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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 12, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta Saturday, Sspltmbtr 12, 1970 THE LETHBRIDCE HERALD 5 Builders Of The South-11 Margaret Luckhurst The Shepherd Politician Of Alberta you know that shepherds larger house to accommodate at one time lived, in our growing family. But the wagons like these while they were tending fair Leonard Christian Halmrast former rancher, politician and untiring civic worker, pointed to a model covered wagon in his souvenir-lined study. "You likely thought they be- came obsolete when the rail- road came through and wagon trains were no longer prac- he said. "That is quite correct when you consider them as transportation for set- tlers, but when I was a young lad they were still used as sort of mobile homes for shepherds, particularly those who had two or three thousand sheep to look after. I know I didn't mind living in mine for a year, and when the year was over I knew I wanted to become a sheep- rancher, regardless of the hardships." Although Mr. Halmrast did eventually become a successful sheep ranch'er, this type of livelihood had not been part of his heritage. "I was bora in 1899 in La Crosse, Wisconsin My parents were of Norwegian descent, and at the lime of my birth my father was a grocer in the town. However, father, while a kindly, intelligent man was not the best of business- men. He was given to over- expanding with the result that he often ran into financial dif- ficulties." At one of these times of fi- nancial distress, the elder Halmrast intrigued with the migration west being made by some of his contemporaries, and urged on by lu's brothers who were working in Warner, Alberta, decided distant fields looked greener. "It was June 1912, when wg finally made the trip to Can- ada. Father had gone ahead to prepare .for the move, and we followed by immigrant train which we joined at St. Paul, Minnesota." The new Halmrast home, 27 miles east of Warner, was indi- cative of the early settlers' life. "Father built our houso and all the furniture in it, Mr. Halmrast reminisced, "and while it was very modest, we were pretty proud of it and the 320 acres of land surrounding because it was ours. The elder Halmrast found himself not to be as good a farmer as he had hoped and went back to working in the grocery business with a store in Warner, "We boys attended the Pleasant Home School, and worked out wherever we could find Mr. Halm- rast said. "The year 1914 was very difficult for many home- .steaders so every little bit of money helped. In 1917 the young Halmrast was offered a job with the Rutherford ranch, acknowl- edged to be among the best sheep ranches in the country. "I jumped at the chance to work with the Rutherford brothers, few they were very particular. I was to herd the sheep for the winter, and it was there I lived in the cov- ered wagon." The first winter on the plains was the forerunner of many more to come. "I went around the country, working for dif- ferent outfits. The winters wera invariably long, lonely and difficult. However, I learn- ed the sheep business slowly but surely, and my spare time was spent in reading, studying and catching up on my educa- tion. Finally in 19211 went into partnership with Alex Neil and Al Millhaem, both educated men and good business heads. For two years I was to work along with them in developing a sheep ranch near Alderson. During this time Mr. Neil, who was a college graduate, gave me considerable assistance in furthering my education, so that when I left to go on my own in 1923 I had gone through Ms library, reading everything I could get my hands on a couple of times. I believe this background had a tremendous influence on my later life." With a small flock of about 300 head of sheep, six rams, two dogs, a saddle horse and in the bank, Mr. Halm- rast. and a hired man moved back to Warner where the former could be with his fam- ily. "It was good to be home, after so long Mr. Halm- rast stated reminiscently, "I didn't realize I'd been away so long. My brother and I went into partnership, gradually building up our flock and ex- panding a little here and a little there." In 1925 Mr. Halmrast mar- ried Clarice Storrs of Medicine Hat, and the young couple set up housekeeping not far from the original Halmrast home- stead. "The next few years were not easy, Mr. Halmrast recalled. "We did continue to expand by buy- ing more equipment, taking over a neighbor's interest in grazing leases, and getting a depression crept in on every- one and created hardships young families don't know of today." It was in 1934 that Mr. Halm- rast attended his first political meeting as a delegate. Solon Low, later a member of the Social Credit cabinet was pres- ent also as a delegate. Al- though the convention was called to nominate a Liberal candidate for the forthcoming election in 1935, Mr. Low made a strong statement in which he declared that if the Liberal Party did not include a Social Credit plank in its platform he would quit the party and join the party that did or else assist in forming a new party. This of course is what happened. This introduction to the poli- tical arena intrigued Mr. Halmrast, and when the Hon. William Aberhart, minister of education appointed him to the Foremost School Divisional board in 1937 he accepted will- ingly hoping it would broaden his political outlook. In 1945, the Hon. Solon Low, elected member for the Warn- er constituency since 1935, de- cided to resign has seat and run for federal office. Mr. Halmrast was approached by a number of people to stand for election, and won handily. "I naturally had my mo- ments of doubt about a politi- cal career whan it meant I'd have to leave the farm for long periods at a Mr. Halmrast stated. "However, this is a choice all politicians have to face in then- careers, and personal matters some- times have to be shoved to the background. We had three sons and two daughters by that time, and the boys were of an age where they could help con- siderably so that their interest in the ranch and thsir encour- agement in my political ap- pointment made it easier for me." On Dec. 31, 1952, Premier Manning phoned Mr. Halmrast and requested him to return to Edmonton on urgent business. He did so, to learn that he was to become the minister of pub- lice welfare. "I was only in this post a short time when the Hon. David Ure, minister of agriculture was killed in a car accident. I was asked to take his post. I must say, since ag- riculture had been my life, that this appointment was to be very interesting for me. Know- irig'the land as I did, I was to introduce several pieces of leg- islation which had an impor- tant bearing on agriculture. To name a few there was the Farm Credit Purchase Act, which made money available to young farmers to buy land this was most needed be- cause young people simply had no opportunity to save up any money to buy their land. There' was also passed during my tenure the Land and Forest Utilisation act which provides money to set up community pastures and enables farmers to increase their cattle hold- ings. The Soil Conservation Act, which prohibits the abuse of agricultural lands, met with opposition in some quarters but nonetheless it went through." In 1955 the premier asked Mr. Halmrast to assume the duties of minister in charge of civil defence, which later be- came the Emergency Mea- sures Organization, a post he was to hold for 12 years. "In the spring of 1967 we had a late snowstorm that tied-up all of southern he re- called. "We had to airlift feed to cattle stranded in one of the worst storms in history. Even at that it was figured that about cattle and calves were lost." In 1962 after a pleasant holi- day abroad, Mr. Halmrast re- turned to his duties and was somewhat disconcerted to be asked by the premier if he would take over the portfolio of minister of welfare again. "I wasn't sure whether I want- ed this job at first, but the social changes in our society presented a challenge and af- ter some consideration I fig- ured, well, what the heck, I might as well give it a whirl." To his credit, Mr. Halmrast tackled this job with his usual zeal, studying social problems and presenting legislation he thought would be for the bet- terment of people whether it was popular with the hoi polloi or not. "And let's face he "there was a real donnybrook over the Child Wel- Act, because some reli- gious denominations were stub- born about allowing children of their particular faith to be placed for open adoption. But what do you do when you have a lot of children coming into your care and are unable to find homes for them because of religious restrictions. It just didn't make sense to me, and I had to do a lot of talking lo amend the Clu'ld Welfare Act and remove those crazy re- strictions so that these kids could have "I also had a hard look at the welfare situation and put through the Preventive Social Service Act. Do you know what that is? Well, it's quite a basic idea after all; we simply want- ed to prevent people coming onto welfare. How did we do that? Well, by providing other alternatives for them. We had a program for Metis for ex- ample, which was very helpful because we saw to it these people were moved to areas where they could find work away from the city. They ap- preciated this and on my re- tirement the president of the Metis Association presented me with a beaver pelt and told me I'd helped the Metis by showing them how to help themselves." After 22 years as an MLA, 15 of which had been spent in the cabinet, Mr. Halmrast advised the premier he did not wish to seek nomination in the 1967 election. "I thought it was time for me to retire and let some younger fellow take over. Be- sides, my wife and I wanted to travel and to see more of our grandchildren. There was lots for me to do in my community interests as a member of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd and active in senior citizens work and the Kiwanis Club. So we moved to Leth- bridge which is near to our children and where we have lots of friends. I've been asso- ciated with the university as a member of the senate and have been asked to lend assistance to the organization of the Meals on Wheels service to the elder- ly and shut-ins. So you see, re- tirement does not necessarily mean idleness; I'm as busy as ever." Mr. Halmrast's interesting study reflects the busy life of a man in public office. To name all the presentations he's received over the years would fill a catalogue. However he is particularly proud of the beau- tiful hand carvings of Canadi- an wildlife, and Indian arti- facts of one type and another. A large handscripted scroll, presented by the EMO on his retirement is unique in that tlu's craft is almost a dying art. Plaques honoring his di- rectorship on various fairs and expositions line the walls along with buttons and medallions of various service clubs with which he's been affiliated. Does he rank anything just a little higher than Ilia other? he reflected slowly, "I think if I have to be a little extra proud of one particular item I'd have to choose the Centennial Medal which is an honorarium presented by the Government of Canada in rec- ognition of valuable service to the nation. Certainly, when I was a shepherd lad I had dreams of being some service to my country. I am pleased and humbled if I have." LEONARD c. HAIMRAST Book Reviews Frauds In The Art World "The Fabulous Frauds: Fascinating Tales of Great Art Forgeries" by Lawrence Jcppson (Weybright and Tal- ley, 33Spp., S12.50, distributed by Clarke, Irwin and Com-, pVEN people, such as I, who know very little about art can enjoy this book about some of the forgeries that have been perpetrated in that field. Apparently fraudulence has plagued the art world from very-early times but the author of this book has confined him- self to relatively recent times for his stories. While making money has been the chief aim in art for- gery, there has also been a sec- ondary objective: the fooling of the experts. For those who take a perverse pleasure out of see- Folktale Collection Black Folktales, retold by Julius Lester; (Richard W. Baron, publisher; 159 pp., S5.3S. distributed by Clarke, Jrwin and Co.) AS an insight to the culture of Black America these stories are perhaps not com- pletely useful, but considered as an insight to the late-night story time of past Black gen- erations they are fascinating. And just by themselves, for 'a collector of folk mythology they provide an evening of me- morable interest. But as Lester says, folktales are meant to be toldj not writ- ten down, and they derive their significance from relating to (and thus metaphorically giv- ing vieaning to) current events of the time in which they are told, and he relates them well to today. Julius Lester is a columnist, folksinger, photographer and radio personality with several books to his credit, and a story- teller of great if New York local renown. Some of his folktales (all based on African legend) have been turned into by inspired students. The stories often have a reli- gious significance and it is a culturally enlightening expe- rience to suddenly realize that God is Black, with a flat, nose, thick lips, white curly hair and a white beard. Illustrations by Tom Feel- ings, a capable artist who has elsewhere drawn impressions of ghettoes with a feeling that not even a camera can match, give a fascinating picture of Lester's folktale world. Black Folktales stories have the ring of parables, which is perhaps one way they can as Lester claims, "have meaning now." In one tale for instance he tells of the forest animals be- ing shot at by a new and vicious animal called "Man" who "kills everything he can get his hands on." So t h e animals petition God to turn them into men for their self-protection. God agrees and the animals start talking about how when they become men they'll buy "a red convertible with white seats and a con- tinental suit." God changes his mind, giv- ing the tale the double-edged meaning that all men are de- structive and also, Blacks shouldn't emulate the whiles because they're not worthy of emulation. Like all good folktale collec- tions, there's something in Lester's book for children and something for adults and which would understand the deeper meaning today is any- one's guess. JIM WILSON. ing experts fooled, the chapter on how the Dutch painter Van Meegeren turned out originals in the style of Vernieer that took the experts in would be hard to excel. Several times in the book there is reference to the fact that art forgery would not flourish as it does if people bought the product rather than a pedigree. Sympathy for pri- vate collectors who are bilked in this game is hard to come by. Tills is especially so when there is deceit in them, too. The people who bought copies of the Mona Lisa after the ori- ginal was reported stolen from the Louvre in Paris were ob- viously dishonest and deserved to be relieved of their money. The ways in which forgery is detected are as fascinating as tile ways in which it is prac- tised. New techniques of test- ing the age of materials may spell the end of forgery of old art and force the forgers to concentrate on duplicating the work of modern artists. But this is not apt to be as lucra- tive as has been working with older art. Many art forgers had excep- tional talent and should have been producing work in their own names. If people would buy art for its intrinsic merit and not simply because of the name of the artist the tempta- tion to fraudulence would be reduced. Most artistic, people want credit for what they have done. This fact has often been a telling factor in establishing fraud. Lawrence Jeppson is some- tiling of an expert in the world of art. He set out to write an article for The Saturday Eve- ning Post and wound up writing this book. It is an educational, as well as an entertaining, ex- perience to read about the fab- ulous frauds. DOUG WALKER. Focus on the University By J. W. FISHBOURNE A Random Notion About Rainbows T ami not sure when universities first came to be called "Godless but it was a long time ago. Judging both from correspondence and conversations, there are a few people within writing (or shout- ing) distance, who feel that the term suits this or any other university, and that we are irreligious, if not actually 'Godless.' While the charge is utterly groundless, it Is really not difficult to understand. People who adopt and fervently believe in a par- ticular body of dogma, often feel a sense of outrage when their beliefs appear to be disregarded. I think I am pretty easy-going and tolerant, but I can become pretty agi- tated when any of the few remaining ar- ticles in my own creed are attacked, or held in contempt. It is very difficult for a university to fulfil its duty and function, as an institu- tion primarily concerned with searching for truth, without treading on a few toes. Those toes do not have to belong to bigots (al- though on occasion they they simply have to represent some individual's convic- tions. And convictions, those things w e "know" to be true, can vary remarkably; the truths in which you and I believe can be outright lies to others. A brand-new "truth" is almost bound to upset someone. The other day, I glimpsed part of a rain- bow and it reminded me of something I was taught many years ago in Sunday School. A rainbow, I was told was a. sign to Noah that the Great Flood was over and the waters would recede, and stood as a token of a Divine promise that the world would never again be overwhelmed in- this fashion. Now take a look at your which speaks-of "concentric bands colors of the spectrum formed opposite the sun by the refraction and reflection of the sun's rays in raindrops, spray or mist." Some- one, likely a scientist or whatever they were called in his day. worked this out many years ago. Probably he noticed that rainbows do not exist only in the sky, but can be fashioned almost anywhere there is water and light. You. can do it yourself, by turning your garden hose to a fine spray and juxtaposing that with rays of sunlight. Very simple. But consider for a moment the position of that first scientist, who found that a cer- tain arrangement of water and light invari- ably produced the rainbow effect, and re- alized that it occurred simply because ol the physical properties of water and light. Suppose he was a devout man, who had heard and believed the same story that I heard centuries later. Knowing what he now knew, could ha believe that rainbows did not exist before the Flood? That a new and different natural law had been estab- lished all of a sudden, and that the normal and demonstrable reaction of water and light had been changed to fit the event? If indeed he was a devout man with a respect for truth, what could he believe? It would be unthinkable that God's promise would be emblazened eternally across tha sky, and then broken. But it would be equal- ly unthinkable that natural laws could be enacted or repealed to suit the circum- stances. So what would he conclude? I think it very likely he would know that man has always speculated about those things he does not fully understand, and does his best to explain tliem. This beautiful and specta- cular manifestation would not have escaped him, so he devised an explanation, one that fitted what he believed be knew at tha time. Now, with more knowledge available, a better and truer explanation was possible. This sort of thing has always happened and will continue to happen as long as men search for knowledge. Older beliefs, based on incomplete information, are bound to be displaced as we come to know more. Myths, no matter how meaningful to some people, inevitably must give way to truth. The search for knowledge, for truth, is not a studied attack on anyone's beliefs. To advance our collective knowledge is not irreligious. I hope not, anyway; I'd hate to have to burn my dictionary. The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORLEY Is The Species Evolving? "pVOLUTIONISTS emphatically declared that man is a being that must be surpassed. Mechanical evolutionists substi- tute "thing" for Such evolution is a creed of faith; it cannot be proved1. Evi- dence against it is overwhelming the pollution of ah-, water, and land; the mon- strous gas chambers of Hitler; the merci- less annihilations of Stalin; the devasta- tion of Vietnam; the systematic brain- washing and mental torturing of vast na- tions as in Hussia and China; the full psychiatric wards; the long-haired drug addicts cluttering the roads; and man's self-destruction is a grim possibility so that our most discerning sc-dal historians already compare the fall of America to the fall of Rome, both marking the beginning of an epoch of horror for the West. To proclaim the advent of the Kingdom of Heaven today requires a peculiar bravery! A friend informs me that the only realistic, honest man must live in a state of exist- ential doubt or despair, a sad cult of mean- inglessness. Such souls should rest their minds by reading the refreshing story of the life of Lady Randolph Churchill, by Ralph G. Martin, published by The New American Library of Canada Limited. They may regain a salutary gratitude. The book touches lightly in passing on subjects treated more learnedly and profoundly by sociologists, the white slave trade that sent thousands of teen-aged British girls lo Eu- ropean prostitution, the degradation of the slums, the social diseases such as syphilis which destroyed Lord Randolph, the neg- lect of the poor, the horrors of Irish star- vation, the cruelty in schools, and the de- nial of rights to women. Upon marriage a woman lacked even elementary human rights of property and person. No laws pro- tected children from the most monstrous parental abuse. In the midst of this squalor lived a small circle of intellectual and social dilettantes revolving around the Prince of Wales. It cannot be denied that there was another England, serious, sober, and idealistic, filled with social concern, with a vision of imperial Britain as the leader of world civilization, carrier of the White Man's Burden. But industrial Eng- land was for the most part ugly, cruel, in- sensitive, and unjust. Nor can one safely glamorize the pre-in- dustrial age. For the mass of people life was "nasty, brutish, and living without innacence or joy and dying without hope. History is a grim contradiction to ill romanticists as'it is to pessimists. Here theology helps. Man is a sinner and he always will be a sinner in spite of his scientific Utopia, modern medicine, and ed- ucational democracy. This original sin ii not to be equated with evil, as Kant does, because evolution might remedy evil but it can never abolish sin. Man, created in the Divine image, differentiated thereby from all other creatures, has fallen from God and perverted his nature. Nor when man sins does he become an animal; he be- comes Man is at the centre of the world and above the world, and sev- erance from God means the dehumaniza- tipn of man, the degradation of all human conditions. Man is a citizen of two worlds, he is body and spirit. He is not God, but he participates in divine life, he comes from God, is made for God, and his des- tiny lies in God. His only hope lies in re- pentance and conversion. The doctrine of Original Sin means an inherited sin. It also means the solidarity of' the human race. This is the core of modern tragedy as one finds it say in the novels of Franz Kafka. Sin remains at every stage of man's development and perverts that de- velopment. It is this sin which not only shows man's distinction from the animal, but also his likeness to God. It is quite wrong for choirs to sing, "0 Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world." The word should be not "sins." The sins of specific acts issue from a poi- soned nature, an apostasy from God. Em- manuel Kant was on solid ground hers when he said that man's plight could not be healed by gradual reform, but only by a revolution in his disposition. Natural man is naturally the enemy of God. He may occasionally do good acts, but his ni- hire can only become good by a radical, inward transformation, a reconciliation to his Creator. Middy Not Midi By Dong Walker jyEWSPAPER editors must eventually become resigned to the inevitability of mistakes slipping through into print. But it still leaves me bothered and bewildered that they get through on "my" pages. The feature story about Herman Linder contained an anachronism. Margaret Luck- hurst was initally responsible for it but it escaped the notice of the ladies in the proof room, the editorial assistant, and me. Years before "midi" became a stylistic designation, Mr. Linder was credited with masquerading in a "midi" blouse at a ro- What he must have been wearing according to my knowledgeable wife was a "middy Lacking style consciousness, I could have read the story a million times and never recognized the mistake. I'll hold the women responsible for that onel ;