Bernard (Ben) Fast was born on April 6, 1924 in Tiegerweide, Russia to Katarina and Gerhard Fast. He immigrated with his family to Canada later that year. While attending Boissevain High School he lived with family near Whitewater Lake and commuted to Boissevain by train which, in those days, stopped at the Cadzow station. After completing high school, he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1942-1945. Following graduation from the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Engineering in 1950, he worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway as Deputy Regional Engineer Prairie Region. He met his future wife, Mary Patricia McGinnis at the CPR and they were married in 1970. He died in 2011.
“My siblings and I remember Uncle Ben as the “cool” uncle who traveled to what seemed to us to be exotic places and brought us amazing presents. He was reserved, he loved to play golf, he was kind and thoughtful. He lived lightly on the earth,” recalls Margaret Fast.
Anna Grace (Wall) Diehl, the eldest child of a family of 13 attended school in Ninga, Manitoba. At 17 she embarked on a teaching career. She met her husband, Les Diehl, in 1957 and were were married in 1958. Together they had four children. When the last one was ready for kindergarten she returned to the workforce at the Boissevain Library. Over the years she had been a very large force in our volunteer community. To quote Anna Grace, “We do not live by bread alone. Our lives have been enriched by the opportunities for personal growth and involvement this rural community offers”. Anna Grace died in April 2019.
Dora Ryan was a pioneeer resident of the Boissevain area. Raised on a farm, she moved to Boissevain after she married in 1942. She enjoyed looking after her yard, horseback riding, her dogs, and she was a great sports enthusiast. She worked at Pringles’ for many years. She appreciated being able to help at St. Paul’s United Church and was in charge of getting greeters for many years. She chose to leave her legacy to the Boissevain & Morton Foundation in a Field of Interest Fund for sports to be given out annually. She also enabled St. Paul’s United Church to create a Designated Fund for their operating.
Bob Barefoot received his schooling in Boissevain, but by age 14 he realized his widowed mother could not afford to raise him, and left grade 10 to work on a farm for $5.00 a month. After serving in the Canadian Army overseas, he returned to Boissevain in 1955 and became a custodian at the school, a job he held until retirement. Although he had little formal education, he enjoyed reading, especially history. His daughter, Dr. Judy Barefoot wanted to give back to the community her family enjoyed growing up in. The W.R. Barefoot
scholarship is presented to deserving graduates achieving academic excellence and continuing their education.
The Moncur Gallery wishes to thank the Foundation for approving the grant of $3642.45 for the purchase of equipment to provide self guided audio tours and training. Since completion, visitors to the Gallery have used the audio tour equipment several times.
The financial contribution from the Foundation is recognized in the first clip on the audio tour.
On June 8, 2018 the Boissevain and Morton Foundation joined Mr. Birch’s grade 6 class at the Boissevain School. The students were asked to create posters of what projects would enhance Boissevain Morton. They came up with outstanding ideas while learning about the important role community foundations play in “building our future.”
Their ideas included a football field, basketball and tennis courts, a new sports complex, a skate park, ball diamonds, an 18 hole golf course, a studio, a circus or a fair and professional services like an optometrist and a dentist. A lot of creativity, thought and work went into their posters. The class did a tremendous job! Well done Grade 6, it was a fun morning!
A local family is making sure Boissevain gets a little help to meet the ever-changing community needs by donating $10,000 to a Family Legacy Fund with the Boissevain & Morton Foundation. Alex and his wife, Helen, and their two children, Tim and Judy, came to Boissevain in 1963 when Alex was transferred with Manitoba Telephone System.
The McIntosh family were down-to-earth, working-class people who believed in community involvement. Once they settled in Boissevain, they knew this is where they wanted to plant their roots and raise their
family. For this reason, leaving a bequest to the local Foundation was a perfect home for their charitable giving, and because their fund continues to grow, the amount will increase in value each year, which is good news for Boissevain. Alex passed away in March 2016; Helen currently resides at Westview Lodge.
In 2015 the Foundation built a Composting and Wood Chipping Centre.
Please note the composting site is for leaves and grass clippings only – no branches, kitchen waste or other garbage are allowed. Trees and other waste must still be taken to the local landfill.
Bags of leaves and grass clippings must be emptied in the back part of the compost bay. Empty plastic bags can be thrown into the blue garbage bin provided. Large paper bags for leaves may be placed directly into the composting bay. Please keep area clean of garbage and plastic bags.
Once leaves and grass clippings are ready to use a sign will be posted that it is available to use as garden mulch.
The public also has free access to the wood chips in the centre bay, that can be used for garden landscaping.
To access the composting bin and wood chip bin take the service road on the north side of Boissevain. It is located next to the Boissevain Recycling Depot.
In 2015 we received a wonderful surprise. Jacob D. Dyck bequested an additional $119,000 to the Boissevain & Morton Foundation. This adds to the $150,000 bequest already received.
This leaves a total bequest of $369,000.