second CD due to be released in the fall of 2003.

e-mail me.

Author: Webmaster -
"Date Modified: March 31, 2024."

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