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Comrades Mark 65Th Anniversary

MAY 30, 2009

My neighbor, Bill, drove me over to the Big Muddy Ranch today. We found Ryan just finishing his seeding for this year. He had already finished mine. He put in oats and triticale this year. The moisture conditions over there are good. The grass is nice and green and things look good for us to get some hay.

Bill drove me around the cattle and it looks like I will have a good calf crop. My yearling steers are looking very good. Now we need the price to go up some. Right now we are at the mercy of Mother Nature for rain, which will give us good grass and thus good weight and conditions on the yearlings and calves. Because of the cold spring the leaves on the trees are just nicely out now and the hay, grass and crops seem late. The moisture is here, we just need some sunshine.

What is going to get our prices for the cattle better? It does not look to me that we will get much increase in prices by this fall. If our dollar weakens we could have a better American market and if the grain belt in Canada and the USA have bumper crops there would be more feed. More cattle going to market through the summer months could give us a better demand. I believe the North American public like our product of beef and the demand will be there. Our price will be what ever the consumer will have to pay. It will be hard for producers to stay in business at any less than the price we are getting now. This will be an anxious summer for many cattle people.

From the local reports I have heard there seems to be more dry cows than usual from the cows not being pregnant. The calf losses have been light and there have been no bad storms.

Ryan and Carla’s young family are busy. Three of their children are playing soft ball with a team from their school at Gladmar. Teams from Radville and Weyburn make up a five team

league. It sure is good to see that those youngsters have a chance to play some healthy, active, competitive sports.

JUNE 1, 2009

Lloyd and his wife Nyla have been very busy with the spring seeding, summerfallowing and calving. They have just about finished seeding. They have mostly oats and some wheat and rye. They have started moving their cattle out to the summer pasture. They will trail about 300 head of cows with calves and some yearling heifers to our summer pasture 14 miles south. These cows always trail south in the spring and home in the fall. They will truck the yearling steers and some old cows and calves to their pasture south of Mankota. In the fall, these steers will be trailed 18 miles into the sale at Mankota.

They also summer about 50 head of two-year-old heifers at a pasture just north of Glentworth. I was riding with Lloyd a few days ago when he made five trips with his three-quarter ton truck and a trailer with eight heifers and their calves each trip. The pasture here at Glentworth is on the Six Mile Creek and the grass is sure coming very well.

Years ago a large part of this land was farmed. In the dry thirties, the dry weather and the wind caused much of the soil to drift and large sand dunes and big holes were made. When I got the land, I seeded everything to grass and hay. The creek runs through four of the five quarters and it is some of the most valuable land we have.

Most of the land circling this little village of Glentworth is sandy with alkali and some cactus. It is now almost all seeded to grass and doing well for the owners. The five quarters we have here are good for summer or winter grazing and also good for haying.

JUNE 9, 2009

I am here in Glentworth today resting up after a six day trip to Alberta. Here is what happened. Back in 1944, I was a soldier with the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. On June 6, 1944 our battalion took part in the invasion of France at Normandy as the allies first moved to get a foot hold in France. Our battalion was part of the British 6th Airborne division and even after suffering heavy losses, the Allies were successful in landing in France and staying there.

After those two months of heavy fighting with heavy losses, our battalion returned to England to be reorganized and brought up to strength with reinforcements and made ready for further action. At Christmas time, the Germans made a strong break through at Bastogne. Our battalion went there to help the Americans that were fighting in the winter.

After this engagement our battalion returned to England for further training and then in March we took part in the largest airborne battle ever held. Along with the Americans, the Polish and others, the soldiers parachuted over the river Rhine and were now in the heartland of Germany. On the drop, our Colonel Nicklin was killed. Our battalion stayed in action on the ground and made a mad dash to get to the Baltic Sea ahead of the Russians who were crossing from the east. Our battalion won the race and we headed off the Russians and kept them from getting to Denmark and Hamburg first.

The war in Europe was over. Our battalion returned from Europe to Canada and was disbanded in July of 1945. Some of our group started to get together. Some people organized a very good 1st Battalion Parachute Association and we have had reunions once in a while over the years. Our association, with help from the Alberta members, got the Alberta government to set up a memorial of four mountains in recognition of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. In recognition of the four main battles we had been in, four mountains along the highway between Rocky Mountain House and Lake Louise to Jasper National Park, have been named Normandy, Ardennes, Rhine, and Elbe. The four mountains are grouped together and look very impressive.

As one of the originals and as one who went in on D-Day, I returned to the mountains for this 65th anniversary of D-Day. There were 20 of the original battalion members there, as well as other soldiers who had joined the Airborne service.

My son Arnold Boyd in Calgary phoned me and said he would drive me to these mountains. I went to Calgary by bus from Swift Current. My daughters Marion and Susan from Calgary also went out as well as other members of my family. The day was cold but there was a very good crowd there. On behalf of our old battalion, I helped to place a wreathe. Besides the soldiers, there were many people from far away. A very interesting program and a march past took place. In my group of 20, there were several that I remembered.

Boyd Anderson is a mostly retired rancher from Glentworth, Sask. and has been a columnist for Grainews for many years.

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