Wednesday, October 17

Culture Days

As part of our Harvest Lunch on October 13th we presented a softball exhibit of great interest to the locals as many of their friends and family participated in this sport over the years. Softball was not just in the men's domain as seen by the artifacts of women's teams and awards. The exhibit gave a sense of how far back the sport goes in this community. The improvements to the baseball diamonds are coming along and hopefully next year we will be able to once again to have tournaments.

We are greatful for the continued  support of Sask Culture, Sask Lotteries and Museum Association of Saskatchewan

Monday, October 15

Bells of Peace

The bells at the old United Church in Cupar will be ringing at sunset November 11 at 5:18 pm. Thank you to the Cupar Legion. Lest we forget. 100 years since the end of the war to end all wars. Now known as the First World War.

On November 11, at the going down of the sun, communities across Canada will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War with the ringing of 100 bells. The ringing of bells emulates the moment in 1918 when church bells across Europe tolled as four years of war had come to an end.
To engage youth in this significant initiative, children with the help of schools and youth organizations, are encouraged to research, locate and place flags on the graves of Canadian Veterans of the Great War.
Legion Branches and communities will host commemorative ceremonies and special activities to help Canada Remember. At sunset on November 11, the bells will ring at Parliament Hill, city halls, places of worship, military bases, Naval vessels and at ceremonies across the country to honour Canada's Veterans and commemorate the end of the First World War.
When you hear the bells toll on November 11, take a moment to pause and remember all those who served and sacrificed.
We will remember them.

Sunday, October 14

Betty Doreen Smith

I was fortunate to know Betty for a few years and yes she was amazing. Prior to her death and while she was in fairly good health and with the assistance of her daughter Robynne they went through paperwork and artifacts from her volunteer work. She generously donated it to the Cupar museum and we have started to catalogue it. Thank you to Kevin Bonish for delivering the big boxes.This endeavor will continue next year. I knew she volunteered for a lot of local groups but did not realize how very active she was until her memorial. 

When I arrived at the memorial I noticed a table at the front with Betty's photo, a purse and overnight bag amongst other things. It was only when Robynne began to talk about the purse did I begin to understand. Robynne told stories based on Betty's purse. How the contents really told us about the life and concerns of Betty. It was very touching and I actually began to think about the contents of my own mother's purse and what those items said about her.

 Thank you Betty you truly one of a kind.

Sunday, August 26

Treaty 4 Display

We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 4 territory traditional lands of the First Nations and Metis People
We wanted to create a simple display with key points about Treaty 4 that would make people want to find out more on their own.
 We also included photos of First Nations People who used to come to Cupar for July 1st parades and celebrations. They would come years ago by horse back and wagon from Gordon Reserve and stay north of Cupar by Brent and Jackie Ermel's farm. They would stay a week or so for activities in Cupar and at the sports grounds.


Friday, August 10

Summer is passing Matthew

I can't believe nearly 6 of the 8 weeks for our summer student have passed. We have been working him really hard and he is a joy to be around.

Matthew and I have spent a lot of time organizing and condensing our storage areas. Matthew has made lists attached to the inside of the storage cupboards so we know exactly what is in there. Not only will it help find artifacts but help decide what to get rid of in the future. We have all our assorted frames in one place now and realize we don't need to get any more from garage sales.

No Matthew don't look up there. I thought those were fake cupboards. Maybe next year.

Monday, August 6

Every artifact has a story

Every artifact has a story, but too often when someone donates something they sadly forget about sharing that story. Often it may only be a few lines but it makes all the difference. Artifacts can trigger our memory and we all have slightly different memories. So remember that memory is equally important as the object.

Time is running out

Time is running out to come and see our summer exhibit on softball in Cupar. You may recognize yourself, family members or friends. While you are at the museum you should stroll over to the ball diamonds, improvements are really coming along. Remember it is never too late to donate to the Cupar Ball Diamond Project. You can contact Kevin Bonish or Kelly Findling. After all we will all benefit from all the efforts of our volunteers.

Monday, June 25

Please Don't Rain, Please Don't Rain, Please Don't Rain

It seems that no matter what day we choose for our Strawberry Social, chances are it will rain. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Sometimes even if it isn't raining the grounds are so saturated that we have mud ruts everywhere. Other times we have moved the date only to get rain again. Sigh! One glorious year it poured then the sun came out an hour before our event. Hurrah!

Even though the national weather person predicted drought this year we have had lots of rain this June. It is necessary to always have a Plan B. One year we moved our event to the Legion, too small a space.

This year we set up the canopies on June 22. Our summer exhibit on softball in Cupar was set to go and then we waited to see. We continued to wait the morning of June 23 to see what the weather would do. Our event is scheduled to start at 2:00pm and at 12:30 the call or calls were made. Messages went out on social media and posters downtown quickly changed.

We moved to the recently renovated Town Hall. The band Blue Country was able to spread out nicely and they commented on how good the acoustics were. Our crowd of about 60 people may have been smaller than other years, but of course the weather is mainly to blame. Everyone had a great time, but of course we would have preferred to be outside in the warmth and sun. Sigh! Maybe next year.

Thursday, June 14


What a delight to attend the Museum Association conference in Humboldt this June.
The theme of the conference was “Authentic Storytelling for future Narratives”.
All workshops including the keynote speech centered around variations of storytelling sprinkled with concrete examples.
 I was also pleased that this was a
joint get together with MAS and 
Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society.
It is an obvious overlap but I did get to meet new people 
and re-new old friends.
I wish I could have attended all workshops, but I couldn't be in 3 places at the same time.

My favourite workshop was entitled “Story Shaping”
with Danica Lorer was simply inspiring and thought provoking.
Objects can assist in triggering stories, but other senses like sound taste
touch can come in to play.
Often when we hear a story we begin to recall our own story. Everyone
experiences a memory in a different way and all are valid.

We were all given a chance to choose an item from a table and develop a story
to share with a partner within a minute and if we chose later with the whole group.

 We all have stories no matter what our age. We need to share with each other.

 I am pleased I do not have to wait to share my stories until I am in a nursing home.

I'm afraid of heights. I'm afraid of heights. I'm afraid of heights. I'm afraid of heights.

We all had a chance to take a a self directed tour of Humboldt museum, art gallery and
original Humboldt. Great to go at our own pace.

The water tower, what a beautiful 360 view of Humboldt and surrounding area. The view WOW.
Over 80 feet high. The interior spiral staircase has 143 steps up and of course down, way down.

I'm afraid of heights. I'm afraid of heights. I'm afraid of heights. I'm afraid of heights.

I clung to the bannisters, I looked at my feet, at the stairs, I counted the stairs.
I did not look up. I did not look down.
I had no choice but to also make it down, really really worth the fear and anxiety.

     I'm afraid of heights. 

     I'm afraid of heights. 
     I'm afraid of heights. 

     I'm afraid of heights.

Sunday, February 4


1918: 100 years ago was the end of The First World War, The Great War, the war to end all wars.

The year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu (H1N1). A major flu pandemic which infected 500 million worldwide and killed an estimated 20 to 50 million people.

My own great grandfather, a dairy farmer, died from this flu. He was 60. It left my family in an economic and financial limbo that would take years to recover from.

Many families in the Cupar and area were dramatically affected.
Lloyd Keyser who served in WW1 died November 1918 of Pneumonia following the Influenza. He is buried in the cemetery in Cupar. His brother Earl also contacted the flu, but survived.

In October 1918 the first death was Mrs. Philip Weisbrod soon to follow Mr. Paul Hodel.
The Cupar Herald dated October 17 1918 gives more detail on efforts to contain the “disease”

On October 16 1918 the Lieutenant Governor gives a number of regulations for dealing with the Spanish Flu.

By October 24 1918 3 more deaths are announced in the north district

The Cupar Herald dated October 31 1918 announces all businesses to be closed to prevent the spread of the flu and named a number of people who had died.

The Cupar Herald dated November 7 1918 noted that many people were being inoculated against the flu.

 In the same issue Doctor Stuart advices people to remain home as the vaccine may give only some immunity against pneumonia and other complications.

The Cupar Herald dated November 21 1918 announces that an emergency hospital has been set up at the school.

The Cupar Herald December 5 1918 gives news of closing of the emergency hospital in Cupar.

 However this was not the end of flu deaths. The James Mainland family of the McDonald Hills area (Enid) had lost a son in the war. In January of 1919 according to The Cupar Herald: Mrs. Mainland and 3 children: Mary, Rose and John succumbed to the disease.

Thursday, October 19

Bart's photos

 As I said in a previous post this year's Harvest Lunch included a photo exhibit by local photographer
Bart Carroll. We had 92 people at the Harvest Lunch, and most of these people slowly filtered into the back room.

 We have exhibited Bart's work at the museum before but many people appear to have missed it. So you really can repeat some things. 


One of the helpful aspects of the exhibit was when people tried to identify a number of old house photographs that Bart took around the Cupar area.

Unfortunately Bart did not label the back of the photographs and the whereabouts of the master list is unknown. We were overjoyed that many of these photographs were actually identified and a new list is being created and the owners of the houses have been penciled on the back of the photographs.

Tuesday, October 3

Harvest Lunch and Culture Day

The Cupar and District Heritage Museum will be having their Harvest Lunch Saturday October 14 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Legion/Library. We will at the same time have our Culture Day exhibit in the Plus 50. This year it will be photos by the late Bart Carroll, (1927-2016) a long time resident of this community who taught at our local school. Photography was his passion and we are happy to share some of his work.

We will have sheets of paper in the Plus 50 if you wish to write down some memories
of Bart and his wife Betty. We will then keep these memories at the Cupar Museum.


Tuesday, September 12

Plus 50 Tour

Members of the Plus 50 Club in Cupar came out on September 8th to tour the Adrian Paton Photo Exhibit. The response was positive. The members also had the opportunity to check out other museum displays books and albums.  Although our museum does not really have space for travelling exhibits, this one was of a manageable size.

  No tour would be complete without coffee and goodies.

Monday, August 14

Adrian Paton Photo Exhibit

On Saturday August 12th our museum arranged to meet a fellow from the railway museum in Saskatoon.  The halfway point either Lanigan or Dafoe. Take Dafoe its only 113km from us as opposed to 150km.  And so 2 cylinder containers were loaded up.

Then on Sunday August 13th, 5 of us got together to put it up.  Warning: always read the instructions first and there is always something that seems obvious and isn't, which the manual doesn't tell you.

We are quite excited to have the exhibit as we thought we would not have room for any travelling exhibits, but this one is quite compact at 11ft long by 7ft high.

Our first official visitors will be from Shalom, the seniors home.  We are making arrangements for other groups to come.  We have the exhibit for one month.