Prairie pachy­derms at Hand Hills Lake Stam­pede

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

This year the Hand Hills Lake Stam­pede is cel­e­brat­ing its 100th year, and mem­o­ries of its unique and ex­cit­ing his­tory are on the top of minds of many who have taken in the up-close and per­sonal rodeo.

For Larry Rosin, one of th­e­ses unique mem­o­ries is of ele­phants, and now he has photo proof.

“I can re­mem­ber them, but a lot of peo­ple didn’t,” he tells The Mail.

He ex­plains the com­mit­tee has been work­ing on a pic­ture book to com­mem­o­rate the rodeo, and as they re­searched, he talked about the ele­phants, but with no photo and not many oth­ers to cor­rob­o­rate, this one foot­note in the Hand Hills his­tory seemed des­tined to dis­ap­pear.

He re­calls vividly the ele­phant dis­play that came with the Gay­land Shows Mid­way.

Gay­land Shows, ac­cord­ing to the web­site Amuse­ments of Western Canada, was one of the ear­lier shows out

of Western Canada, traced back as far as 1939. On its route were small town fairs and rodeos, through­out the prairie provinces and B.C.

Over the years it had a var­ied lineup in­clud­ing a wildlife menagerie, the mon­key mo­tor­drome and dog and pony shows, to name a few.

Rosin, now 69, re­mem­bers the ele­phants when he was 11 or 12 years old.

“They had a show in a big tent, with other an­i­mals,” he re­calls. “Ian Morri- son from Delia and a friend of his, they were 12 or 14. They were paid to pump wa­ter and take it to the ele­phants. They got paid 50 cents that day.”

He said the show would then move on to Hanna.

“I had been telling peo­ple for a cou­ple years, but they would say ‘ no way,’” he chuck­les.

Mar­i­lyn Vre­de­goor re­calls Rosin talk­ing about the ele­phants, but not many oth­ers had the same rec­ol­lec­tions.

"I re­mem­ber that Larry did say ‘I re­mem­ber the ele­phants’ and ev­ery­one kind of laughed at him,” she said. “Then I talked to Julie (Len­festy) and she said she re­mem­bered some­thing about it. Two weeks ago, she found the pic­ture.”

While there might not be any ele­phants at this year’s event, it is shap­ing up to be a mem­o­rable show. As for Rosin, he is vin­di­cated to learn his child­hood mem­ory has been con­firmed. “I am glad they have a pic­ture.” This year's Stam­pede will be held June 3,4, 5, 2016.

Julie Len­festy came up with this photo dat­ing from the 1950s of ele­phants at the Hand Hills Lake Stam­pede. It con­firmed Larry Rosin’s mem­ory of see­ing the gi­ant beasts at the rodeo. sub­mit­ted

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.