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.

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