Fonds 598 Norm & Margaret Dyck fonds

Norm & Margaret Dyck fonds. — 1964-2016. — 43 cm of textual records. — 58 photographs. — 1 maps. — 2 sound recordings.

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Biographical Sketch

In 1964, Norman and Margaret Dyck filed on a homestead in the Puskwaskau District north of DeBolt. This was an era when the Alberta Government was opening up more land for homesteading in the Peace Country.

Norm was born in May 1940 to Wilhiem (Bill) Dyck and Helena (Lena Reddekopp) in Three Hills, AB. He was living in Red Deer, Alberta in 1963 when he married Margaret Jones, a recently-arrived immigrant from Liverpool, England. The young couple joined forces on the homestead with Norm’s father Bill, brother Allen, and cousins Bev and Vern in 1964, but for that first year Norm taught at Sexsmith and Marg opened a hairdressing salon in the back of the teacherage.

Vern and Norm’s father Bill had cobbled together an old D7 caterpillar for brush cutting. It was hauled up from Sunnyslope along with an experimental land breaking rotary plow and D4 cat which were purchased when Norm and his brother Allen bought into the partnership. On winter weekends the crew attempted their first brushing with very limited success. The following summer custom breaking with the rotary plow and custom fescue hauling to Edmonton saw marginal returns.

The partnership dissolved and Norm, having decided to leave teaching, found employment with AGT in Calgary where Michael and Steven were born in 1966 and 1967.

During the winter of 1968-1969 they contracted Art Matlock to clear 60 acres on their homestead while they built pre-fabricated panels for a home. In the spring of 1969, the panels were trucked to the homestead, and with the help of Norm’s father they constructed their farm home. They were still living in Calgary at this time, and in March 1970 moved from Calgary to Grande Prairie where Norm worked for AGT and Marg and the boys lived out on the homestead from May to October. October found all of them in Grande Prairie where there was running water.

In 1975, after leaving AGT, Norm moved his family out to the homestead, and in 1976 daughter Christine was born. They enjoyed their neighbours in the Puskwaskau, especially the baseball games and hockey on the local dugouts. They built up a herd of cattle and grew wheat and grass seed. Norm’s fescue took first prize at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto in 1989. The previous year, in 1988, he had run for the New Democratic Party in opposition to the Convervative Free Trade Deal with the USA.

The 1980s also saw many new families move into the Puswaskau District, but unable to make a go of farming. The Dyck family story in Bridges to the Past concludes with, “We would never have believed the changes from the sixties to the nineties, but for belonging to the National Farmers’ Union. It, in hindsight, predicted what would happen to Canadian farm families and we owe our survival to that organization, as we arranged our farm to survive these hard time. Surviving was one thing but the isolation as our neighbours left was devastating and so in 1995, we built a house in Grande Prairie.” They continued to farm, commuting from Grande Prairie, until they sold out in 2002-2003.

Custodial History

The records were deposited at South Peace Regional Archives by Norman and Margaret Dyck in 2014 to 2016.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists textual records, photographs and sound recordings, divided into the following series: farm and family photographs, personal papers, and farm records. The material covers the family’s experience on a family farm, beginning in Calgary with their filing on a homestead in the Puskwaskau area north of DeBolt, NE 13-75-26-W5. It follows their move to Grande Prairie in 1970 and then the move to the homestead in 1975. The fonds includes financial records and activity calendars from 1980-2001 and a scrapbook from 1988 when Norm ran for the NDP party in the federal election. The sound recordings contain Norm and Marg’s memories of homesteading in the Puskwaskau area. There is also one reference book “Merchants of Grain” by Dan Morgan, which was removed from the records and added to the Reference Library at the Archives.

Notes

Table of Contents

Series 598.01Farm and Family Photographs
Series 598.02Personal Papers
Series 598.03Farm Financial Records
Series 598.04Farm Activity Records
Series 598.01Farm and Family Photographs. — 1959-2002. — 58 photographs.

The series consists of 58 photographs from Norm’s first visit to the Peace Country in 1959, through the homesteading experience, to the selling of the farm in 2002. Subjects include Norm and Marg and their family as the years went by; construction of the farm home and outbuildings; farming activities and machinery for breaking the land, caring for livestock and harvesting crops; neighbours in the Puskwaskau community; and clearing land for the Puskwaskau Community Hall.

Norm Dyck, 1959
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
“Norm Dyck, 19 yrs (1959) I fell in love with the majesty of the mighty Peace River.”
Location: 0598.01.01
Norm and Marg Dyck’s Homestead, May 1967
1 photograph; colour; 3.5 x 3.5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “May ’67 My land with Father-in-Law posing. The trees are a little smaller than Ken’s but a lot bigger than Norm’s.” “NE-13-75-26-W5th Norm and Marg Dyck’s homestead. First 60 acres was cut and piled at a cost of $1,200.00 by Art Matlock of DeBolt. May 67 – Bill Dyck – with son Norm. Scouting out our newly acquired homesteads. Not many roads this was a typical cut line to access some of our land.”
Location: 0598.01.02
88 Oliver Tractor, January 1969
1 photograph; colour; 3.5 x 3.5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Machinery. 1st tractor hauled up – 88 Oliver – Norm and Michael Dyck – Sunnyslope.” “Jan 69.”
Location: 0598.01.03
House Construction, Spring 1969
1 photograph; colour; 3.5 x 3.5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “House Construction – NE-13-75-26-W-5th. Spring 1969.” Working on wall frames on the ground.
Location: 0598.01.04
House Construction, Spring 1969
1 photograph; colour; 3.5 x 3.5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “House Construction – NE-13-75-26-W-5th. Spring 1969.” Putting up the walls.
Location: 0598.01.05
House Construction, Spring 1969
1 photograph; colour; 3.5 x 3.5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “House Construction – NE-13-75-26-W-5th. Spring 1969.” Putting on the roof.
Location: 0598.01.06
House Construction, Spring 1969
1 photograph; colour; 3.5 x 3.5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “House Construction – NE-13-75-26-W-5th. Spring 1969.” Finishing the roof.
Location: 0598.01.07
House Construction, Spring 1969
1 photograph; colour; 3.5 x 3.5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “House Construction – NE-13-75-26-W-5th. Spring 1969.” View from the roof.
Location: 0598.01.08
Raking Roots, Spring 1969
1 photograph; colour; 3.5 x 3.5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Machinery. Raking roots – W. Dyck – Spring 1969.”
Location: 0598.01.09
Finished House, May 1969
1 photograph; colour; 3.5 x 3.5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “May ’69. The finished house. Snow fell as we left, having seeded our first 40 acre crop of canola.”
Location: 0598.01.10
Dyck’s House Move, [ca. 1969]
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Dyck’s House Move NE-13, 75-26-W5th onto permanent foundation with the generous help of neighbors Ken Warkentin, Allen Dyck, Rolf Roshlaub, and Mike and Steve Dyck.”
Location: 0598.01.11
55 Massey with One Way Discer, [ca. 1969]
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Machinery. 55 Massey with one way discer – rubber better than steel wheels in mud. (Marg Dyck).” Marg Dyck on the 55 Massey.
Location: 0598.01.12
55 Massey Tractor, 1970
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Machinery. 55 Massey with steel wheels – hauled from Sunnyslope. Value $300.00.”
Location: 0598.01.13
First Combine, 1970
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Machinery. First combine #21 Massey – hauled up from Sunnyslope.” Norm’s brother Allen and and son Michael on the combine.
Location: 0598.01.14
Marg Getting Drinking Water, February 1971
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Me getting our drinking water. Feb 1971.” Marg Dyck gathering snow outside the house.
Location: 0598.01.15
Burning Roots on the Dyck Homestead, 1971
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph showing Norm Dyck with sons Michael and Steven in the field burning roots.
Location: 0598.01.16
Load Machinery, 1971
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Machinery. Load machinery from Sunnyslope – Allen, Norm, Michael and Steve Dyck.”
Location: 0598.01.17
Excavating the Root Cellar, June 1972
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph showing excavation for the root cellar under the house.
Location: 0598.01.18
Surveying for Brush Cutting, Winter 1972
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph during Winter 1972 “Art Macklin get the lines straight prior to brush cutting.” Steven and Michael Dyck are shown by the survey equipment.
Location: 0598.01.19
Water Well Drilling Rig, Winter 1974
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note on back says, “Doug Betty custom well driller outfit.” “Cable tool water well drilling rig – (owner – Doug Betty – DeBolt).”
Location: 0598.01.20
First Drilled Well Water, 1975
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “First drilled well water. Dyck family with grande father Bill Dyck 1975.” “First fresh water with Dyck family celebrating. This well was the first water well drilled north of the Puskwaskau. Mr. Betty drilled 5 or 6 more – later.”
Location: 0598.01.21
Moving the Outhouse, 1975
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph showing moving the outhouse with the 88 Oliver tractor.
Location: 0598.01.22
First Milk Cow, 1976
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Norm Dyck -1976 Our first milk cow. We still needed to build a barn!” The photo shows Norman and Marg’s brother Ken Jones, who farmed in Sundre and had brought up the milk cow. Beside them is Cindy the cow and the granary which was used as the first cow barn.
Location: 0598.01.23
Garden Produce, 1976
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Production from the land. Garden produce critical to farm success (Steve and Michael Dyck.” “Gathering in garden produce.”
Location: 0598.01.24
Allan Dyck in Homesteader’s Residence, [ca. 1977]
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “SE-17-75-26-W5th. Allen Dyck (brother to Norm Dyck) homesteaders typical residence – not much cash. Lots of hope. About 1977.”
Location: 0598.01.25
Clearing Site for Puskwaskau Community Hall, 1978
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Keith Coney, Ken Warkentin, Mike Dyck, Norm and Steve Dyck.” Picnic on the Puskwaskau Community Hall site.
Location: 0598.01.26
Clearing Site for Puskwaskau Community Hall, 1978
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Keith Coney, Ken Warkentin, Mike Dyck, Norm and Steve Dyck.” Picnic on the Puskwaskau Community Hall site.
Location: 0598.01.27
Broadcasting 90 Acres SW 13, Spring 1979
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5 in.
Copy of photograph. Note says, “Broadcasting 90 acres SW 13. Spring 79.” Norm and Steve Dyck experiment at trying to establish alsike clover for rough pasture. Perhaps grazing with cattle and root deterioration would make the first breaking an easier job.”
Location: 0598.01.28
Straight Cutting Excellent Crop of Wheat, 1979
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Norm Dyck – 1979 straight cutting excellent crop of wheat, NE-13-75-26-W-5th. It took several years from cutting, piling, breaking, working down plus root and some rock picking before the land produced a profitable crop. 3490 Gas powered Miniapolis was purchased as a bank reposession for $3,000.00”.
Location: 0598.01.29
Dick Zenner and Norm Dyck, 1979-1980
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Norm Dyck and Dick Zenner SW-13-75-26 W-5th.Brushing 10 acre field 79-80 Dickie Zenner. D9 cat with V brush cutter Dick Zenner a local farmer and contractor did a lot of land clearing.”
Location: 0598.01.30
Community Ball Game, June 1980
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Dyck Farm – Community ball game prior to hall and grounds [development] June 1980.”
Location: 0598.01.31
Cows, [ca. 1980]
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Norm and Marg Dyck farmstead NE-13-75-26-W5th. Mixed farms, grain, livestock and forages faired better financially. Grey wooded soil needed the fibre and nitrogen fixation which grass seed and clover seed provided. Calves were vigorous with a Charlois Hereford/Dairy cross.”
Location: 0598.01.32
Christine Dyck Feeding Steer, May 1981
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Production from the land. Feeding the steer – Christine Dyck (Isaac).”
Location: 0598.01.33
Grain Cleaner, 1981
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Machinery. Grain cleaner – Ken Warkentin, Norm Dyck.” The grain cleaner was a fanning mill which did not discard wild oats grains, as they later found out after it had infested their land.
Location: 0598.01.34
Completed House, 1981
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “House Construction – NE-13-75-26-W-5th. Completed house.”
Location: 0598.01.35
Community Gathering at Puskwaskau Community Hall Site, 1981
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Community gathering – prior to [building] hall.”
Location: 0598.01.36
Nursing New Born Calf, 1983
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Production from the land. New born – Winter – warmth and first milk critical (Steve, Michael and Norm Dyck).” “Mike, Steve, Norm Dyck in house. New born calf warmth and first milk.”
Location: 0598.01.37
Community Gathering at Puskwaskau Community Hall, 1984
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Community gathering – Puskwuskau Hall.”
Location: 0598.01.38
Norm Dyck by House, 1984
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Norm Dyck – (1984) NE-13-75-26-W5th. We poured our own basement and finally [moved] our house which had been prefabed down at Sunnyslope and assembled on site from walls that matched. We put it sewer and water from the well Doug Beatty had drawn with his rickety old cable tool machine.”
Location: 0598.01.39
Milk Cow, [1976]
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Production from the land. Milk cow – no barn yet.” “First milk cow no barn yet Cindy laying down.”
Location: 0598.01.40
Norm and Marg Dyck Family Farm Site and Yard, [ca. 1984]
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Norm and Marg Dyck Family farm site and yard finally established (NE-13-75-26-W5th) about 1984. Note grey wooded soil on quarter recently cleared and broken with root piles yet to be burned. Getting land ino production could take several years (4-6).”
Location: 0598.01.41
Pushing Up Roots, 1985
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Steve Cailliau (1985) Pushing up roots for burning was tough on light equipment.”
Location: 0598.01.42
Dirt Bike and Dogs, 1985
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, Mark Perry (?) with dirt bike and dogs. “Neighbor Steve Cailliau’s land. Typical newly broken ground. Lots of roots and some rocks left to pick before ready for seeding. Ultimately too much debt and low grain prices ($1.25/bushel) as result of the US Export Subsidy Program (EED) resulting in this land reverting of the Alberta Agricultural Corporation. Mr. Cailliau was forclosed on.”
Location: 0598.01.43
Michael Dyck and Mark Perry, 1985
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Mike and Mark ’85. Picking and burning roots was hot dirty, tedious work. Michael Dyck and friend Mark Perry – college buddy.”
Location: 0598.01.44
Dyck Farm Yard, 1985
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Farm yard Marg and Norm Dyck 1985 NE-13-75-26-W5th. Enjoying a break from the roots. Children of farm families were very instrumental in the financial success of these homesteads. Pictured. Steve Dyck, Christine, Norm, Mark Perry (College friend) and Mike Dyck.”
Location: 0598.01.45
Ruts on Peter Warkentine’s Field, November 1985
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Mike – Nov. 85 Ruts on Peter Warkentine’s field one mile east of Allen’s. 85 was a very wet year. This field was harvested on the Pete Warkentin land leaving mud ruts that were costly in time, fuel and repairs.”
Location: 0598.01.46
Sawyer Lloyd Davis, [ca. 1985]
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Homesteader and local bachelor sawyer Lloyd Davis. The sawyer logged from small births in the winter. Lloyd would saw dimension lumber for the neighbors outbuildings, grainers and sheds. A very important asset to our community. Lloyd was also awefully good at making wine too from native berries.”
Location: 0598.01.47
Lloyd Davis and his Saw, [ca. 1985]
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Lloyd Davies. – Local sawyer sawing dimension lumber for neighbors. Logs were local – spruce, pine, and poplar.”
Location: 0598.01.48
Lloyd Davis and his Saw, [ca. 1985]
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Lloyd Davies. Local sawyer and homesteader. Much of Lloyd’s sawmill was assembled from miscellaneous combine and automotive parts. The power unit was a 6 cyl gas Chev engine with transmission attached which allowed Lloyd to run the circular saw slow enough to operate safely.”
Location: 0598.01.49
Norm and Marg Dyck Family Farmyard, [ca. 1985]
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Norm and Marg Dyck Family farm yard N.E.-13-76-26-W5th. About 1985. Note: Shelter belt on northern boundary. The Dept of Agriculture recommended 10 acers be left for wind break on each quarter. We adhered to that. Our homestead/farm of 6 quarters had shelter belts on all sides. Too many farmers cleared from survey pin to survey pin. Moisture can be lost, the beauty is gone of removing all the trees and the protection for wild life is no more. We need be better stewards of the land!”
Location: 0598.01.50
Farewell to Family, 1986
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Norm and Marg Dyck NE-13-75-26-W5th. ’86 The house now a home on permanent basement. Farewell to their Grand Dad, Al Jones and little sister Christine. They [Mike and Steve] are headed off to college in the U.S.”
Location: 0598.01.51
Norm Dyck’s Shop, Fall 1986
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Norm Dyck’s shop – NE-13-75-26-W5th. Neighboring was critical to everyone’s success. -Emotional and otherwise! Steve Cailliau needed a hand replacing a bearing on his combine Fall 1986.”
Location: 0598.01.52
9257-96 Avenue, Grande Prairie, Spring 1995
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “9157-96 Ave Grande Prairie. After the Free Trade Agreement (1988) and consequent downward pressure on farm commodities coupled with devestating loss of more farm neighbors having to leave through foreclosure, Norm and Marg Dyck knew it was only a matter of time before they too would have to leave the farm community [they] had helped to build. Spring 1995 – We started to build our retirement home in Gr. Pr. We had managed to purchase a lot for $18,000.00 and had purchased much of the materials in advance.”
Location: 0598.01.53
Scarifying Cat Camp, 1996
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Scarifying Cat camp. (Dave Holinaty – DeBolt) – Readying groudn for tree planters in Spring. Many farmers worked out more and more in the oilfields to generate off farm income to make up for farm losses. Marg Dyck cooked for Dave Holinatys Cat operators for extra farm income. The money helped in construction of our retirement home in Grande Prairie.”
Location: 0598.01.54
Michael and Sydney Dyck, September 2000
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “NE-13-75-26-W5th. Michael and daughter Sydney. The 750 Versatile was real comfort after the 1950-55 Massey on steel wheels.” “Farm girl! Sept 2000.”
Location: 0598.01.55
Bringing in the Wheat Harvest, 2000-2001
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “NE-13-75-26-W5th. 2000-2001. Marg Dyck, bringing in the wheat harvest. The fields now cleared of brush, roots and rocks producing bountiful harvest. 34 years from first land clearing of initial 60 acers by Art Matlock back in 1967. We have much to be grateful for.”
Location: 0598.01.56
Harvest on NE 13-75-26 W5th, 2001
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Norm Dyck NE-13-75-26-W5th. Another beautiful harvest. Fall 2001.”
Location: 0598.01.57
Community Farewell, 2002
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Copy of 35 mm slide. Note says, “Norm and Marg Dyck and family NE-13-75-26-W5th. Community farewell – 2002. Friends and neighbors enjoying memories as retold by longtime neighbor and friend Frank Stevenson of DeBolt. We sold our farm in 2002.”
Location: 0598.01.58
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Series 598.02Personal Papers. — 1988-2016. — 4 cm of textual records. — 2 sound recordings.

The series consists of Norm and Margaret Dyck’s memoirs of farming in the Puskwaskau; documentation regrading the change in land ownership changed from individual farms to large corporate farms; blueprints and papers related to a new home built in Grande Prairie; and papers relating to the 1988 federal election when Norm Dyck ran as the NDP candidate for the Peace River constituency in Northern Alberta.

SubSeries 598.02.01Memoirs. — 1988-2016. — 1 cm of textual records.

The sub-series consists of a January 28, 1993 news clipping from Western People with a story written by Christina Dyck (daughter of Norm and Margaret Dyck) about her grandfather’s last years on the family farm; the typed memoirs of Norman and Margaret Dyck and three cassette tapes containing oral histories based on the memoirs but with supplementary memories; a 1988 map of the DeBolt and Puskwaskau area showing families living there in 1988; three partial maps from the MD of Greenview in 1997, 2001 and 2015 and a list of family names which show how the concentration of land ownership changed from individual farms to large corporate farms over a few years; and a news clipping from the October 27, 1994 Western Producer showing Norm & Marg demonstrating with the National Farmers Union against removing the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly. There is also a reference book titled “Merchants of Grain” by Dan Morgan, which tells the reality of what happened to the grain market in Canada during the time Norm and Marg were homesteading in the Puskwaskau.

Improvement District No. 16 DeBolt Map, 1988
1 Map; 27 x 36 in.
Landownership map of Improvement District No. 16 showing the landowners east and south of the Smoky River in Townships 69-77, Ranges 24-27 West of the 5th Meridian and Ranges 1 to 3 West of the 6th Meridian.
Location: 0598.02.01.03
Norm Dyck Oral History, 2016
Audio Cassette
The sound recording contains Norm Dyck’s memories of farming in the Puskwaskau District from 1964-2002. The Personal Papers series contains a written script, on which the sound recording is based, titled “Blood, Sweat and Tears: Homesteading/Farming Years 1964-2002”. The recording covers topics such as
Location: 0598.02.01.04
Marg Dyck Oral History, 2016
Audio Cassette
The sound recording contains Margaret Dyck’s memories of farming in the Puskwaskau District from 1964-2002. The Personal Papers series contains a written script, on which the sound recording is based, titled “England to Puskwaskau: Homesteading/Farming NE 13, R 75, R 26, W 5th 1964-2002”. The recording covers topics such as Marg’s childhood in England during World War II, immigration to Canada, marriage to Norman Dyck, first experiences homesteading in the Puskwaskau, neighbours such as Don & Jean Warren, Morris and Lucy Blair, “Lucky” Woods, Art & Donna Macklin, Lloyd Davis, Ken Warkentin, Tony Schmidt, Pearl & George Givson. Marg also talks about community baseball and hockey games, the beginning of the exodus from family farms in the recession of the early 1980s, a new wave of neighbours as the government instituted a new lending program, the impact of the US Export Enhancement Program, and activities off the farm such as the National Farmers Union meetings, building a house in Grande Prairie in 1995, and the sale of their farm in 2002.
Location: 0598.02.01.05
Merchants of Grain, 1979
Book
Merchants of Grain reveals “the power and profits of the five giant companies at the center of the world’s food supply” in 1979. It was written by Dan Morgan, a Harvard College graduate who served as a Washington Post foreign correspondent from 1967 to 1973, then as agriculture and international resources reporter for the Washington Post.
Location: 0598.02.01.06
Seeds of the Earth, 1979
Book
“Following the Fourth Session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Nairobi, 1976) where agricultural commodity issues dominated, the International Coalition for Development Action (ICDA) convened a small symposium for international food researchers in Canada.” High on their list of concerns was “a concern that the genetic base of the world’s food supply was quickly disappearing and that restrictive legislation was making it possible for agribusiness
Location: 2017.010
SubSeries 598.02.029257-96 Avenue, Grande Prairie. — 1995. — 1 cm of textual records.

The sub-series consists of the blueprints and costs for the new house built at 9257-96 Avenue in Grande Prairie in 1995.

SubSeries 598.02.03Norm Dyck, NDP Candidate. — 1988. — 3 cm of textual records.

In 1988, Norm Dyck was nominated as the New Democatic candidate for the Peace River riding in the November 21, 1988 Federal Election. The issues which brought him to the poliitcal arena were opposition to the free trade agreement, concern about the exodus of farm families from rural communities, and support for family values. An article in the Daily Herald Tribune on September 14, 1988, described Norm as “a DeBolt-area farmer and long-time National Farmers Union activist”. His campaign slogan was “For People Like You”, and he was promoted as “A Broadbent Candidate”. His campaign manager was Bernie Desrosiers, who had run for the Alberta NDP in 1982 and 1986. His campaign literature included a stance on Fairness for Canadian families, Fairness for rural Canadians, Fairness for women and men, and Tax Fairness. On November 2nd, 1988 a federal election forum was held in Grande Prairie and described as “an all-out battle on free trade”, with Norm Dyck (NDP) and Helen Rice (Liberal Candidate) against the deal and Albert Cooper (Conservative) and Dan Fletcher (Reform) for the deal. The final result in the Peace River riding was a win for the Progressive Conservatives, with the NDP a “distant second”. “I had no illusions,” the DHT reported Norm as saying. “I knew it wouldn’t be easy to unseat the Tory machine, but I was prepared to make that commitment and my family was prepared to support me.” His final warning to MP Albert Cooper that evening demonstrated why he had entered the campaign. “He had better be aware of the consequences of the U.S. spending more money on the export enhancement program and he had better be prepared to open up the coffers to help out Peace River area farmers.”

The sub-series consists of three written speeches Norm made as the NDP Candidate for the Peace River constituency; articles portraying Free Trade as “the Great Destroyer”; Norm’s position on Abortion, which was another big issue of the 1988 election; and a scrapbook containing campaign literature, news clippings, articles and campaign advertising. There is also a Preliminary List of Electors for the DeBolt North polling station, which was the place they would have voted, and a “copy of statement of the votes” in that station.

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Series 598.03Farm Financial Records. — 1967-2003. — 31 cm of textual records.

The series consists of the financial records of Norm and Margaret Dyck’s farm, beginning with the single quarter homestead and increasing to six quarters. The records begin in 1967, when Norm and Marg were still iving in Calgary, and follow them north to Grande Prairie in 1970, and the permanent move to the farm in 1975. From 1967 to 1999 there are financial ledgers with Credit, Debit and Balance columns. Starting in 1990, there are also annual Prairie Farm Account Books kept for Income Tax Records, with sections on Crop Income; Livestock Income; Machinery and Crop Expenses; Overhead, Building & Livestock Expenses; Wage Records, Income & Expense Summary; Capital Transactions, Credit Accounts; Nonfarm and Cash Flow Records; and Income Tax. The last two sections are not filled out, presumably because those records are kept in the financial ledgers and on income tax submissions. In addition to the account books, there are also assessment and tax records, and income records for each year which detail the organizations which contributed to farm income, such as Canadian Wheat Board, Alberta Wheat Pool, Peace River Seed Co-op in Rycroft, Grande Prairie Auction Mart, and neighbouring farmers who purchased seed, hay and beef. Donations to the Canadian Food Grains Bank are also recorded.

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Series 598.04Farm Activity Records. — 1978-2002. — 8 cm of textual records.

The series consists of hand-drawn paper plans for what will be seeded on various acreages from 1978 to 1986; and yearly calendars from 1981 to 2002 on which the family kept notes of activities such as the weather; seeding, haying and harvesting notes; crop prices, delivery dates and grain tests; auctions and meetings to attend across the Peace Country; activities at the Puskwaskau Hall (dances, film night, hall meetings); get-togethers with neighbours, children’s activities, health appts and concerns, and TV programs to watch.

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