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Centenary Cemetery

11 Nov Poppies for Remembrance Day

Centenary Cemetery
mind not the weeper or the prayer,
all those who have the eyes to see,

The moon gives you light,
  And the bugles and drums, the night

To the Judge of Right and Wrong
Our purpose and our power belong,

with uncomprehending eyes
laid down immediate and wise;

Where now the Mother, comfort me?
Where Art Thou Father, can't you see?

Gather round the Centenary Cemetery over there
Old and young with hymn and prayer
Poppies for Remembrance Day

Poppy

Blow out, you bugles, over lads Dead!
These laid the world away; poured out the red
     What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
        Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle

But yesterday amid glory and the prize,
          One strove to quiet the other's cries,

rules consider wise,
See whence the tear-filled eyes

O Best beloved can you see battle-corpses, myriads of them,
          And the white skeletons of young men, who saw them?

The banners play, the bugles call,
The air is blue and prodigal.

To death, because they never lived: but I
Have lived indeed, and so—(yet one more kiss)—can die!

No funerary for them; no prayers nor bells,
Just shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;

with staring sightless eyes,
Hear around the many sighs

We see and hold the good—
For Freedom’s brotherhood.

Gather round the Centenary Cemetery over there
Citizen and Child with hymn and prayer

A steady rain, dark and thick
Now feel the stir of despair quick

My comrade’s eyes
holy glimmers of goodbyes.

So now the poppy in fields doth bloom’
For the day all fill’d with gloom,

Clearing your minds of all estranging blindness
Speak now of Freedom, Honour and Lovingkindness.

Upon sightless staring eyes
soft short broken sighs,

Only his collar with his honourable mark
Mankind’s best hope? Laid out this night in solitary dark

While man has power to perish and be free—
Men perished for their dream of Liberty

Here sit the haggard men that speak no word,
No voice of fellowship or strife is heard

The British War Medal World War I.

Medal.

The body now denies
To Sleep return, little eyes

Nary it shines in lurid light,
Tales of  terrors, and the  blight,

Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.

They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence deep;
Men pass the grave, and say, “‘Twere well to sleep,

The peace of death.
The lifeless breath

Before our eyes
Hear still the cries

upon earth’s peaceful breast
Each laid him down to rest,

Gather round the Centenary Cemetery over there
Generations ever after with hymn and prayer

The day is past and the battle doth cease;
And hearts rest, eventide brings peace

Now speak of the peace that comes after strife,
The calm that follows the battle-filled life —

Now come the prayers and the bell
To honour them as they fell

Resound in peace and glory long
Sing out no more the bugle song

To ancestors you must see
Will you ever remember me?

So here I pray thee lay me not
to Rest in no memory and Die for naught.

Where’s that poppy on your collar?
Stand up now for peace, shout and holler

Poppies for Remembrance Day

Poppies

Genealogy Hints and Tips: During the Centennial years following World War I (1914-1918), Search for the ancestor fallen. The tragedy has come to light, and diaries, battalions, battles, records, medals, reports, images, are coming online. From Vimy in the Classroom, Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial, Library and Archives images online at Fickr. The internet abounds remembering, honouring and paying tribute to those who fell in the Great War.  Have you, yourself, come to know your ancestor of the Great War?

Read more:

 In Flanders Fields and Other Poems With an Essay in Character, by Sir Andrew Macphail Author: John McCrae

Drum Taps Author: Walt Whitman

A Treasury of War Poetry British and American Poems of the World War 1914-1917
Auhor: Edited, with Introduction and Notes, by George Herbert Clarke

1914 and other poems. Author Rupert Brooke

Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War Author: Herman Melville

Dramatic Romances Author: Robert Browning

Poems Author: Wilfred Owen

Caragana ~ A Pink Ribbon Campaign

11 Nov
Caragana arborescens Siberian Pea Tree

Caragana arborescens Siberian Pea Tree

Caragana, the bush that perhaps saved the prairies. This wonder was planted around farms to act as a wind break, when the dust bowl of the dirty thirties carried the agricultural top soil away. Caragana, is used in arid desert-like area as a part of a perma-culture programme to nitrogen-fix the soil enhancing the quality. There is no doubt about it, the area around Caragana bushes is lush and luxurious with plant life. Around the one room schoolhouse yards, Caragana served as an amazing living fence.

However, what many pioneers and homesteaders in Saskatchewan had not realized is that the amazing Caragana is also edible, very nutritous, with surprising health benefits as well. The seeds from the Caragana pods can be prepared as any other legume, ie. the dried beans or peas purchased in the store. The young seedpods can be eaten from the trees, with a delightful snap pea flavour. And the beautiful tender yellow flowers, are simply delicious. Eat them on the trail, or scatter some within your next salad for a treat for the eyes as well as the palate.
“The whole plant, known as ning tiao, is used in the treatment of cancer of the breast, and the orifice to the womb, and for dysmenorrhea and other gynecological problems.”Plant-Life.org However Only Foods recommends that those who are pregnant not to eat the Caragana.

Next time you are out and about try a nibble of the seed pods. In its vegetal form, Caragana, does have the potential to be a staple food crop. Caragana is a very nutritious legume. What an amazing opportunity to wear a pink ribbon, and have a nibble of Caragana.

Genealogy Hint and Tip:

Next visit to the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan remember to ask to see the Pioneer Questionnaire file  These questionnaires were sent around to households Circa1950 and asked questions in regards to lifestyle such as Pioneer Diet, General Pioneer Experiences, Schools, Churches, Recreation and Social Life, Farming Experiences, Folklore, Health, Housing, Local Government, and Christmas. There is even a listing which can be searched to determine if your ancestor took part in this early survey.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Another Edible Legume Arcol-o-gist.

Caragana arborescens – Lam. Plants for a future.

Two forever foods SurvivalBlog.com

Caragana arborescens Siberian Pea Tree.

a deciduous legume tree or shrub of the Caragana genus in the family Leguminosae. It is an edible nitrogen fixer and a great source of chicken fodder. Practical Plants.

Caragana arborescens Wikipedia.

Caragana. Caragana arborescens. ‘Ross’ Caragana, Siberian Peashrub Government of Canada. Agriculure and Agri-Food.
2015-08-10

Caragana or Siberian Pea Shrub. United States Department of Agriculture. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Permaculture Plants: Pea Trees and Pea Shrubs Temperature Change Permaculture.

Shelterbelt Varieties for Alberta – Caragana, Siberian Peashrub. Government of Albera. Agriculture and Forestry. December 17, 2015.

Siberian Pea Tree (Caragana arborescens) Raw Edible Plants.

Siberian Pea Tree (Caragana arborescens) Only Foods.

Siberian Pea-shrub. Caragana arborescens Lam. Plant-life.org.

 ” if you devote 22% of a quarter section, that’s 160 acres, to trees, you can double the crops.’ It’s a question of planting trees strategically. The trees reduce the speed of the wind, modify the climate, they modify the difference in temperature from day and night, and above all the trees make it possible for the earthworms to come into the land, and the earthworm casts its own weight every 24 hours. And a well-populated acre of worms casts 30 tonnes of worm castings per acre per year. That’s equal to 30 tonnes of farmyard manure on that land.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Saskatchewan Clouds

8 Nov

By the Saskatchewan.
When the sun has dipt to the westward,
And has reddened the sky with its glow,
When the shadows o’er the soft clouds have deepened,
And the twittering skylarks fly low,
Then I wend my way home o’er the prairie
With a yearning that never does fail
And the mists of the mighty Saskatchewan
Rise, to meet me at the end of the trail.
~ Agnes Krogan

Aerial view of clouds

Aerial view of clouds

In the history of this province of Saskatchewan, Canada clouds have heralded both good fortune and terrible, horrendous bad luck.  And as thus, does Saskatchewan receive its apt slogan, “Land of Living Skies”.

For instance, take this example of prosperity in the roaring twenties;
“In 1928, Moffat shared with most of Saskatchewan in the bumper crop of the century. We bought a new car, an Essex super 6, with a plush lining and in a beautiful shade of blue, with a dashboard of simulated walnut. What a car! Most of the early cars in Moffat were Model T Fords, but variety was the by-word in the late Twenties. Bertenshaws bought a Flying Cloud, Wolseley Taylor a Nash, Reads a McLaughlin-Buick and Peter Ferguson a little Whippet. Star, Dore, Chevrolet roadster ~ they all appeared during that era. War years and the Twenties

And yet how does one even imagine the decade of drought in the “Dirty Thirties”, possibly best described by novelist Robert (Paul) Kroetsch ;
“I looked back just once and the sky in the west was positively black. AS if a great fist had closed the sun’s eye. As if a range of mountains had broken loose and was galloping straight at me. The whole west was one great galloping cloud of smothering dust. I reached to turn on the lights.

And the the shiver turned to elation. Because I saw the windshield again. A drop of rain had hit the windshield. A drop of genuine water. Even while I was watching, right before my eyes, a second drop hit.

My bowels melted. That’s when I first realized: I had forgotten what a rain cloud looks like.~Paustian, Shirley I.

“So, while we learned the most obvious lesson of the Dust Bowl – that is, how to retain soil on dry farmland – we have yet to learn the larger lessons: how to respect nature’s limits, and how to use natural processes to buffer drought’s impacts.” Kendy

Another devastation befalling the Saskatchewan prairies in cycles as regular as drought are the grasshoppers as described by Henry Youle Hind,a Canadian geologist and explorer:

“On the second of July [1858] we observed the grasshoppers in full flight towards the north, the air as far as the eye could penetrate appeared to be filled with them. They commenced their flight about nine in the morning, and continued until half-past three or four o’clock in the afternoon. After that hour they settled around us in countless multitudes, and immediately clung to the leaves of the grass and rested after their journey. On subsequent days when crossing the great prairie from Red Deer’s Head River to Fort Ellice, the hosts of grasshoppers were beyond all calculation: they appeared to be infinite in number. Early in the morning they fed upon the prairie grass, being always found most numerous in low, wet places where the grass was long. As soon as the sun had evaporated the dew, they took short flights, and as the hour of nine approached, cloud after cloud would rise from the prairie and pursue their flight in the direction of the wind, which was generally S.S.W. The number in the air seemed to be greatest about noon and at times they appeared in such infinite swarms as to lessen perceptibly the light of the sun. The whole horizon wore an unearthly ashen hue from the light reflected by their transparent wings. The airs was filled as with flakes of snow, and time after time, clouds of these insects forming a dense body casting a glimmering silvery light, flew swiftly towards the north-north-east, at altitudes varying from 500 to perhaps 1000 feet.” Hawkes

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

On the prairies, it is seen that the collective swarming behavior of grasshoppers is their survival mechanism in times of dry weather and food is scarce. Again, a healthy respect for nature, nourishing the land, preserving water all goes a long way to mitigate ruination, and defoliation of a crop.

However, the plight of the pioneer does not end with clouds of dust, nor clouds of grasshoppers. The early homesteader had to be on the look out for clouds of smoke on the horizon, signalling a massive grass fire approaching. A fire which could range in length for hundreds of miles devouring everything in its path.

“A hazard far less innocent than the howl of a prairie wolf or the wandering of livestock, however, was the menace of the prairie fire. The threat was a serious one during the warm days of spring and fall, when the grass was dry. The fall was a particularly hazardous time, when the September days were often hot and windy, and the whole country was covered by crisp prairie “Wool” and clumps of aspen and willows as inflammable as a vast timber box. Once started under such conditions a fire created its own wind and augmented any that already existed, and the results could often be tragic in a new and sparsely settled country. The most spectacular and dangerous fire in the history of our community….began in the Turtleford area…from a bush-burning operation, and once out of control it galloped wildly across the country at the speed of a race horse, in long, flaming tongues that beggared description. There was little or no defence against such a fire. The almost horizontal lead flames might be thirty to fifty fee long, with flying sparks, and small brands still farther in advance of the main fire. In the face of such an onslaught, the ordinary “Fire-guards” and sounds of men equipped with horses, water barrels, and wet burlap sacks for beating out the flames were hopelessly inadequate. Often during the spring or fall, large areas of the sky would be red with the reflections of grass fires. When the air was cool, moist and quiet, large scale danger was minimal, but especially for children the angry looking red cloud reflections of a prairie fire were always an awesome and frightening sight.”Wooff

Fire across the fields

Image of a small grass fire across the fields

In retrospect, those who reside in Saskatchewan welcome the spring clouds nourishing the crops in the field. The horrific and massive dangers of drought, prairie fire, and grasshopper are largely diminished because of adapted agricultural practices and lessons have been hard learned.

As did Joni Mitchell we, also, have “looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down…from win and lose” and from it all, the resilient pioneer had many tales to tell about Winning the Prairie Gamble.

Genealogy hint and tip:  In regards to stories from your ancestors, please peruse the Saskatchewan local history books. To discover which book may be useful, try the Saskatchewan Resident’s Index offered by the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society. Or find your pioneer’s homestead location, locate the legal land location on an historic map. On the map ascertain the closest place name to the homestead and use this information to search an online library database listing. Solicit the assistance of some kind soul on a posting board, a mailing list, or just offering to do a look – up or by wander down to your library and use their reference room. Discover which here ~ ordered alphabetically by SK place name with relevant Sask Gen Web region. Rural Municipality offices or regional museums may know if any local history books of the province’s 50th and 75 anniversary (1955 and 1980) may yet be available for purchase, or if the community wrote a new one for the 100th provincial anniversary of 2005.

~written by Julia Adamson webmaster Sask Gen Web

“The fact that we have a Sahara (desert) is not entirely tragic. The very existence of the Sahara gives to the whole world a highly valuable lesson in ecology. It teaches us what not to do with a perfect countryside. The drifting sands and stony wastes tell us more eloquently than words, what will happen when we break certain natural laws. We cannot remove tree cover without running the risk of losing the blessing of the water cycle. We cannot denude the earth’s surface without creating the desiccation of sand the dust dunes. We cannot permit animals to devour whatever little is left of green growth. Excessive grazing of cattle, sheep and goats is as damaging to the land as a wholesale felling of trees…´ from Desert Challenge ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Hawkes, John. Saskatchewan and its People on Sask Gen Web Volume I, II, III
Illustrated. Chicago – Regina. The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1924.

Kendy, Eloise Ph.D.
Water Helping Nature Protect Us From Drought
The Nature Conservancy.

Krogan, Agnes E. Thorbergson. And a church was built.
Mulitgraph Service Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Paustian, Shirley I. (Shirley Irene)Depression, 1929-1939, in the Prairie provinces of Canada.

War years and the twenties. They cast a long shadow: the story of Moffat, Saskatchewan.

Wooff, John. Harbinger Farm 1906-1920 Modern Press. Regina, Saskatchewan.

Locate Your Saskatchewan Place-name

8 Nov Genealogy Research
Genealogy Research

Genealogy Research

Is it truly Irksome to search and research for the ancestral placename, and come up empty in the middle of your genealogical research? What are some hints and tips for discovering the place recorded from oral history, ancestral correspondence or on primary source documents? Out of the chaos can, indeed, come clarity and resolution by following the next few steps for ancestral place name research in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada.

    • First note the date of the document. Correspondence or documents dated before 1905 would refer to a place name of the North West Territories, as Saskatchewan did not become a province until 1905. In the North West Territories after 1882 there were three provisional districts , known as;
      1. Assiniboia, Assa
      2. Saskatchewan, Sask.
      3. Athabasca (Athabaska)

      The boundaries for the NWT and for the provisional districts are different from the contemporary province of Saskatchewan, and had some overlaps with Manitoba and Alberta.

    • Abbreviations for the province changed, Saskatchewan was once Sask., and now is SK. Canada was Can. and is now CA. The North West Territories has always been NWT, unless in French, in which case it is Territoires du nord-ouest; T.N.-O. There is a placename, currently the provincial largest city called Saskatoon without abbreviation not to be confused with Saskatchewan.
    • if it is the 1921 Census, then the place of habitation recorded by the enumerator is likely the Rural Municipality
    • In the early pioneering days, travel by horse and cart, meant that places were much closer together. With the advent of paved highways and motorized vehicles, urban centres grew, and smaller rural placenames folded away. Historic places such as Copeau may be found on historic maps, on the Canadian Library and Archives Post Offices website, or in one of the placename books published by Bill Barry, such as Geographic Names of Saskatchewan.
    • Searching for the ancestral name in homestead listings will determine the legal land location. Using this information, turn to an historic map to view the neighbouring sidings, post offices, elevators and placenames on the railway lines.
    • Be aware that placenames may have changed names over the course of time. This Analysis of Saskatchewan Placenames lists a few of these name changes.
    • Another fabulous repository would be cemetery listings which are coming online. These databases not only list the cemeteries, but usually closest locality and the Rural Municipality. The Saskatchewan Genealogy Society has listed over 3,000 cemeteries, and has two separate listings online
    • Pioneers often referred to their locale by the One room school house district in which they resided. The Sk One Room Schoolhouse project has close to 6,000 school district names with their locations.

So get creative and when looking up a place name on correspondence, in the released census or in birth, marriage or death certificates use some of the helpful hints above to locate where your ancestor resided in Saskatchewan. Genealogy research should not be an irksome task, make sense from the chaos, and get past your brick wall with success.

~written by Julia Adamson webmaster Sask Gen Web

Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.

Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.

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