Bob Holliday

Bob Holliday

St. Vital community correspondent

Bob Holliday is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at docholliday90@me.com

Recent articles of Bob Holliday

Museum pancake breakfast set for May 28

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Museum pancake breakfast set for May 28

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Wednesday, May. 25, 2022

Have you ever eaten breakfast in the shadow of a 100-year old fire truck?

Well, you can on May 28 when the St. Vital Museum kicks off Doors Open Winnipeg weekend with a pancake breakfast. The eating begins at 9:30 a.m. with the first serving by celebrity cooks Colleen Bready of CTV and former CJOB traffic expert Brian Barkley.

Besides a breakfast of Smitty’s pancakes and Miller’s sausages, eaters can climb onto two vintage fire trucks, the 100-year old LaFrance and the 1939 Fargo pumper, and take a few selfies.

The photos are free, breakfast is $6 for adults and $3 for kids 12 and under.

Wednesday, May. 25, 2022

Visitors to the St. Vital Museum’s pancake breakfast on May 25 — part of Doors Open Winnipeg weekend — can get selfies taken on one of the museum’s vintage fire trucks.

St. Vital Museum to expand online presence

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St. Vital Museum to expand online presence

Bob Holliday 4 minute read Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022

When the St. Vital Historical Society decided to form a museum in 2008, little did members believe that 15 years later space in the former fire hall at the historic junction of St. Mary’s and St. Anne’s roads would become scarce, which is a sign of acceptance, even though planning has become more important than ever. With great artifacts on display, directors would like to expand the museum’s online presence, sharing many of the museum’s photos from its collection. An example is the photo here of Fred (Dippy) Depourcq, Ed Evans and George Graham, who sold football pool tickets to raise thousands of dollars to keep the St. Vital Mustangs juvenile football team afloat in the 1950s and ’60s. Depourcq was one of the Mustangs’ organizers and coaches in the 1950s after hanging up his playing cleats with the St. Vital Bulldogs intermediate team. Depourcq was honoured at a gathering at the St. Vital Arena on June 30, 1972 prior to his move to Vancouver. I don’t remember the year George Graham passed, but I do recall his ashes were scattered at centre field at the Mustangs home, St. Vital Memorial Park, and were moved to the current field at Maple Grove Park. St. Vital Museum directors are looking for someone, preferably a volunteer, to help build and/or expand the museum’s website. Interested persons should email svhs@svhs.ca or drop by  any Tuesday or Saturday between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and ask for Jared Warkentin. Jared is the museum curator and he’s also on the lookout for volunteers to help organize and catalogue artifacts. If interested, drop by for a look-see and check out the history of the second-oldest settlement in Winnipeg.By the way, the museum’s 2022 calendar was again a great success, with a complete sellout. If you ordered and still haven’t received yours it will be out shortly. Thank you for your patience.Bob Holliday is president of the St. Vital Historical Society and a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at docholliday90@me.com

When the St. Vital Historical Society decided to form a museum in 2008, little did members believe that 15 years later space in the former fire hall at the historic junction of St. Mary’s and St. Anne’s roads would become scarce, which is a sign of acceptance, even though planning has become more important than ever.

 With great artifacts on display, directors would like to expand the museum’s online presence, sharing many of the museum’s photos from its collection. An example is the photo here of Fred (Dippy) Depourcq, Ed Evans and George Graham, who sold football pool tickets to raise thousands of dollars to keep the St. Vital Mustangs juvenile football team afloat in the 1950s and ’60s. Depourcq was one of the Mustangs’ organizers and coaches in the 1950s after hanging up his playing cleats with the St. Vital Bulldogs intermediate team.

 Depourcq was honoured at a gathering at the St. Vital Arena on June 30, 1972 prior to his move to Vancouver.

Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022

Supplied photo
This photo of St. Vital Mustangs fundraisers (from left) Fred Depourcq, Ed Evans and George Graham is one example of the many pictures the St. Vital Museum would like to make available on a revamped web gallery.

St. Vital Museum now open two days a week

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St. Vital Museum now open two days a week

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021

At my stage of life, I don’t get too excited about much, but the one thing I look forward to seeing every Monday is the continuing changes to the St. Vital Museum, which I must say, have been impressive over the course of the past few months.

I’d like to take credit for the changes, but I can’t because that belongs to Jared Warkentin, who has transformed the former St. Vital fire hall into a museum showcasing the history of the second-oldest settlement in Winnipeg.

Don’t take my word for the new look, take a look yourself any Saturday or Tuesday, beginning Dec. 28.

Yes, you read that correctly — the St. Vital Museum will be open to visitors two days a week thanks to the availability of Warkentin.

Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021

Photo by Bob Holliday
Jared Warkentin poses at the St. Vital Museum with a “shovel fiddle” (and a plunger bow) once owned by Jimmy Moore.

St. Vital Museum’s 2022 calendar is ready

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St. Vital Museum’s 2022 calendar is ready

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021

This is a good new, bad news column.

The good news is that the St. Vital Museum has published a calendar for 2022 that will be available for sale on Sat., Dec. 4, and every other Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The calendar is full of historical details and, unlike other years, there are lots of colour photos throughout.

Cost of the calendars remains the same, $5 each or three for $10 and will make ideal stocking stuffers.

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021

Photo by Bob Holliday
Woe betide those who leave loose garbage or overfill the garbage behind the St. Vital Museum.

The hard work of garbage collectors of yore

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The hard work of garbage collectors of yore

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 15, 2021

One of the most asked questions I get from readers is: where was the St. Vital garbage dump located? Many questioners are not happy when they learn they live near the place.

The dump was located along the Seine River at the east end of Lavallee and Beliveau Roads, and besides being a place for refuse, the dump was a place to shoot rats for those of us who had a .22 rifle and were willing to put up with the many odours.

Residential garbage wasn’t picked up by trucks in the 1950s, but by horse-drawn wagons. The garbage men had burlap sacks hanging from the back of the wagons in which they gathered bottle, copper wire and even car batteries. Yes, they recycled long before the practice became popular and made money on the side.

There used to be a chick hatchery on St. Mary’s Road north of the junction.  Unfortunately for most of the male chicks, their fate was a trip to the dump where they became fodder for the rats and other predators.

Wednesday, Sep. 15, 2021

One of the highlights of the St. Vital Museum’s new, refreshed look is an expanded collection of items about St. Vital musicians, including the gold and platinum records of The Guess Who, donated by Jim Kale, who grew up on Clonard Avenue.

Rockford the bull to be centrepiece of ag display

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Rockford the bull to be centrepiece of ag display

Bob Holliday 3 minute read Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021

The St. Vital Museum, 600 St. Mary’s Rd, remains closed to the public as volunteers and summer staff are busy painting and refurbishing displays. This is the first in-depth facelift given to the interior of the museum which , in its former life, was home to firefighters, paramedics, police officers and magistrate’s court.

One of the most intensive tasks has been undertaken by Leon St. Onge, who has removed the remaining wheel from the Red River cart.

The other wheel broke while being moved last summer. The wheel-less cart will be moved to a new location in the building while another volunteer repairs the wooden spokes on both wheels.

☐ ☐ ☐

Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021

Photo by Bob Holliday
Paris Gauthier of St. Vital Museum spent time this summer restoring the plywood likeness of Rockford, a champion bull, which once hung on the main barn at Gobert dairy form on south St. Mary’s Road.

St. Vital Museum hopes to display St. B artifacts

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St. Vital Museum hopes to display St. B artifacts

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Friday, Jul. 23, 2021

This little story could be called A Tale of Two Fire Stations. Both stations are over 100 years old and were important to the communities they served.

The building that served as the first home to the St. Vital Fire Brigade is home to the St. Vital Museum at 600 St. Mary’s Rd. whose artifacts include a road-worthy 1939 Fargo pumper truck. Along the way, the building was also home to the St. Vital Police Department, the municipal offices of the Rural Municipality of St. Vital and the health department where thousands of children, me included, received inoculations against various childhood diseases.

The other building is located on Dumoulin Street and is fast falling into disrepair through neglect. The first fire station in St. Boniface has been without heat and electricity for a number of years and was home to hundreds of artifacts used by St. Boniface fire fighters over the years, artifacts that are dust-covered and not available to be viewed by the general public.

The St. Vital Historical Society would like to display some of the artifacts in the St. Vital Museum. The artifacts would enhance the museum’s display.

Friday, Jul. 23, 2021

Photo by Bob Holliday
This two-person, horse-drawn sleigh is the latest addition to the collection of the St. Vital Museum. You’ll be able to visit it as soon as the museum is able to reopen.

St. Vital seaman cheated death on D-Day

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St. Vital seaman cheated death on D-Day

Bob Holliday 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2021

Did you know that a St. Vital resident escaped death seven times on D-Day? I’ve written about him in the past but it’s worth recalling around the anniversary of the invasion of Normandy.

His name is Fred Fraser and he saw the beach at Normandy seven times on D-Day.

“Scared, I was never more scared in my life,” the 20-year-old Fraser told Winnipeg Tribune reporter James C. Anderson as he recalled shuttling soldiers to shore on June 6, 1944.

“I thought a lot. I can’t remember very well what it was, but lots of thoughts went through my head,” said Fraser from the comfort of his family’s home at 141 Sadler Ave. while on leave from his naval duties after the Second World War.

Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2021

File photo
Fred Fraser, an able seaman who grew up on Sadler Avenue, told the Winnipeg Tribune about his D-Day experiences.

Top 10 Habs man played minor in St. Vital

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Top 10 Habs man played minor in St. Vital

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Thursday, May. 20, 2021

Funny things occur when one rummages through the boxes at the St. Vital Museum. For instance, did you know that the 83rd-ranked NHL goaltender of all time (Hockey News November 2018) played his minor hockey for the St. Vital Saints sponsored by the St. Vital Athletic Club.

Wilf Cude, born in Barry Wales in 1906 Wales, began his 10-year career in 1930 at the age of 20 when he signed with the Philadelphia Quakers.

Signed by the Montreal Canadiens in 1933, Cude was loaned to Detroit where he backstopped the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup final after posting a 1.5 goals against average. Back in Montreal for the 1935-36 season, Cude posted six shutouts and was named to the second All-Star team, playing for a team which won only 11 games and finished last in their division.

Cude is among the top 10 Canadiens goaltenders in a number of categories. His 220 games in front of the Habs’ net and 2.65 career goals-against average place him 10th on the all-time list. Ninth in career shutouts, Cude blanked his opponents 18 times as a Hab.

Thursday, May. 20, 2021

Supplied photo
Wilf Cude is among the top 10 Canadiens goaltenders in a number of categories.

The ‘ancestral home’ of the Hollidays

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The ‘ancestral home’ of the Hollidays

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Thursday, Apr. 22, 2021

There are few things I remember about the spring of 1946 but, even in the days before my fourth birthday, I do recall accompanying my father Herb when he visited what was to become my home into early adulthood.

As a returning veteran from the Second World War, a regimental sergeant major with the Fort Garry Horse, where his tank platoon was among the first to enter Holland, my father was able to obtain the deed to two acres of land along the Seine River, known as 204 Sadler Ave., through the Veterans Land Act.

I remember leaving the kitchen, where the men ironed out the finer details of the transaction.

I especially remember the warning issued by Mr. Hendricks as I left the kitchen: “Stay away from the river. If you fall in and drown, I’ll kick your ass.”

Thursday, Apr. 22, 2021

Photo by Bob Holliday
Katherine Bell poses with her father, Keith. She represents the fifth generation of Hollidays to live on Sadler Avenue.

The summer I was a softball coach

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The summer I was a softball coach

Bob Holliday 3 minute read Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2021

Back in the 1970s, I forget the exact date, I became an assistant coach on a nine-and-under boys’ softball team at Norwood Community Centre. The change was significant because my prominent experience on a diamond was behind the plate as an umpire.

The head coach was Gerry Brisson, owner of the Winnipeg Clubs of the Western Hockey League. He learned of his new position when he went home one night to find a bag of equipment on the kitchen floor. He had been volunteered by son Mark,when the community centre couldn’t find anyone to coach.

Most of the kids knew Gerry, but I was a stranger until they learned I had a 1966 Buick convertible and I was suddenly the favourite coach. Have you ever had eight kids in your car screaming and yelling?

Of course, they would go silent when we approached cyclists, then they’d begin screaming at the top of their young lungs and scare the bejeebers of the pedallers.

Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2021

Supplied photo
Bob Holliday (top left) helped coach a nine-and-under boys’ softball team at Norwood Community Centre in the 1970s. If you can identify the players in this photo, send Doc an email.

Photo brings back fond road trip memories

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Photo brings back fond road trip memories

Bob Holliday 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 3, 2021

While going through a number of photos, I came across one of a Norberry baseball team from the early 1970s.

I took the photo in the early days of my reporting days at the Lance, as the team crammed together in a Victoria B.C. dressing room during the Western Canadian Pony tournament. When I began my 44-year media career, I also umpired for the legendary Sicilian, Sam Tascona, so I was able to cover a team,while calling balls and strikes behind the plate.

Although I do recognize a number of the players, identifying only some of them would be unfair to others so I hope readers can pick out their long-ago friends.

I took vacation days so I could cover the tournament, driving straight through to the coast and caught the last ferry to Victoria. I was fortunate to have a player’s father, Mr. Robinson, along to share the driving.

Wednesday, Mar. 3, 2021

Photo by Bob Holliday
This picture of a Norberry Community Club baseball team at a tournament in the early ’70s in Victoria, B.C., reminded correspondent Doc Holliday of his days as Lance reporter.

Museum calendars prove hot sellers

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Museum calendars prove hot sellers

Bob Holliday 3 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

A favourite winter memory from my childhood in St. Vital was going on a tally ho when Mr. Glendenning would hitch up Daisy and May, his team of heavy horses, to a sleigh and take the kids from Sadler Avenue for a ride up and down Sadler and Hindley avenues.

Tally hos were a money maker for Mr. Glendenning, who used to pick up groups at the Hindley Avenue loop at the end of the St. Anne’s Road streetcar line. Once in a while I was able to sit on the floor of the sleigh for a ride up and down the streets on these trips. It was great way to spend a cold winter’s night for a 12-year-old boy who actually got to hold the reins now and then. There was no chance of going off course, because the horses knew the route by heart.

☐ ☐ ☐

Before we went into code red lockdown, Ken Cameron dropped by the St. Vital Museum to purchase 2021 calendars and visit the place where he began his 27-year policing career.Cameron was the last officer hired by the St. Vital Police Department and started his first shift at 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve 1973.

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

Photo by Bob Holliday
Ken Cameron, the last officer hired by the St. Vital Police Department in 1973, visited his old haunt, which is now the St. Vital Museum, to purchase 2021 calendars from the St. Vital Historical Association.

Peebles is St. Vital’s most-honoured son

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Peebles is St. Vital’s most-honoured son

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020

Phillip James Edwin (Jim) Peebles, born April 25, 1935, is the first Nobel Prize winner  from St. Vital and he was recently named to the Order of Canada.

A physicist and theoretical cosmologist, Peebles was awarded his Nobel Prize for Science on Oct. 8, 2019 for “theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology.”

On Nov. 27, 2020, he was made a companion of the Order of Canada.

Raised on Inman Avenue, Peebles is the most famous graduate of Norberry School and Glenlawn Collegiate. After receiving his bachelor’s degree at the University of Manitoba, Peebles gained his doctorate at Princeton University, became a professor and eventually occupied the Albert Einstein Chair. Following retirement in 1984, he became professor emeritus of physics.

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020

Supplied photo courtesy of the University of Manitoba
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Jim Peebles was named a Companion of the Order of Canada on Nov. 27.

‘Calendars… get your calendars here!’

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‘Calendars… get your calendars here!’

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

Christmas is a-coming and the St. Vital Museum has the ideal stocking stuffer — a 2021 calendar chock full of historical photos, including the 1910 60th anniversary of Andre Nault. In case you didn’t know, Nault was the man who started Manitoba’s journey to becoming a province when, in 1869, he had cousin Louis Riel stop Canadian surveyors.

The calendars may be ordered online at svhs.ca and will be available for pickup at the St. Vital Museum on Saturdays beginning Dec. 5 between 10 a.m and 4 p.m.

Because of the provincial health regulations, the museum is closed to visitors but not for calendar pickups. Someone will be at the door but, if not, simply ring the bell and we will be more than happy to fill your order. Exact change would be appreciated. No entry to the museum will be allowed.

Calendars cost $3 each or three for $5. For mail and online orders, please add $3. Calendar orders may be dropped through the mail slot at 600 St. Mary’s Rd. at any time. Cheques should be made out to the St. Vital Museum.

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

Supplied image
The St. Vital Museum’s 2021 calendar is now available and can be ordered online, by mail or drop off, and curbside pickup of your purchases is available on Saturdays beginning Dec. 5.

Remembering the bravery of John Osborn

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Remembering the bravery of John Osborn

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020

As Canadians prepare to honour those men and women who made the supreme sacrifice during various conflicts throughout the world, we pause to remember the 60 known residents of St. Vital who perished during the Second World War.

This past year, the St. Vital Museum was able to glean the names of those brave soldiers and airmen who died in the conflict.

John Robert Osborn not only sacrificed his own life, he saved the lives of several other members of the Winnipeg Grenadiers on Dec. 19, 1941.

The Grenadiers, without heavy artillery, were running short of ammunition for their small arms as the Japanese Imperial Army advanced on Hong Kong. As enemy grenades landed in a trench holding several Grenadiers, the company sergeant major made it his job to lob the explosives back at their attackers. When one grenade landed out of his reach, Osborn leapt on the explosive, sacrificing himself.

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020

Supplied photo
John Osborn, who lived on Guay Avenue, sacrificed his life so that others could live while serving in Hong Kong with the Winnipeg Grenadiers.

The origin of the St. Vital name

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The origin of the St. Vital name

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020

After Seven Oaks, St. Vital is the oldest settled area of Winnipeg.

St. Vital began in 1820 with the arrival of Métis hunters and traders from Fort Pembina, N.D., who moved north to escape the unrest of the Sioux nation. The Métis settled along both sides of the Red River between what is now Bishop Grandin Boulevard and the south Perimeter Highway.

In 1860, the Métis wanted to name their settlement after St. Alexander, the patron saint of Bishop Tache. Tache suggested the name St. Vital after the patron saint of Father Justin Grandin (later Bishop), the Oblate priest, who worked in their midst. The parishes were known as St. Vital East and St. Vital West.

Descendants of the Métis settlers formed the majority of Louis Riel’s provisional government leading to the formation of the Province of Manitoba in 1870.

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020

After Seven Oaks, St. Vital is the oldest settled area of Winnipeg.

St. Vital began in 1820 with the arrival of Métis hunters and traders from Fort Pembina, N.D., who moved north to escape the unrest of the Sioux nation. The Métis settled along both sides of the Red River between what is now Bishop Grandin Boulevard and the south Perimeter Highway.

In 1860, the Métis wanted to name their settlement after St. Alexander, the patron saint of Bishop Tache. Tache suggested the name St. Vital after the patron saint of Father Justin Grandin (later Bishop), the Oblate priest, who worked in their midst. The parishes were known as St. Vital East and St. Vital West.

Descendants of the Métis settlers formed the majority of Louis Riel’s provisional government leading to the formation of the Province of Manitoba in 1870.

St. Vital Museum displays to get a facelift

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St. Vital Museum displays to get a facelift

Bob Holliday 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020

The St. Vital Museum is closed for the foreseeable future, as three very talented people revamp its displays.

The people doing the work some with outstanding qualifications and are easily the most talented group hired by the museum.

Rae comes from a fine arts and museum conservation and restoration background She graduated with top academic honours at the University of Manitoba and did her postgraduate studies in cultural restoration in Italy.

Kyle recently graduated with a PhD in museum studies from the University of Leicester in the U.K. His speciality is in queer art histories and diversity in art spaces.

Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020

Photo by Bob Holliday
(From left) Kyle, Rae Chris have been hired this summer by the St. Vital Museum to revamp its collections and displays.

More tales of St. Vital policing

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More tales of St. Vital policing

Bob Holliday 3 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2020

In last month’s column, I wrote about my clashes with certain St. Vital Police officers in the 1970s.

I didn’t mention names, but it appears a number of other residents also had unpleasant interactions with the same cop as me, who should never have been allowed to wear a uniform. I’m told he was one of the first to be let go after all Winnipeg-area police departments were amalgamated in 1974.

Following is an email from a former member of the St. Vital Police Department:

“Great article Bob,

Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2020

In last month’s column, I wrote about my clashes with certain St. Vital Police officers in the 1970s.

I didn’t mention names, but it appears a number of other residents also had unpleasant interactions with the same cop as me, who should never have been allowed to wear a uniform. I’m told he was one of the first to be let go after all Winnipeg-area police departments were amalgamated in 1974.

Following is an email from a former member of the St. Vital Police Department:

“Great article Bob,

There are good cops and bad cops

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There are good cops and bad cops

Bob Holliday 3 minute read Monday, Jun. 22, 2020

Racism and brutality in police services is not acceptable at any time, and any cop who exhibits behaviour of either type should be fired, no ifs, ands or buts.

In the early 1970s, as a rookie reporter at the St. Vital Lance, I was harassed by a couple of members of the St. Vital Police for something I had written. One even let the air out a tire on my car. As was I changing the tire in pouring rain, a cruiser pulled alongside and a cop said “Too bad about the flat, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving (expletive deleted).”

I received harassing phone calls from the cop’s girlfriend, her mother and even a couple of rookie officers who’d fallen under the veteran’s spell, the same cop who stopped me for “speeding” repeatedly — which I always beat in court.

I was finally able to stop the harassment by complaining to a couple of sergeants.

Monday, Jun. 22, 2020

Racism and brutality in police services is not acceptable at any time, and any cop who exhibits behaviour of either type should be fired, no ifs, ands or buts.

In the early 1970s, as a rookie reporter at the St. Vital Lance, I was harassed by a couple of members of the St. Vital Police for something I had written. One even let the air out a tire on my car. As was I changing the tire in pouring rain, a cruiser pulled alongside and a cop said “Too bad about the flat, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving (expletive deleted).”

I received harassing phone calls from the cop’s girlfriend, her mother and even a couple of rookie officers who’d fallen under the veteran’s spell, the same cop who stopped me for “speeding” repeatedly — which I always beat in court.

I was finally able to stop the harassment by complaining to a couple of sergeants.

A flashback to the 1950 flood

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A flashback to the 1950 flood

Bob Holliday 3 minute read Tuesday, May. 19, 2020

I don’t remember the day or the month, but I vividly remember the year the Red River ravaged St. Vital.

I remember getting the vaccine against typhoid fever and being a typical eight-year old, returning home to play in the waist deep Seine River water that covered much of our Sadler Avenue yard. I wasn’t alone frolicking in the dirty water. I was joined by neighbour Kenny Box and friend Edward Piper who lived up the street. Our venture only lasted as long as my grandmother’s angry yell. I don’t remember if she was mad that I was having fun in the water, or the fact I was fully dressed. Either way, the sight of her waving the corn broom got me onto dry ground quickly.

The typhoid vaccine swelled my left arm, but not as much as the next two shots that came at the same time. I didn’t want to have the shot, and even convinced my grandmother a nurse had visited Lavallee School and I was now immunized. My ploy didn’t workm as I was ratted out by my sister June and I was among many Sadler Avenue kids loaded into back of a rickety pickup truck and taken for the shots.

One night soon after mmy grandmother, Junem and I walked to Hindley Avenue along the top bank of the Seine to be picked up by my Uncle Ed for a trip to his house for supper. When we arrived home later that evening, the water was gone but a few hours later we were evacuated as a wall of water rushed into our yard from the Red meeting the Seine near what is now Bishop Grandin Boulevard and St. Anne’s Road.

Tuesday, May. 19, 2020

Supplied photo
The Holliday family home on Sadler Avenue is pictured during the 1950 flood.

Isolation provides opportunity to trace ancestry

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Isolation provides opportunity to trace ancestry

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2020

One of the benefits of staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic has been searching through family records, scanning photos for relatives and also discovering dark parts of Manitoba’s history.

The birth certificate of an uncle, dated April 17, 1914, showed the race of my grandparents as “white.” Yes, authorities of the time classified people by race.

My grandmother emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland, with her mother and siblings, while my grandfather had come to Winnipeg from  the town of Mexico, N.Y., looking for work, fell in love and stayed.

Wanting to know more about my ancestors, I submitted my DNA for tracing and also did a search by names and found that tracing one’s lineage can be fun and addictive.

Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2020

Supplied photo
Lily McDowell of Woodlawn School is depicted in this historic St. Vital photography sent to Bob Holliday by Steve Stuart of Carlsbad, Calif.

Readers share their St. Vital stories

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Readers share their St. Vital stories

Bob Holliday 3 minute read Monday, Feb. 24, 2020

Letters, I get letters and I would like to share a couple with you...

Steve Stuart of Carlsbad, Calif., sent several photos of Woodlawn School circa 1915. The school was on the west side of St. Mary’s Road:

“I’ve been scanning photos of our family history and came across some photos of Woodlawn School. The photos were taken in 1915, and based upon their age probably would have my grandfather Albert C. Lane. He had a brother Harry and several photos from that era also include a woman named Louie.

“Albert Comstock Lane moved to Glendale, Calif., in the 1920s (and) was a successful realtor, an active member of the Glendale Al Malaikah Shriners, and mayor of Glendale from 1945 through 1947. Here’s photo of him presenting the key to the city to Gen. George Patton. I believe the general standing between them is James Doolittle.”

Monday, Feb. 24, 2020

Supplied photo
Albert C. Lane (at right) was born and raised in St. Vital and later became the mayor of Glendale, Calif., where he once presented the keys to the city to famed U.S. Army general George Patton.

The days of street cars on St. Anne’s Road

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The days of street cars on St. Anne’s Road

Bob Holliday 2 minute read Monday, Feb. 3, 2020

My last column about growing up in St. Vital during the 1950s seems to have struck a chord with readers, with most wanting me to continue looking back at a time when life was much simpler.

St. Anne’s Road was a simple two-lane, tarred roadway that ran from the junction with St. Mary’s Road south to Grande Pointe, where it was crossed by the Sioux Railroad tracks, which ran from Minneapolis, Minn. to Winnipeg.

The other tracks along St. Anne’s carried street cars to the end of the line at Hindley Avenue, where a turnaround loop was located. There was a set of double tracks between Niakwa Road and Fermor Avenue, where a southbound street car would wait for the northbound trolley to pass.

The single track ran alongside the ditch on the west side of St. Anne’s, which at times made for a rocky ride, especially during spring when the ground was saturated,and more than a few drivers would ignore the warning to reduce speed, resulting in cars leaving the track and landing on their side in the ditch. The worst spot for derailments was at Havelock Avenue, where more than few streetcars hit the ditch due to speed.

Monday, Feb. 3, 2020

Supplied photo
Street cars along St. Anne’s Road sometimes ended up in the ditch after coming off their track.