• Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, August 5, 1951

  • Mother  - Helena Isabelle Magee

  • Father – Charles Norrie Cruickshank

  • Married - Brenda (nee Kashuba)

  • Children - Melanie, Donald, Gregory, Baby Boy, Stephanie


Melanie Dawn was born April 1st, 1978 to very proud parents, Ray and Brenda…so proud that Ray wasted no time in calling his mom to tell her that she was a grandma again. Being the character that he is and the date being April 1st it took a little persuading  before Isabelle believed him but she was soon making the trip to Brandon to meet her new granddaughter.  And before long was making many trips to Brandon to see the growing family.


Road trips were nothing new for the merry band of Cruickshanks.  It started out with trips from Brandon to Winnipeg to visit relatives but they were soon renting a motor home to take them to Vancouver for Granny’s 100th birthday.  It was so much fun they decided to continue all the way to California and back.  It soon became tradition that at least once a year the Cruickshank van would be packed up for another excursion full of adventures and short cuts.


One of Melanie’s prominent childhood memories was the games that went along with those road trips like guess the animal and Ray’s various musical games where he would be asking what instruments do you hear, or can you sing the trumpet/piano or drum part of the song and soon the whole family would be singing out their version of whatever was being play on the radio at the time.


In the fall of 1993 the family moved from Winnipeg to Landmark, a small rural town in SE Manitoba. Since there was no high school band program Brenda soon found a vocal teacher and proposed the idea of private lessons for Mel.  Before long Stephanie and Brenda were also taking vocal lessons.  Mel was also involved in the high school choirs, musicals, track and field and basketball and in grade 11 their Landmark Senior Girls A Basketball team reached the Provincial finals. Melanie went on to receive her Bachelor of Recreation Studies and a Bachelor of Physical Education both from the University of Manitoba and completed her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Calgary where she now makes her home teaching High School Physical Education.




By his own admission Don is the most athletic in the family. From early on he was involved in sports beginning in grade one playing soccer, then taking up baseball and basketball when they moved to Winnipeg and adding fastball when they moved to Landmark. He was Captain of his junior high basketball team and was even invited to play in a tournament for the Senior High team. He played 3rd base for the Landmark Knights fastball team who won second place in the provincials.  In 2004 he graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BA majoring in Political Studies and minoring in Philosophy.


Besides sports his other passion is serving God and in 2003 he went on his first mission trip to Matamoros Mexico where he met his soon to be wife Crystal.  Soon after she was off to the Congo in Africa on a one month mission trip and it was during this mission trip that they realized how much they missed one another. They continued dating and volunteering as youth leaders at Church of the Rock in Winnipeg as well as leading a young adults’ bible study and then went again to Matamoros the following year.  They were married in 2005 with Crystal’s father, who is a pastor, officiating.


Crystal, who is a chartered accountant, took a job in Morden at BDO (?) and was promoted to manager in 2008.


Don found out at his commissioning service on January 16, 2006 that his mom, Brenda, had always prayed the he would enter the ministry. 


He continued to be involved in sports umpiring fastball and basketball and as an assistant coach for the junior varsity team.  Then in 2007 he took a job working with junior highs at the Winkler drop-in center, called The Bunker, part time while continuing to serve as Youth Pastor in his local congregation.  But after working there for only two weeks they asked if he would apply for the full time Program Director which he did and worked there until 20xx.



Gregory has been an active musician since the age of 10 when he asked his parents for a drum set for Christmas. It was not much of a surprise that when his Christmas wish came true that drum lessons were soon part of the Cruickshank’s weekly schedule.  After a year or so his teacher had to move but found him another drum teacher, Dave Schneider, a well respected musician and a percussionist for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra whom Greg studied under for over 11 years at the Music Cellar in Winnipeg.  During that time they have developed a great friendship. Greg also branched out into taking three years of keyboards and Stephanie started taking piano lessons at the Music Cellar also.  A highlight was always the Music Cellar’s year end recital as they offer lessons in percussion, piano and keyboard, guitar and base guitar.  For these recitals the students are matched up according to skill and ability and grouped into small bands and a theme chosen so all the songs the bands play fit into that theme.


Greg also travelled to Sydney, Australia where he spent two years studying and received a Diploma in Pastoral Ministry from Hillsong International Leadership College.



Stephanie is completing the Jazz and Contemporary Music Program at Grant Mac Ewan University in Edmonton and looks forward to returning to Winnipeg to be able to continue playing with the band she and Greg started before she left for school.  Roxio II is the name of their band and they have played several gigs around Winnipeg and southwestern Manitoba over the past few years.  She is Roxio II’s piano player and vocalist and Greg is the drummer and also sings vocal.  Steph always seems to find time to get the band to schedule in a gig or two when she comes home from college. 


In high school, she was active in the school band, choir, school musicals and sports, playing both basketball and volleyball.  In her grade 10 year the girl’s senior volleyball team hosted the Provincials and climbed their way to a silver medal finish.


It appears the musical genes are alive and well in Ray’s family and just think how delighted Charlie would be to see his grandchildren following in his footsteps.