GFM Network News


Jim and Margaret Templeton gave two young lads a few pleasant days of gainful employment in their teens.

Neighbourhood labour: ready cash, plus work lessons as the bonus

There were good, not-so-good and great employers in the rural district of my youth

Hey, a shiny modern tractor to drive. A new voice to give me orders, instead of Dad’s. A different lunch table come noontime. And ready cash at the end of the workday. Why wouldn’t I go and help the neighbours? Life’s lessons are often learned slowly, and occasionally they have to be learned over and

The author, centre, with his parents, in front of the white picket fence built with reclaimed boards from the razed house. photos: submitted

Old house razing entertains, educates Basswood brothers

For these four lads it was a chance to wreck something for praise, not retribution

The Mennonite brethren may be known for their barn raising, but in the summer of 1975, four Manitoba brothers gained notoriety for an old farmhouse razing. The farmhouse, along the main entrance to Basswood, and just off the Yellowhead Hwy., was a perfect spot for villagers to witness the destruction. In fact, we could have


The old red barn with the roof overhang for the hated sling to put up loose hay—rendered obsolete by a ‘new’ baler from an auction.

Auction sale action thrills farm boys

There was nothing like an auction sale to create memories

Name a farm boy who doesn’t like an auction sale. There were different machines to climb on, a neighbourhood buddy to meet, a barn cat to befriend (maybe her kittens too), and a haul of treasures to take home. Plus, if we behaved, Dad might treat us with homemade pie. My older brother David and

This aerial photo from the early 1960s shows the consolidated school in the field behind the village of Basswood.

A pile of memories

Bulldozed snow mountain creates Tower of Babel for Basswood schoolchildren

I cannot imagine a better winter “toy” for Grade 3 farm boys than a bulldozed 14-foot-high mountain of snow in March. It literally was a pile of fun. Plus it may have had a few aspects in common with the ancient biblical “Tower of Babel.” Early March 1969, delivered a sudden blizzard and with it,

A grainy still from an old movie shows Aunt Ellen behind the counter of Havakeen Lunch.

Family history found

Interlake’s ‘Havakeen Lunch’ lives on in film

Have you ever had the chance to reach behind and grab on to the past? No, I am not talking about fumbling into the back seat to find an old Manitoba Co-operator. I do mean finding unexpected history, and enjoying it. Several years ago, younger brother Tim mused about an old National Film Board movie,


The Kihn farm, near Basswood, prior to the 1978 liquidation auction.

Making hay — and memories

A youthful summer sojourn still stirs memories for the author

It was another of those teenage decisions I never got to make — ugh. Mom called me over to her on an August Sunday afternoon. “You’re going to help Grandpa and Uncle Willie with their haying,” she announced. She’d just got off the phone with her brother 90 miles away near Russell. “They’ve fallen behind.