July 15, 2019

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Uplift: wedding invite - no present needed

Linda Bauch, 72, gets her wedding dream thanks to L'Arche Winnipeg caregivers Raylene Scott, left, and Petra Nolan. (Supplied photo)

Linda Bauch, 72, gets her wedding dream thanks to L'Arche Winnipeg caregivers Raylene Scott, left, and Petra Nolan. (Supplied photo)

This is your chance to go to a wedding that has been dreamed about for a lifetime — and you don't even have to bring a present.

And while this is your invitation, there is an admission fee, but that's OK because it's for a great cause.

You'll have to hurry though because it is tonight June 10.

Readers of Uplift may remember a few months ago I wrote about the wedding of Linda Bauch

Bauch, who was 72 at the time, had always dreamed about being a bride having watched as first her three siblings walked down the aisle, followed by her nieces and nephews.

But when it finally came to her own big day last year Bauch, who lives with Down syndrome, didn't need a groom. She just needed her loving caregivers at L'Arche Winnipeg to organize the event. With her full participation, they found the venue, sent out the invitations, picked a menu and caterer, a band, and two bouquets — one to keep and one to throw.

From all accounts, the wedding day was a happy occasion, there were a few tears of joy, and Bauch's smiles, laughs and repeated thank you's to everyone was a joy to behold.

You might have missed the wedding day, but you don't have to miss the wedding.

That's because L'Arche Winnipeg is holding a special fundraising event on Monday June 10.

Monique Pantel, who took photos and video of the wedding celebration, along with her dad, Hubert, who has worked and volunteered at L'Arche for decades, have created a short six-minute movie about Bauch's life and her wedding entitled "Linda's Wish" and they will be premiering it at the Park Theatre at 7 p.m. and again at 8:30 p.m.

"I really feel like the film captures the spirit of who Linda is, the full life she's lived, despite challenges and limitations, and at the same time honours the incredible work L'Arche Winnipeg does for those with intellectual disabilities in our community," she said.

"The movie and the wedding are really heartwarming. Linda's day was one of the most special things I've been able to capture. And I've known her my whole life."

That's because Pantel's dad, Hubert, moved his young family into a L'Arche home years ago and his daughter, quite literally, grew up with the residents they assisted.

And, by pulling out his camera through the years, Hubert ended up keeping a record of their memories.

"(Monique) was five years old when we moved in," he said.

"And now I'm glad I kept all of my black and white negatives. I took my camera out for community gatherings, parties, Halloween. And I had some from an old video camera. I had footage of (Bauch) blowing her birthday candles out.

"To appreciate it, you have to look back 45 years ago when people with disabilities were in the institution in Portage la Prairie - they had 1,000 people there at one point. The film reveals where we were and where we are now.

"And on her special day it made us appreciate she is her own person and free to be herself."

Want to go to her wedding? Tickets for the fundraiser are only $15 and they can be purchased for the 7 p.m. show and for the 8:30 p.m. show.

You won't have to catch the bouquet, but you may have to catch yourself from shedding a tear.

- Kevin Rollason


Local D-Day vets talk about heroism

  • Second World War veteran Richard Sellen, 98, recounted his experiences to Free Press photographer John Woods. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)



Reporter: D-Day veteran feature (JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

    Second World War veteran Richard Sellen, 98, recounted his experiences to Free Press photographer John Woods. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press) Reporter: D-Day veteran feature

    It was a war that involved almost all the nations on the planet and last week was the 75th anniversary of its most pivotal battle. D-Day, the operation which saw the forces of Britain, the United States, and Canada thrown en masse on the beaches of Normandy, France, to begin pushing Hitler's troops from Fortress Europe all the way back to Germany, but of the thousands of troops who participated in it, with an average age of 95, very few are still alive today. Free Press photographer John Woods interviewed three of the local veterans who participated that day.

Strike and song

  • Ani DiFranco was one of several performers at Old Market Square in commemoration of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

    Ani DiFranco was one of several performers at Old Market Square in commemoration of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

    One hundred years after the General Strike, Winnipeggers commemorated the event with music. Bruce Cockburn, Ani DiFranco, and John K. Samson anchored the day long Rise Up 100: Songs for the Next Century Concert at the Old Market Square's Cube stage just a few dozen metres away from where many of the major events of the strike took place. The crowd braved the rain and pulled out the umbrellas for most of the day, but the music kept many heads bobbing.

Multiculturalism and friendship

  • Vadivambal Rajagopal leads the yoga at the Sharing Circle of Wellness class at the Hindu Temple on St. Anne's Road. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

    Vadivambal Rajagopal leads the yoga at the Sharing Circle of Wellness class at the Hindu Temple on St. Anne's Road. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

    Members of the Hindu community - and neighbours of the Hindu Temple in St. Vital - get together daily for friendship and nourishment. The temple holds yoga classes every morning, but on Wednesday they also have a speaker and lunch. "I've learned how to listen to my body," says 72-year-old Trevor Hayden about the yoga while Sumita Biswas says the sharing circle there helped her after the death of her husband. "I was in grief and just in myself. I came back here and saw all my old friends."

Celebration for Freedom Road

  • Chief Erwin Redsky of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation is photographed on Freedom Road. (John Woods / The Canadian Press files)

    Chief Erwin Redsky of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation is photographed on Freedom Road. (John Woods / The Canadian Press files)

    It also began a century ago, but it took until now to be finished and have a celebration. The it is Freedom Road, the new gravel lifeline to allow vehicles to access Shoal Lake 40 First Nation without having to wait for a ferry or the ice to freeze. The City of Winnipeg carved a deep canal for the city's water intake which left the residents stuck on a man made island. Now, with a road, the community is already exploring the possibility of busing youth to a Manitoba high school.

Digital course for students leads to jobs

  • Luisa Roscuata is among several Sisler High School students studying filmmaking and hoping to make their mark on Hollywood (or Hollywood North). (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

    Luisa Roscuata is among several Sisler High School students studying filmmaking and hoping to make their mark on Hollywood (or Hollywood North). (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

    A teacher at Sisler High School has created a digital training program which not only allows students to graduate to go to film school, but even gets high marks from Hollywood. Jamie Leduc was hired to create a program which would include video, design and computers and now the school has the Interactive Digital Media program. There are now 20 different classes through Grade 9 to 12 students can take. Former Sisler student Kyle Castro, who just graduated from the Vancouver Film School, took the program in high school and he just got hired by Thinkingbox, a Vancouver-based interactive production studio.

Your weekly squee

This sheep is part of a flock getting acquainted with their new home as The Living Prairie Museum launches a pilot program aimed at testing the feasibility of using grazing sheep as a means of vegetation management. (Sasha Sefter / Winnipeg Free Press)

Uplift is published weekly.

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