Crandall Reunion 2000 - A Walk Down Memory Lane June 30/ July 1& 2,2000
Submitted to the Hamiota Echo by Ted Andrew, event chairman
The seeds for the Crandall Reunion were scattered over a period of months starting in 1997. Like so many
worthwhile things the idea took a while to sprout but finally germinated on April 15, 1999 when
twenty-four Crandall and area residents met at the Crandall Community Hall. Former Crandall residents
now living in Hamiota, Miniota, Winnipeg and Regina, Saskatchewan were also present. It was decided to
hold a reunion on June 30/ July 1&2,2000, with Sunday of that weekend being devoted to celebrating the
100th Anniversary of the Crandall United Church. Committees were formed and plans began to take shape.
Meetings were held periodically up to the weekend celebration.
The Reunion started on Friday June 30 with registrations, a bonfire, wiener roast and visiting which was
enjoyed by over one hundred people of all ages.
Saturday started with registration, then a parade made up of forty-four entries. The parade was led by
Corporal Craig Hyndman of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a former Crandall resident currently living
in Regina, Saskatchewan and accompanied by Corporal Ewen Booth of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Hamiota Detachment. Following the parade a very solemn ceremony was held at the Cenotaph, presided over
by Stuart Johnson of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Master of Ceremonies for the weekend. Stuart presented a plaque
on behalf of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum of Brandon in memory of those Crandall and
District residents who gave their lives during World War 2 in defense of their and our country.
Gerald Shier of Crandall accepted the plaque on behalf of the community.
The "Walk Down Memory Lane" came alive Saturday afternoon as people walked and rode around the Crandall
town site where the names of former and present residents were displayed in front of the places they
once lived. Rodney Lewis proved to be a very capable tour driver as he took many people on drives around
Crandall in his specially designed "People Mover". Present and former residents acted as commentators as
the conveyance travelled the streets.
A golf course was especially designed for Saturday. No one could remember Crandall having such a sports
facility adjacent to what once was Main Street. It actually consisted of a seventy-yard fairway and green,
the object being to get closest to the hole. One hundred and five people of all ages tried their luck.
The event was won by eleven year old Jason Gregoire of Winnipeg, grandson of Malcolm and Sylvia (Lee)
Haverstick, also of Winnipeg. Jason was presented with the Crandall Golf 2000 trophy that was in the shape
of the Crandall school cairn.
The younger generations were kept entertained by a "Fish Pond" which was comprised of metal fish in a large
container of water. The fishing pole consisted of a small magnet on a line. The successful anglers were
rewarded with a prize and it is understood that everyone that fished was successful. Some not so young
anglers were also spotted trying their luck. No master anglerfish were reported but everyone had a good time.
The Crandall hall was decorated and filled with memorabilia of days past. An initial draft of the updated
Crandall History book was on display that is being prepared by Lynda Leigh Long of Crandall, daughter of
Doug and Darlene, also of Crandall. Numerous articles had been donated to support the Reunion and many of
these were on display in the hall as "Silent Auction" items. People wishing to relax could sit in the hall
and watch reruns of the 1982 Crandall Reunion parade.
Saturday evening commenced with a delicious cold plate meal catered to by Irwin's Drive-Inn of Hamiota.
The evening continued with a musical presentation by the Lawrence families. This was followed by what
was termed "I remember when..." as several former and present Crandall residents representing a period
of approximately eighty years, kept everyone entertained by reminiscing about things they remembered
about people and happenings over the years in the community. These presenters were Hugh Lawson of Hamiota,
Margaret (Doupe) Heise of Hamiota, Grant Hyndman of Hamiota, Margaret (Kidd) Decker of Hamiota, Gerald Shier
of Crandall, Sylvia (Lee) Haverstick of Winnipeg, Don Lee of Crandall, Vince Shier of Fernie, British
Columbia and Scott Doupe of Calgary, Alberta. Jack Lewis of Crystal City, Manitoba kept everyone entertained
as he auctioned off several items. The senior person registered, Mike Smuttel, 93 years of Winnipeg and
the youngest in attendance, Jacinta Doupe, three weeks, daughter of Neil and Jody, were recognized and
received a warm round of applause. Saturday's activities came to a close with a dance and lunch held in the
hall. The music was provided by The Jammers of Russell, Manitoba. One member of which had a Crandall
connection in that he played at Earl Mark's barn dances at the age of twelve. At this time a community
member also prepared and displayed fireworks to the enjoyment of many.
The final day, Sunday commenced with a pancake breakfast put on by the Crandall hall committee, supported
by volunteers. Visiting and Crandall tours kept everyone occupied until 2:30 p.m. when the last official
service took place in the Crandall United Church. The service was followed by the unveiling of a cairn
in recognition of the Church. Cake and refreshments were then served, courtesy of the congregation.
(Complete details of the church history and related Sunday events have been prepared by Crandall residents
and appear elsewhere in the History book).
The weather person co-operated fully over the weekend. The comfort of those in attendance was enhanced by
the presence of a large tent acquired for the occasion. Several people took time to visit the Crandall
Cemetery that is so neatly maintained by Hazel and Wallace Henderson. In honour of those who have passed
on and are buried in the cemetery, the Reunion committee placed a single flower on each gravesite.
When all the weekend registrations were counted it was found that four hundred and fifty people had
registered and many more attended the Church service on Sunday which further added to the numbers. There
was an International flavour to the Reunion as former residents now living in the United States were in
attendance as well as people from many Canadian provinces. As July 1st was Canada Day, many of the events
reflected our Canadian Heritage.
The weekend concluded with a short closing ceremony with final remarks by the Master of Ceremonies and
Chairperson. The choir sang a song prepared by a committee member in recognition of the weekend. The words
are included as it reflects the feelings of most in attendance as the Reunion came to an end.
The reunion was brought to a close when Lorna Eastcott and her grandson, Tyler Janes, released several
coloured balloons containing the Crandall Reunion address.
The names of the organizing committee members are listed below alphabetically and are
representative of former and present Crandall and District residents. There were also many
volunteers who assisted on the weekend and again were comprised of former and present Crandall and
District persons. When the weekend was over there had been almost 100% participation by the community,
something that any community could and should be justly proud of.