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A Cookbook of Memories

Appetizers, Sauces and Beverages


My husband, Rev. Dr. Bill Clarke was the first full-time Principal of PCTC, so I have many memories of those days. From 1951 to 1959 Bill was the builder of buildings, of curriculum, of Public Relations, and of raising money and recruiting students. Our five year old daughter Lynne and our 20 month old son Don and I kept the fires burning at home. Those days and years were filled with memories of all kinds. But I think the main joys and memories are of the wonderful lay people who came to help with the building, with money, hard work, study, worship and fun. Best wishes for this anniversary year and your planning and work there.

Ruth Clarke, Saskatoon, SK

My favourite memory of PCTC is the night in January 1994 when I accidentally knocked the sink off the wall in my room, fell into the bathtub and discovered, after getting myself to my feet, that I had dislocated a finger and cracked a couple of ribs. Glenn Smith was kind enough to drive me to emergency at about 1 a.m. to get my finger straightened out and help me move (at about 1:45 a.m.) to another room without water on the floor. All in all, it was an experience to be remembered. 

Bill Wall, Regina SK.

My favorite memory of PCTC is when the UCW gathered for 3-4 day events. This was my first exposure to learning with women outside of my own local community. It was powerful! The music lead by Pam Ruud was always lively. I was in awe of the leadership abilities of the women. Later I had the opportunity to work with a committee to plan some of the events. Now, ten years later, Betty Robertson of Swift Current SK, who attended a UCW event at PCTC in 1990 is now involved with National Women of the United Church and our paths have crossed once more. Those events allowed women to connect. 

Jean Janick, Roland, MB

Congratulations on your fiftieth anniversary. This is just one of the many stories that show the importance of PCTC to many groups that have used these facilities. The idea of trying a group with First Nations Grandmothers began as a result of the ending of a group called "Creating Cronies," a program of the Senior Education Centre. When it was over the women still wanted to keep on meeting. Hence, invitations went out to First Nations women and other interested women. We met at PCTC. There the idea of forming a group called Intercultural Grandmothers Uniting was born. PCTC was a comfortable place to meet. It was also more or less a mid point for the women involved. It became a beloved home for almost all of our meetings. Our First Nations Grandmothers accepted our idea of forming a group to help alleviate racism and discrimination. Under the able leadership of Ruth Blaser we formed a Project Working Council of six. It was made up of half First Nations and other women. Later we enlarged it to include Metis Grandmothers. Currently the Project Working Council is made up of Jessie Dieter, Florence Denomie, June Mitchell, Eileen Mayotte, Germaine Coates, Roland Homiuk and myself, Lilja Stefansson. Our Mandate was to build bridges of understanding, trust, respect and friendship among the races and generations. We had the support of the Senior Education Centre as an out reach project. Ruth sent many project proposals for funding. This was received from various sources-Healthy Horizons, Status of Women, Health Canada, The National Literacy and Multiculturalism to name but a few. We worked from the needs expressed by the First Nations and Metis. Grandmothers. They know best what they need. For seven years we met regularly. The Project working council met about six times a year to plan our various gatherings. We usually had at least two large gatherings of fifty or so women per year. There were usually half Metis and First Nations. Our topics were many and varied, ,from several Health Issues to Literacy as requested. We also put on programs when asked for, such as Multiculturalism, Municipal Office Workers ,UCW events etc. A few of us went to Guelph, Ontario to give two presentations at the last meeting of the Decade of Women. Two are going to Amsterdam to give a presentation at a conference of The World Association of Christian Communication. Through all of this PCTC has been our home base. Times there have been most enjoyable. The calming effect of the Valley helps with the planning as it is a relaxing place to be. 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of The Intercultural Grandmothers Uniting
Lilja B. Stefansson

There are so many memories, but they all started for me with a meeting convened by Rev. Elmer Leaker at the Qu'Appelle Valley Adult Education Building at the corner across from the golf course in the fall of 1951. The topic was implementing motions passed by Manitoba and Saskatchewan Conferences concerning development of a Lay Training Centre. Elmer was the Saskatchewan Christian Education Field Secretary, and he informed those of us who were newcomers that these centres were an exciting new development in North America. The early history is presented briefly in my thesis on the Curriculum of PCTC during the first eight years, written in 1959-60.(Oberlin Graduate School of Theology - If the copy I presented to the Centre is lost I would be glad to donate my copy. It sits on a shelf gathering dust.) My next memory comes from responding to Dr. Bill's invitation to teach a two week course in Markinch Church in January, 1953. The temperature ranged between 30 and 40 below. I had planned to work on my lectures in my room - and it turned out to be an upper bunk in the crowded lakeside cottage where the stove was kept burning fiercely, and bodies were packed in like sardines. So I sat in the car with the heater running and tried to get ready for each session. I was amazed at how everyone lived and worked together. It could have been hellish in those crowded quarters, if relationships deteriorated. Dr. Bill described the stress times as tough learning opportunities for the students. An event in 1957 or early 1958 stands out. Trudy Patmore had us experience the Book of Amos as we dramatized the fiery prophet striding through the city and haranguing each of the citizen groups who were spread out on the big lower room floor. We had raided the storage closets and had colourful costumes made of drapes, sheets, towels etc, red wine koolaid and raisins from the kitchen, mattresses for lounging in our wicked indolence. We "cows of Basham" who oppressed the poor and the needy will never be indifferent again to Amos' demand for justice! Family Camp, 1960: We had just moved to Regina where I was starting work in Elmer Leaker's old job in Christian Education. Our five kids loved PCTC - loved the staff, the meals, the hills, the games! Cook Carol was a special favourite, but also Maureen, Trudy, Bud the maintenance man, and others. Thirty five years later the Centre is still a warm memory for the Burgess 5. Anyone for a game of 4-square? Want to climb the hills?

The early '60's: We had Observation Practice Schools to introduce "The New Curriculum" to Sunday School teachers and ministers, and 10 day Church Labs in Group Development, with T-groups, tension, resolution and insight. And more recently, Joan and I have valued the stimulation, the sense of God's presence, with Rabbi Marcia Prager, Jesus scholar Marcus Borg, Moderator Bill Phipps & Carolyn Pogue, and retired bishop John Spong. The focus has changed since the early days, but the Centre is still a place and a process for learning, and for experiencing the presence of God. 

Bill Burgess, Brandon, MB

I had many happy days at PCTC. In the early 1950's I attended a class and slept in a bunk bed. I helped to press cement into the forms for the Girl's Residence when being built. Took a couple of music courses with Mr. and Mrs. Goddy. I was dining room hostess and kitchen helper one summer, and helped before and after the Boy's Residence was opened. No one will forget the pretty decorated birthday cakes and good meals Carol Palenstein provided for all. I was a 1959-60 Graduate, in the largest class PCTC ever held. Enjoyed Bible study, crafts, trips to other lakes. I attended the 25th anniversary of PCTC. January 31, 2001 I had my 96th birthday in style. God bless you all as you celebrate the anniversary. 

Ethel M. Lobb, Melfort, SK

My favorite memory of PCTC is the help you gave us in 1960 when our son was seriously ill. I'll always remember the words Brian said - that he thought angels were holding him. Delerium maybe. Thanks. 

Marion and Norman Corbett, Winnipeg, MB

There were many great memories of the Secretary's Gathering in September 1992. I was the only one from Manitoba that went. I enjoyed meeting church secretaries from other pastoral charges and in some cases different churches. We had some fun times: like the skits about things that happened during our work days as secretaries, and the crafts where we learned how to make jewellery. The serious times were also enjoyed and informative: lectures on abuse and discrimination, discussions on the pitfalls of our jobs, and the worship times. To top all of this off the weather was beautiful and warm. A grand time! 

Marian Logan, Secretary, Teulon Pastoral Charge

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Box 159, Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan Canada S0G 1S0
Phone: 306-332-5691 Fax:306-332-5264
Email: office@callinglakes.ca