On Friday, we gathered together the founding members of Ellis Bird Farm as well as the early leadership team from the Prentiss site to collect oral history of both the Prentiss site as well as EBF.. We finished off the day with a wine and cheese, a power point presentation about the history of Ellis Bird Farm, and presentations by Gary Krigbaum and Don Young. Gary Krigbaum, who now lives in Iowa, was the General Services Manager at Union Carbide when they were looking to purchase the Ellis farm. He was able to secure the land by promising Charlie and Winnie that the company would look after their birds. He is shown here looking through some of the early EBF archives with his wife, Pam.
Don Young, who now lives in Ontario, was the CFO of the Prentiss site as well an early EBF board member. We were very pleased to also have Walter Lindley, the first Prentiss Manager, in attendance. Don and Walter are shown here meeting for the first time in many years.
We had planned to conduct individual interviews outside on Friday, but the rain and wind forced us inside. Luckily, Winnie's old chicken coop (now called the Hen House Studio) was the perfect venue for doing the recordings.
Saturday was a big day at EBF, as we celebrated Canada 150+ and EBF's 35th anniversary. We also had a special smudge ceremony for our new circle deck, which was installed to honour Indigenous history in Central Alberta. The smudge was led by Lyle North-Wind Richards. We also served delicious cupcakes (created by the Lakeside Ladies), had crafts for the children, had a garden tour (led by Cynthia Pohl) and west woods tour (led by Tony Blake), hosted a presentation about the history of Ellis Bird Farm (Myrna Pearman), and heard from special guests who shared stories about the early days of Ellis Bird Farm.
We were also happy to have Beverly Buchwald visit the site. Beverly is the widow of Glen Buchwald, who had a secret meeting with Gary Krigbaum when Union Carbide was first trying to secure land for the Prentiss site. The Buchwalds have been very generous supporters of Ellis Bird Farm.
A big thanks to Morris Flewwelling for MC'ing the afternoon and for sharing some of his never-before-heard stories about Charlie and Winnie Ellis.