RHONDA Cruickshank

Glen liked to ride outside on his bike, play sports, especially football and soccer, and remembers making up all kinds of games to play with his friends.  He first learned to play hockey in the rink his dad made for them in the backyard.   He liked school but doesn’t have any outstanding memories until about the 5th grade.  He remembers lots of family fun, attending Cubs, playing hockey, being in the choir in grades 4, 5 and 6 and then learning to play the drums in Grade 7.  He played in a jazz band and really enjoyed it.

 

His growing up years were full of lots of sports, hanging out over at the community club, and Saturdays which were Family Days.  Each Saturday they would do a special activity as a family, maybe drive out to Lockport, go to a museum, go hiking, or to the swimming pool, and after they always went to McDonalds. He enjoyed camping, going down to the lake cottage the family rented (before building their own) in the summer, and all the water sports.

 

By Grade 8 there was a lot of momentum going at school.  He was on the student council, helping the teachers do special projects and received several awards for his work in the community.  It was a major event when the family began to build their own cottage.  They took most of the first year just clearing the land and living out of a camper.  It was great because both his parents were teachers so they would get to go to the lake for the whole two months in the summer.  There was always lots of work to do building the cottage, but also time for fun. There was a great group of kids that he hung out with at the lake and they did lots of water skiing.  He remembers going over to Uncle Art’s cottage at Laclu.  Art was great for fishing and you weren’t there long before you were out in the boat fishing with him.  He remembers Uncle Art always telling the kids “we are going to do it all”. That was something that always stuck with him and he has used that expression a lot in his life.

 

From Kindergarten to Grade 8 Glen attended a Community School and was so involved in everything that he just seemed to breeze through. When he went on to High School for 9 through 12 he says things slowed down, he didn’t seem to find that personal momentum he had had until he hit University and found himself getting really involved again. 

 

He started into Engineering because his Uncle Ray was an Engineer but after a year it wasn’t quite what he wanted so he moved around a bit until he found what he was looking for.  He received his Bachelor of Commerce Degree focusing on Recreational Studies and majoring in Marketing.   In the 1990s he received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  He had good times at University and a great bunch of friends. He was very successful and received several awards.

 

His first job was for a non-profit group dealing in Fish Futures but he soon moved on to join Manitoba Telephone System to work in Sales.  He technically still works for MTS (written in 2006) and has for the past 15 years, but during that time he has had half a dozen different jobs which he refers to as mini careers.  He worked for the Yellow Pages for a while, and was next involved in an E-Commerce Company which is also part of MTS.  It is a hosting service, which allows web content to be delivered over the Internet.  His official title was National Director for a firm called Allstream.  One of his largest clients was headquartered in Toronto so he did some traveling.

 

He enjoys his two boys and spends as much time as possible with them.  Lucas was born October 19, 1998. As a child of 6 years old he was very intelligent, could put together complex legos with no trouble, was musical, liked to sing, loved sports and was a great little hockey player.   His older son Blake was born July 31, 1996.  At 10 years old, he was smart, logical and wanted to know the reason for everything.  He was a good hockey player too but also liked to create plays and often turned the living room into Star Wars scenarios.  He was very creative, like his grandpa.  Both boys were good on the computer and really enjoyed their trip to Drumheller (Summer of 2005) to see the Dinosaur Park.  They also love to spend time at their grandparents’ Austen Lake cottage or Victoria Beach where their other grandparents have a family cottage.

Glen left Allstream in 2006 to work at Loewen Windows in Steinbach, Manitoba.  It was a bit of a commute but he lived on the east side of Winnipeg so was fortunate to only have a highway commute.  He continues to be a very busy dad, and enjoys his boys and all their activities very much.   

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RHONDA EILEEN GRIST (Nee Cruickshank)

 

  • Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba June 3, 1939

  • Married James Gordon Grist, July 1, 1961

  • Children: Glen and Michelle

Rhonda’s earliest memories are of walking along the side of her house on  Downing Street in her new spring coat.  Her cousin Dorothy was calling her name and she turned around .  Someone said “she knows her name now”.  She remembers a lot about the war (World War II) and her Uncle Alex coming home on leave.  He knew how to jitterbug and would dance  with Dorothy.  She wanted to do the same as Dorothy and dance with him. (Her cousin Dorothy was her idol.)

 She remembers her dad driving Grandad’s (Frank Cruickshank's) car down Garfield St  and squealing the tires as he went around the corner (on two wheels) . We had just heard that Uncle Alex was coming home .The war was almost over. There was a lot of excitement .  Uncle Stan  came home  a  little later and he had lots of souvenir medals and helmets from German soldiers that he had obtained during the emancipation of Italy.   Auntie Bev(erly) had lived upstairs in Granny’s house while Uncle Hughie was overseas during the war. He was involved in the emancipation of Holland.  

 

Her cousin Laurie (Konchak), Auntie Viv(ian) and Uncle Denny moved in with her family when Uncle Denny came back from Air Force  Service.  There was a shortage of housing and they lived with them on Downing Street for about six months. She remembers her dad and Uncle Denny making beer in a barrel in the front porch  at the front of the house and having to roll the barrel  on a regular basis--- once every couple of days or so.

 

Rhonda spent lots of time at her Granny (Georgina) Cruickshank’s at 1040 Garfield Street, and has lots of wonderful memories of her Granny.  The war years made a big impression on Rhonda and she remembers that she and Dorothy used to pretend that they were putting on shows for the returning soldiers.  Whenever there was a family dinner at Granny’s each person always had to entertain after dinner.  Rhonda used to tap dance.

 

Winnipeg Beach was also a major part of her young life and she remembers the family renting a big cottage on Epsilon Avenue and she and Laurie being down there with Verna, Viv, and her mom, Isabelle, along with Mom and Pop Campbell.  The men, Uncle Denny, Uncle Art and her dad (Charlie) would take turns taking holidays so they always had a man there with them.  She remembers walking down to the lake to go swimming.  One day her Dad came down and said he had just bought a lot and they were going to have their own cottage!  She remembers going over to look at the vacant lot on Temple and even sometimes going over there by herself from Epsalon to gaze at the empty lot.

 

Her Dad, Charlie, played in a dance band and got the job playing at Winnipeg Beach.  Granddad, Hughie and Alex all helped Charlie build the cottage.  They made her a doll out of a 2 x 4 and Granddad shaved a piece of wood to make curls that they glued on for hair, with some smaller pieces they nailed on arms and legs and she even made clothes for her doll.  She was 10 years old in 1949.  After the cottage was built, the Cruickshanks came down a lot, feeling that since they had built it they all felt a sense of pride and ownership.  She got to go down for the whole summer and could always take a friend along.

 

From  approximately 1950 to approximately  1956 her Dad played in the Dance Hall at Winnipeg Beach every night for two months in the summer.  He would work all day in Winnipeg at his regular job, then come down and play each night in the Dance Hall, then back to Winnipeg for the next day.  The summer she was 15 she got to work at the Dance Hall.  There were three single guys in the orchestra, Harry Ferrier, Harold Slugget and Ian McCullough .They rented a cottage down the street.  They had great parties all summer and she remembers one September it got really cold and the guys burned the kitchen chairs to keep warm.

 

She loved school and remembers she could hardly wait to start attending  school like her friend, Marilyn Stanbridge, who was one year older and was already in school.   She remembers her very first day of Grade I  ( no kindergarten at that time ) a Principle Sparling School.  She  looked  over at the classroom door and saw and  her mom crying.  She  wondered why she would be crying – as far as she was concerned it was the best day of her life  She loved all the teachers and the academics.  But in Grade 5 a new school opened up which was closer to her house and they took a bunch of kids from Sparling and sent them to Sargent Park School.  She went from a wonderful teacher to a teacher with no patience and she was so homesick for Sparling.

 

Then in Grade 6 she had Sybil Shack as her teacher, who was a genius, and she was back on track with her love for school.  In Grade 7 it was back to Principal Sparling for Junior High and “balls of fun”.  She particularly remembers Miss Tessler who was a terrific teacher and Miss Everall who taught them square dancing, which made for great fun at the school dances.  Another highlight was getting to have Cokes and donuts at school at the school dances.   When Glen Harrison became the Music Teacher it was a turning point for the Principal Sparling school choirs.  They won all the competitions at the Music Festival with him and then at Daniel under the direction of Glen Pearce they won everything in sight at the High School level.

 

The lunches at Mom Campbell’s after church on Sundays were also very memorable.   She used to sit in church and think about the salmon sandwiches and sweet pickles that Mom would be making for lunch.  One time Mom made something else for a change and she was so disappointed that  it wasn’t salmon sandwiches that Mom went back to her regular lunch.

 

The three years she spent in High School at Daniel McIntyre were the highlight of her life.  They were jam-packed with learning, great teachers and working part-time at Eaton's.  Jimmy King, who was in her dad’s band, got her the job in the record department and she loved that job.  Mr. Morgan was the school principal during that time and she thought he was wonderful.  There were great teachers, she loved the academics and loved singing with Glen Pearce in all the choirs.  She met her husband, Gord, at Daniel McIntyre and he was her tutor for Grande 12 math.  They were in the operetta production of H.M.S. Pinafore together and Gord played the drums.  From the time she began singing with Glen Harrison’s choirs in Junior High, and then singing with Glen Pearce through High School she developed a great appreciation for, and love of, choral music.

 

She attended United College where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree and really grooved on the academics.  She had great professors and loved it because she could choose the subjects she liked.  She and Gord had begun dating and were married after her first year of practice teaching.   There was a shortage of high school teachers in the rural areas with degrees so the Faculty of Education came up with a program where you could go to school all summer from the 1st of May to 1st weekend in September, then go straight to a teaching position.  It was very stressful, as you basically had no opportunity for practice teaching.  The inspectors would come around to your class and make reports on your teaching directly to the Faculty of Education.  When you finished teaching on June 30th you went straight into 2nd year of Faculty of Ed and then back to teaching again in September.  She was in a two-room high school preparing for 11 subjects each day and believe it or not after the first year of teaching she managed to plan for and get married on July 1, 1961.

 

She left the rural area in her second year and taught at River East Collegiate in Winnipeg, which was much easier as she  taught only Grade 9 and 10 French. 

 

It was about this time that she met the Director of the Curriculum who had been one of her former teachers at Daniel McIntyre and they needed a Research Assistant so she took that job and really enjoyed it.  It was a fun time, the economy was good, education was flourishing and it was a great time to be in the Curriculum Branch. 

 

She and Gord bought their first home, and since Gord wasn’t really happy at The Bay where he was working in the Interior Design Department, he decided to go back to get his teaching degree.  Rhonda got a great job as a school  radio broadcaster and had no sooner started into it when she found out she was pregnant. 

 

She was a stay-at-home Mom for the next ten years and had Glen and Michelle.  She began substitute teaching when Michelle was in Grade 2.  That was O.K. for awhile but she was sort of at sea about what to do next when someone told her about teaching English As A Second Language.  It was a requirement that you volunteer first as an ESL teacher but after the first night they told her they had a class for her!....and so began the most wonderful career of her life.  After teaching ESL for a few years,   she became the Resource Counselor doing entrance testing and career and educational counseling for immigrants and refugees.  She retired from the Adult ESL Centre in June 2000 and tried retirement for a while .   In the meantime the entrance testing had been taken over by the Manitoba Government and Rhonda was lucky enough to be called back to work part time on two different occasions--- the first time for one and a half years,   the second time for 6 months .  Her  last retirement was in June 2004.    Her experience with immigrants, their friendship, their stories,   their courage and their hope for their futures in Canada  has marked a great space in her life.

 

When Glen was 11 and Michele 9 years old Rhonda and Gord bought some lakefront property at Lake Austin.  The first two years they camped but bit-by-bit over the next 10 years they built their cabin.   It was a great place for the kids to grow up and now their grandkids are enjoying it.  They have had a lot of special family times together at the Lake and in their retirement are trying to spend a little more time there.  They have also traveled to  New Orleans , Australia, Mexico, Scotland, and the West Coast and enjoy being able to take a winter break in Arizona now that they are retired.

 

Their four wonderful grandkids,  Blake, Luc, Scott and Brooke continue to be the source of Rhonda and Gord’s deepest pleasure .   They are grateful that they are able to enjoy them.  

JAMES GORDON GRIST

 

 

 

  • Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba November 23, 1938

  • Mother: MarionFather: Edward

  • Brothers: Allen and Robert, Sister: Elnora

  • Married Rhonda Cruickshank, July 1, 1961

  • Children: Glen and Michelle

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Gord remembers, as a kid, the family walked everywhere.  They didn’t have a car and there wasn’t even money to take the bus or streetcar, so no matter the weather, they walked.

 

The family lived on Alverstone Street, Winnipeg, just south of Sargent Avenue and he remembers his dad (Edward) walking to work at Carter Motors, on the corner of Portage and Maryland.  Ed was in the Service Department and would get to bring home a car, that had been in for service, at lunchtime to test drive it.  After lunch he would have a nap for 10 minutes and Gord would go out and sit in the car and fiddle around with all the gadgets on the car.  This was the beginning of his interest in cars. After lunch his dad would give Gord a ride back to school.  However, Gord remembers one time he was ‘fiddling’ with the gadgets and decided to see if the cigarette lighter would work when the car wasn’t running.  It did, of course, and as he tested it to see if it was indeed hot he got it too close to the acetate folder containing the work order that was hanging from the rear view mirror.  It burst into flames and he knew he was in real trouble.  He managed to throw it out of the car but his dad had to go back to work and tell his supervisor what had happened.   Gord said for a long time the burnt folder hung on the wall in the Service Department at Carter Motors and everyone knew it was Ed Grist’s kid that had done that.  It was still there years later when Gord himself worked at Carter Motors during the Summer.

 

He remembers his mom pulling him by sled in the winter to her Wednesday Church Ladies Meeting and even all the way out to Omand’s Creek in St. James on another occasion.  As a teenager he walked everywhere and never thought anything of it.  He would walk to Sherbrook Pool, he biked to Whittier Park, Assiniboine Park and even to Stonewall.  He remembers a bike race from Winnipeg to Kenora that started at what is now Polo Park Mall.

 

Gord had two paper routes and remembers picking up the Free Press behind the Blind Institute and then walking both sides of the street from  Portage to Ellice. He even remembers it was Route 455.  Several years later, he would pick up the Tribune at Lipton and Portage and walk his bike to Home Street, as the papers made it too heavy to ride.  He delivered both sides of the street from Portage to Sargent – 2 miles long, then walked home.  Of course you also had to walk back to your routes several times for collections each two-week period.  You would also have to go back and back if people weren’t home or didn’t have the money.  He remembers one guy at 474 Lipton who wouldn’t get up out of his chair to get him the 50 cents and just told his wife “just tell the kid to come back”.  The Sales Managers would always browbeat the kids at Monday night sales meetings to get more sales.

 

But there were also lots of hi-jinks when the papers would be late or they would have to wait while the Depot Boy counted the papers into bundles and put the comics in on Saturdays.  The delivery boys would then have time to harass the local Chinese man who ran the nearby store or whip each other with their heavy canvass bags. 

 

Also behind the Crescent Creamery nearby they would find ice cream that had been thrown in the garbage or sundae sticks or revels and they would have wars with the stuff.  When you got hit with ice cream it provided lots of action !  On hot summer days he remembers walking his papers through back lanes Ingersoll to Banning to Burnell to Arlington to Home St. He had to go past Canada Bread and the smell emanating from the bakery was wonderful !  He made his first delivery at Gardenia Flowers where they had lots of fresh fruit and flowers.  They didn’t have any air conditioning but it was a cool haven in there and the aromas of the fruit and flowers were very powerful.  In the Winter he would warm his hands between the papers in the bag as they held the heat from the Depot where they were picked up. If you had to stay in after school, you were in a REAL pickle with your depot manager and your customers! And it happened more than once!

 

Gord’s friend,  Lloyd Axworthy lived across the street.   Another guy in Lloyd’s rooming house was Mathew Narog. Gord will never forget him because Mathew could run faster than a horse ! He remembers one day when one of the two-wheeled Eaton’s carts was at Lipton and Sargent.  It may have been in training, but the kids were feeding the horse when something spooked it and it took off running down Sargent Avenue.  The driver was in a store at the time and Gord remembers his friend Mathew took off after the horse and finally caught up with the rig ½ or ¾ of a mile down Sargent.  He flung himself onto the cart, grabbed ahold of the reigns to bring the cart and horse under control.  It was so thrilling and he was very impressed that the guy could run faster than a horse!!

 

Gord’s first couple of years at school were good but starting in Grade 3 it was downhill after that.  He remembers getting the strap at Greenway School and the teacher standing in the Principal’s office and saying “I want him strapped 5 times on one hand and 6 on the other”.  That last one was, psychologically, the killer. He still can’t forget it in his dreams! At General Wolfe he had a good time with his gang of friends, particularly in Grade 8.  His gang drove the teacher battie and at the end of the year they were split up and sent to different schools and different rooms for the following year.  They hung out at West End Orioles and had a great time. 

 

He was always at the center of the action and remembers another time in Miss Newell’s class when they were so mean to her.  She had been on a trip to Africa and as a special treat for the kids had gone home at noon to get all her souvenirs to show the afternoon class.  She made the mistake of going for a smoke before class and of course the kids arrived, saw all the neat stuff, like African artifacts, drums, spears and musical instruments, and the wild guys got hold of the drums and went berserk.  They were shaking the spears, yelling, jumping around and going crazy.  When she got to class everything was totally out of control and she had to get the principal who finally arrived and yelled for them to settle down.  They were in big trouble and there was lots of detention. 

 

Another time in science class there was an iguana in the lab and while the teacher was out of the class they thought it would be cool to put ink in the aquarium.  Of course they killed the iguana and when the teacher arrived the class was going berserk and she had to get the principal again.  Everyone had to stay after school to repair the damage they had done.  Years later when Gord was student teaching at Daniel he remembers Harry Edwards, one of the teachers, saying to him “You would have been the last person I would ever imagine being a teacher”.  Gord said that it takes one to know one.  There was nothing his students could ever do that he hadn’t done himself so he was always one step ahead of them.

 

He always had a good time socially at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate.  He ran the Publicity Committee, the music program at noon over the intercom, sang in the choirs, played in the orchestra and has great memories of the social side of school.  Academically was a different story.  He fondly remembers his art teacher, Doris Hunt, who he credits with putting him on the right path.  He had taken an aptitude test to try and determine what to do after Grade 12 and it wasn’t at all helpful as he scored the exact same for all five aptitude indicators.  He will be forever grateful to Miss Hunt who urged him to take an interest in Interior Design, which he did.  He completed his degree in Interior Design. Then he ended up working six years at The Bay Head Office at 77 Main St., doing store planning and traveling coast to coast to plan the store layouts.  After that he discovered a love of teaching, went back to University  and got his teaching degree, and taught art at a variety of schools, first drafting at Sargent Park and Grant Park, then to the Art Department at Tech Voc.  In 1971 he went to Sturgeon Creek School and taught there for 27 years until his retirement.

 

Gord always had a passion for music and began playing the drums at an early age.  He led the First Army Service Corps Cadet Band at Minto Armories and always played in various community and dance bands.  The guy at school that he worked with on the school radio station got him interested in jazz.  He remembers that they would hang out at the record store below the Club Morocco and go into the booths and listen to the records. Aubrey Tadman always hung out there too. Gord worked at Eaton's, behind the scenes, in food preparation as a part time job when he was going to school cleaning chickens, hauling garbage, washing pots until his nose bled.

 

When he retired in 1997 he re-discovered his love for taking things apart to see how they worked. He loves construction and making things, whether it’s tinkering with a car and its gadgets, or seeing how something is built.  His dad was always good with his hands and he picked that up from him.

 

He built a summer cottage at Austin Lake and also did maintenance and odd jobs for awhile at a condominium development.  He says he gets a great feeling of accomplishment in building things, not only by the design but also by bringing all the things together and creating something.

 

Gord is very aware of design all around him, in nature, in everyday objects, in traffic, in buildings, in people’s faces. He sees and  feels messages and emotions in music and art that pass a lot of people by. He’s very proud of his kids. If he had to do it all over again  [ and he thinks he may be doing it for the SECOND time now ! ] he would be a self-employed builder.

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GLEN CHARLES EDWARD GRIST

 

  • Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, June 8, 1966

  • Mother  - Rhonda Cruickshank

  • Father – (James) Gordon Grist

  • Married - Lisa Cefali (divorced)

  • Children - Blake and Lucus

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MICHELLE GRIST

 

  • Born in Winnipeg, January 22, 1970

  • Mother  - Rhonda Cruickshank

  • Father – (James) Gordon Grist

  • Married - Jason English: January 6, 1996

  • Children - Scott and Brooke

One of the first summers Michelle remembers is when she was about three years old and her parents rented a cabin down at the lake.  She rode her tricycle all around the cabin, had baths in a pink tub outside and she and her brother Glen slept in bunk beds which was a big deal.

 

She always loved school and started Grade One at Dieppe.  Even though it was K through 8 she really wanted to learn French so after the sixth grade she transferred to River Heights for 7 – 9 in the French Emersion Program.  For High School she attended Silver Heights because they had a great band program.  After High School she went to York University in Toronto for her Bachelors of Fine Arts because at that time they didn’t have a good jazz music program in Winnipeg.  During her four years she majored in music and minored in French.  She came back to the University of Manitoba for two more years for her Bachelor of Education degree and in 2004 completed her Masters at U of M.

 

She was always busy with Brownies, swimming lessons, gymnastics and her piano lessons.  She loved the days that her mom would come to school to substitute teach when she was in elementary school.  In the sixth grade she had an awesome teacher.  The class put on a play that was really fun to do and also made a quilt that was raffled off for charity.

 

When Michelle was about 8 years old her family bought land at Lake Austin and the first summer they did nothing but clear the land.  It was really hard work and when you are only 8 years old you don’t realize the payoff, so it was a long, hot, hard summer and not much fun.  There were only three families on the lake so there was no one to hang out with.  Because it was so isolated you could hear a car coming for miles away and they would run to the end of driveway hoping that the approaching car was coming to visit them.  She particularly remembers when Auntie Viv would come over from West Hawk Lake to visit them.  The following summer they started to build their cottage and her dad did most of the work with the help of Uncle Alex, who built next door to them and Les Reynold who came down and spent the whole summer.  She and Glen did a lot of the painting and they painted the biffie green on the outside and bright orange on the inside.  Keeping the biffie painted eventually became her job and she did it over and over again.  It was an awful job because you have to be in that small enclosed area when it was so hot outside.

 

But there were lots of fun times also.  Eventually other families moved in around the lake and there was a great circle of really cool kids to hang out with.  They went to the lake for the whole summer so it was a fun period in her life.  She remembers one time they all washed their hair and then ran outside and rinsed it in the rain.  Another time she and Glen were eating watermelon on the front porch and put their whole face into the watermelon to eat it.  They had a cat that was a real hunter and was always coming home with rabbits.  It was getting out of hand so they tied the cat to a tree but somehow he could still get the rabbits.  With Auntie Marg(aret) and Uncle Alex next door they had a lot of fun playing pranks on one another and had lots of parties.  The parties were always theme parties which meant dressing up in costume, one time they all went as various bugs.  They were always thinking up silly things to do, like one summer when they got a new washing machine and decided that they would have a formal wedding to join the old machine to the new machine.  They all dressed in formal attire, played organ music and went through the official wedding ceremony to wed the two machines.  The lake was, and still is, a wonderful family place for all of them.

 

 Music has always been a passion for her and the piano led her into her musical career. In Junior High School she got into singing and they put on musicals, she sang in the school choir and started performing by singing in churches and for weddings.  In Senior High she and three friends formed a jazz quartet and performed in and outside of school, and at Jazz Festivals.  When she was 16 she started singing at night spots around Winnipeg during the summer and formed a band called Shades of Blue.  The band also performed at various events throughout High School.  When she was at York University she sang in a vocal jazz group and solo in a band.  At the U of M she did the same and also was the Musical Director of the group from 2000 – 2002.

 

After receiving her degree from U of M she substituted for two months to end out the school year and then began her teaching the next September at Salisbury Morse Place Junior High School where she taught band in the morning and then went over to Kildonan East School in the afternoon to teach English.  She did that for two years before getting on full time at Kildonan East where she taught English and Vocal Jazz from 1994 to 2004 or 2005. 

 

During this time she has directed the church choir off and off and is a member of the Scottish Folklorama Band that perform 21 shows each time Folklorama rolls around.  She loves the music and although it makes for a busy life it is lots of fun and she thoroughly enjoys it.  Before she had her children she also was the Musical Director at Celebrations Dinner Theatre on and off for about 10 years. 

 

She met her husband Jason when she was 14 and singing in the Youth Choir at Church.  She says at that time his voice hadn’t changed so he was signing in the same section of the choir as she was.  After completing school and going away to University in Toronto and then coming back they met up again when she was in her early 20's.  His voice had changed and he was a lot more interesting by that time.  They dated for two years, then got engaged and had a fairly long engagement of 1 ½ years.   About six months before they got married they bought a house on Rose Hill Way and Jason’s sister lived there until they were married in January of 1996.  They lived there until they built their present home on Kindersley Drive and moved in May of 2003.  She says once was enough to build a house --- never again!!!

 

In 1998 she and Jay had a great trip to Scotland and England.  In Scotland they stayed with relatives and she finally connected with her cousin Julia.  When Julia was 8 or 9 years old she was in Brownies and for a project she had to have a pen pal.  Her family told her that she had a cousin in Canada and she began to write to Michelle.  They continued their correspondence all through their growing up years and it was awesome to meet her after becoming such good friends through their letters.  Michelle says it was uncanny that they actually looked alike had similar interests and it was weird to be with Julia and find out that some of the things she would say had been things Michelle would be thinking.  One time she particularly remembers is when Julia saw a particular car on the street and said that was the next car she wanted to buy.  Michelle was taken aback because it was the exact make, model and color of the car she was driving at home in Canada.

 

Their son Scott was born March 10, 2000 and daughter Brooke May 30, 2002.  She is a busy mom and looks forward to summers which, being a teacher, she gets to take off.  The family goes to the lake for most of July but she always comes back for Folklorama. It makes for a very busy life but she and Jay are thoroughly enjoying their children and even though there are always lots of demands on her time family comes first.

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JASON ENGLISH

 

  • Born in Winnipeg, March 29, 1972

  • Mother  -

  • Father – 

  • Married - Michelle Grist: January 6, 1996

  • Children - Scott and Brooke

Going to Grandma’s cabin at Victoria Beach, and the road leading up to pre-school, are two of Jason’s earliest memories.  He says school was always easy for him until he hit high school.  He breezed through, did all the advanced placement things and generally enjoyed school but life really started for him when he hit high school.   He did ‘mega’ scouting, became a Chief Scout and even went on to the Queen Venturers.  It was a great bunch of guys and Chris Grey, the leader, became a close friend even though he was his dad’s age.   They had road rallies, did 120 km hikes and he has good memories of those times. In Grade 12 he became very involved in bike racing and was on the Provincial Team.  He did some outdoor racing but his forte was racing on the indoor track.  At that time they raced at the Veladrome, which was one of the original wooden tracks.

 

Jason started working when he was 15 at a truck stop and worked his way up from gas jockey to doing the tires, then repairs and finally Night Manager.  He also joined the Reserves when he was 17 and it has become an important hobby for him.

 

He also trained to become a Medeic and was promoted in 1996 to Nursing Officer.  He went to Nursing School and spent a year working in Emergency at Grace Hospital.  After getting his RN Degree he went another five years and received his BPRN Degree.  That was when he began working as a trauma nurse and flying in to remote areas in Northern Manitoba.  From then on his life was crazy. He went from one crisis to the other, and it wasn’t always to do with their patients.  When the calls came in they jumped into the plane and went regardless of weather or where they had to fly in to.  They flew through thunderstorms, day and night, landed on runways that were officially too short, once flew over a hotel and then had to drop their helicopter right beside it.  They had to collect and transport their patients by snowmobile, on the roof of a jeep or however they could to get them from their remote locations.  He enjoyed when they would go in by helicopter with the special teams to do pre-natal training or organ transplants.  He remembers one crazy day when he had planned to attend a brunch but had to miss it because he was called out on an emergency and had to fly to Arizona but he was back in time for dinner.  After a 9 month course in intensive care he joined the critical care unit and flew from 1993 to 1998 as the Chief Flight Nurse. 

 

After all that training he decided he needed to change careers and decided to join the Police Force.  He had had an interest in Police Work back in High School but at that time they had quotas for various ethnic groups and weren’t recruiting people like him.  It was hard to get back to studying again but he managed to complete his two year stint at the Police Academy and became a Police Officer in 1998.  He worked the downtown area in the patrol car and says there was no shortage of eye openers.  He was even involved in three episodes of Serve and Protect a TV program that takes viewers behind the scenes into the work of local police officers.  During the taping of one of the episodes they responded to a very high risk situation and he almost had to shoot the guy.  He says he was in Costco a few days later and several people recognized him and one came up to him and said….”You were on TV”!!   He became a Detective expecting a little less stress in his life.  He worked in Commercial Crime which is more or less white collar crime involving identity theft, credit card theft and credit card skimming. 

 

He met his wife Michelle when he was just 12 years old.  They were in the same choir and he says at that age, before his voice had changed, he found himself singing in the same section of the choir as her.  He eventually moved on to singing in the same section as her brother Glen and got to know her family very well.  They often had the choir over to the Grist home and even when Michelle went away to school he continued his friendship with her family.  He says he was never a musician but definitely musical and has a great appreciation for and love of music. 

 

Around the time that Michelle came back from York University in Toronto he had a job with a Mascot Company and was one of those fuzzy dudes that turn up at events to get the crowd going.  One of his gigs he needed a second person so he asked Michelle if she would help him out.  She came along and was the second fuzzy dude.  When the Nylons, a singing group, came to town he wanted to go and see them and knew that Michelle also liked them so invited her to go with him.  She said, sure, she would love to go.  For some reason they had to moved the date of the concert and when he talked to her about the change she had forgotten about the date so he felt a little let down.  He told her he was going to have to call her every day to remind her.  When the big night came for the concert he had been working as a Mall Santa so when he met up with her he was in his Santa Outfit and wasn’t sure Michelle was going to want to date Santa. 

 

It was the ‘official’ beginning of their dating, though, and they dated for the next couple of years.  They were married on January 6, 1996 and now have two wonderful kids.  They share the responsibilities of parenting equally and have a real challenge working around his shift work, her full time teaching and all the daily demands, but manage with the help of Michelle’s mom and dad to keep everything running somewhat smoothly. 

 

(written in 2006) Jason says he is just blown away by Scott and all the things that come out of him.  They have always spoken to him about grown-up things and he gives them surprise after surprise at his vocabulary and how his little mind processes complex ideas.  For example, there was a Pre-Kindergarten Day where, for the first time, he had the opportunity to observe Scott in a situation where he was not quite so confident and a little out of his element when he faced something so totally new for him.  

SCOTT ENGLISH

 

  • Born in Winnipeg, March 10, 2000

  • Mother  -Michelle Grist

  • Father – Jason English

Scott was born March 10, 2000 and his first memory is at his first house on Rose Hill Way in Winnipeg. He remembers the cupboard under the stairs which was like a fort. He also remembers the 2 cats we had there, Toonie and Scooter. Their fur was soft.

 

 He then moved to his new house on Kindersley Dr. in East St. Paul in May 2003 where he got to have a brand new bunk bed and lots of space to run and play. He had pets at the new house too, including their dog, Muskie. He liked her soft fur, how nicely she is trained, and the fact that you can lie on her and she doesn’t mind. He also liked the gold fish that they had because “Goldie” was cute, nice, and friendly, although he was hard work. You had to feed him and change his water. “Teera”, the police puppy that his dad brought home to train, was one of Scott’s favourite pets because she was fun, cute and nice.

 

Scott’s school experiences included a year of pre-school which, for the most part, he really liked, especially the day with the parachute, the mad scientist day when he got to make slime, and graduation. However, he didn’t like all of the waiting in line at pre-school. There were too many traffic jams.

 

Scott also loves his times at the lake. His first visit there was when he was 2 months old and he especially liked the tree fort, going for tube rides behind the boat, building ships with grandpa, playing cops and robbers in the dark with his cousins, playing in the sand box and the playhouse, catching minnows, and feeding the tame chipmunks there that are all nicknamed “Chippie”.

 

(written in 2006) When Scott’s not at the lake his favourite things to do are swimming lessons, rollerblading, singing, playing with lego, playing with Muskie the dog, and anything having to do  with Star Wars. He’s also very excited about starting to play hockey this fall. He really liked the Scottish pavilion this summer. He went there almost every night for a week, and got addicted to haggis! He knows many of the Scottish songs now and is looking forward to the day when he can get his own set of bagpipes!

BROOKE ENGLISH

 

  • Born in Winnipeg, May 30, 2002

  • Mother  -Michelle Grist

  • Father – Jason English

Brooke was born May 30, 2002. She loves the pets the family have had. The things she liked about the goldfish, “Goldie”, were how he swam, and how they gave him food to eat.

 

Brooke, or Brookie, as she is called by most, loves going to the lake in the summer. Her first trip there was when she was just over 1 month old. The first time she got in the water, she announced that she was going to swim to the island! (about a 10 minute canoe ride).

 

(written in 2006) At home Brookie likes to ride her “big girl bike” with training  wheels, play with her best doll friend, “Susie”, (who’s been left at grocery stores, etc. when special trips have been made to go and retrieve her because she’s special), swim, and watch her favourite show on TV, “Dora the Explorer”. Her favourite colours are pink and purple and she can’t wait to be a princess for Halloween. She really loves music and will groove to any tune that comes on! She’s looking forward to starting swimming lessons this fall just like her big brother.