Another great rally at Manitou Regional Park, in Saskatchewan, is now in the books. We had 15 units all parked together in a reserved area of the park, which made for quite a site.
Eight units were lined in a row up one side of the street, facing 7 units and the camp kitchen on the opposite side of the street. In attendance, we had 24 people who had attended at least one of our previous rallies in Manitou, plus six new attendees.
Almost everyone had arrived by 4:30 pm on Tuesday, and we gathered in the camp’s kitchen for a delicious pot luck. Either everyone was hungry, or the food must have been very good this year, as there was very little in the way of leftovers. After supper some of the couples headed down the hill to Danceland for their Tuesday Night Twoonie Dance while the rest of us visited until it was time for our evening bonfire.
Wednesday dawned bright and beautiful, and after breakfast some of us headed across the highway for 9 holes of golf. Others wandered down to see the sites in the village of Manitou Beach, and a few even spent some time at the Manitou Spa. This year we had two brand-new LTV Unity models in attendance, only a few days out from the factory, so of course everyone had to spend some time touring them. We are grateful to the Firths and the Harders for allowing us to tour their brand new units. That evening Bill Harder favored us with a cookout of delicious Farmer’s Sausage and sweet Texas watermelon he brought from Winkler, MB. Right after supper John & Shirley Warnke gave us a presentation on Good Sam. The presentation was informative and there were several questions that John easily handled. In the evening there was cards and of course another bonfire.
Thursday morning was our traditional pancake and sausage breakfast. The temperature quickly reached within the 30s ºC (mid 80s ºF) and it was humid. The golfers decided to forgo golfing to relax around our campsite until it was time for supper. That afternoon, to get out of the heat, about 20 of us headed down to the spa for their delicious, and generous, portions of ice cream. Later that day we were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of Joe Toews. Joe is in his 80s and owns a 1988 LTV. Joe has attended every rally held at Manitou—which is approximately 15 rallies. Joe’s wife, Nita, had passed away just a week before our rally. Many of us were close friends with both Joe and Nita so his arrival was emotional but very rewarding for us all, including Joe. Condolences were expressed and memories of Nita were shared. That evening we had barbecued burgers and bean supper, and a cash presentation of a donation to the Faith Baptist Church in Regina was made to Joe in memory of Nita from her LTV family. The evening remained warm and our last bonfire went on until about midnight.
Friday morning we enjoyed breakfast of tea biscuits and jam prepared by Pat Smith of Edmonton. Joe also surprised us with tea biscuits. The tradition of tea biscuits on Friday morning was something that Nita has started many years ago, and continued even after her stroke. With her passing, Joe thought he would try to carry on the tradition, but in his own words he stated “If my wife had seen the tea biscuits I made, she would have made sure they never left home.” Luckily Pat’s were delicious and I think she shared some of her cooking secrets with Joe afterward. Once breakfast was over we divided up any leftovers, cleaned the camp kitchen and readied our LTVs for the road.
I would like to extend a big thank you to Doreen Stich for being our taxi driver all week. Whether we needed a ride into Watrous to get groceries, a ride to the spa in Manitou Beach, or a ride to the golf course, Doreen was there with her car ready to take us wherever we needed to go. I also would like to thank all the helping hands who helped to prepare meals and clean up afterwards, or just pitched in wherever needed.
Attendees at this year’s Rally were: Barry & Lorraine Abbott, of Winnipeg, MB; Murray & Carol Firth, of Victoria, BC; Bill & Helen Harder, of Winkler, MB; Anton & Priscilla Hendriks, of Gibson, BC; Jacquie Johnson, of Saskatoon, SK; Alfred & Marie Klassen, of Winkler, MB; Norm & Hazel Lavoy, of Shaunavon, SK; Dale & Joan Lidfors, of Pinawa, MB; Don & Dodie Marshall, of West Kelowna, BC; Francis & Karen Rust, of Regina, SK; Henry & Pat Smith, of Edmonon, AB; Gord & Doreen Stich, of Swan River, MB; John & Shirley Warnke, of Regina, SK; John & Jan Wiebe, of St. Albert, AB; Joe Toews, of Regina, SK; Mike & Olynuk & Marj, of Middle Lake, SK.
Our 2016 Western Sunsetter Manitou Rally is booked for Tuesday, June 21, to Friday, June 24, so mark your calendars.
By Norm Lavoy of Western Sunsetters Chapter Coordinator