Saturday, July 4, 2009

Heritage Hall

Heritage Hall was the heartbeat of the convention...where everyone gathered to meet for dinner, re-unitied with friends, and discovered new village information.

Scenes of Jim Marshall...Medicine Hat artist

You can't travel too far in Medicine Hat without seeing the extraordinary work of Jim Marshall. Marshall designed the artwork on the cover of the "Experience of a Life & Time," Convention program. He was visible through his work and in person as he continues to create his unique artistry throughout the city. Here are just a few of the photographs of Marshall and his work.

North Star Chapter highlights the convention at their web site

Duane Stabler, President of the North Star Chapter, shares his photos and thoughts about the Medicine Hat convention on the North Star web site. Check out the links below to see his report.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Our Speakers...special thanks to all who shared their expertise

Here are some quick snapshots of some of the speakers at the International Convention last week.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

2009 Storytelling Contest Winners....

Last Friday, Ken Koehler announced the Annual Storytelling contest winners. Please congratulate all of the winners!

Youth Division

1st place ($50.00) My Great-great-great Grandma Justina Leppke by Bailey Penner (Silver Spring, MD)
2nd place ($30.00) Learning from Grandma by Evelyn Elaine Gaunt (Albertville, MN)
3rd place ($20.00) My Great-great-great Grandpa Loewen: Fishing and Frog Hunting by Gabriel Reume (Beaver, WA)

Adult Division
1st place ($100.00) Ode to Sauerkraut by Anne Stang (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
2nd place ($75.00) The Girls of ’66 by Gwen Schock Cowherd (White Bear Lake, MN)
3rd place ($50.00) New Year in Saskatchewan 1946 by Anne Stang (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
Honorable Mention
And It Was the End of the First Day by Gerald Bertsch (Sheboygan, WI) Farewell the Sea by Svetlana Mayer (Ponca City, OK) My Father’s Story by Polly Propp Pratt (Orcas, WA) Grandma Christina’s Letters by Pat Ramberg (White Bear Lake, MN) A Long Way From Home by Valentina Titarenko (Germany)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday, June 20 Convention Update

Convention attendees had a number of wonderful tours to choose from this week. Here’s a brief update on the tours not yet covered in the newsletter.

**Historic Clay District—Medicine Hat’s abundant natural resources of natural gas, coal, and clay helped to make it know as the “Pittsburgh of the West.” The clay industry boomed in the early 1900’s and Ron Mason, Education Coordinator, enthusiastically shared his knowledge of the historic Medalta Potteries site. From jiggerman skills to songs about the industry, Ron made the clay industry come to life.

**Cypress Hills Vineyard & Winery--What could be better than finding an oasis in the heart of the prairies? This tour wowed us with scenery and attention to detail. The light lunch of beef rouladen, red cabbage and dessert was a welcome accompaniment to the wine tasting.

**Elkwater Hutterite Colony—Tim Geiger was our gracious host and answered many questions as the bus drove to the Elkwater Hutterite Colony. Paul and Susie Hofer welcomed us and a 40 minute film explained much of the Hutterite history. Tours included walks through the church, kitchen, dining areas, laundromat, school, and greenhouse. And, yes, the bus did drive through the dairy barn. Thank goodness the rain held off until we were all boarded on the bus again. Be sure to see Paul and Susie on Saturday morning as they present, “Roots of the Hutterites.”

A Celebration of Song” featuring the Corpus Christi Male Chorale of Calgary and the German Canadian Harmony Choir of Medicine Hat entertained all with their marvelous harmonies to bring our second day of the convention to a close.

Anyone with information about the missing books from the bookstore, please contact the registration desk.

Volunteers are the life blood of our organization. Please be sure to thank all of the hard-working individuals who make this convention possible.

**Speakers are reminded to submit their talks electronically to Gail Gingrich at for publication in the Journal. We have already received many requests from attendees who are interested in reading more about your presentations.

Medalta building and volunteer photo used courtesy of Duane Stabler.

Be sure to view the updates with full color photos and videos online at

Photos will be posted soon.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Convention Update...Opening General Session 40th International Convention

Bonnie Laing, President, Calgary Chapter, opened the convention Thursday morning with the Presentation of the Flags as Joan Mayer led the National Anthem and O' Canada. Medicine Hat Mayor Norm Boucher and Provincial Representative Rob Renner, MLA welcome our association and convention to Canada.

Ed Hoak led the ASHGR Society Business Session and Dr. Don Schenk led the 40th International Appreciation Luncheon and International Board of Trustees Business meeting.

Dr. Harry Loewen who was born in Ukraine, Soviet Union, fled with his family west in 1943 and immigrated to Canada mesmerized the crowd with his scholarly presentation of "Unfulfilled Hopes of a Soviet-German Writer: Dominik Holmann (1899-1990).
The day wrapped up with the "Sing Song" of the Wendlin Stang Family from Macklin, Saskatchewan, who led us in song to celebrate our heritage.

BTW, our meeting rooms bear the name of Saamis. The origin of the word is contested however the name Medicine Hat is a the English translation of Saamis, the Blackfoot word for the eagle tail feather headdress worn by medicine men, aka Medicine Hat. Several legends are associated with the name from a mythical merman river serpent named Soy-yee-daa-bee, the creator, who appeared to a hunter and instructed him to sacrifice his wife to get mystical powers, which were manifest in a special hat. Another legend tells of a battle long ago between the Blackfeet and the Cree in which a retreating "Medicine Man" lost his headdress int he South Saskatchewan River.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the results of our Ninth Storytelling Contest.