Derek's Travels

The 4th Journey

The 4th Journey: Canada & the U.S.A.
by Derek Bickford-Smith

North Norfolk, Manitoba Province, Canada
1995, and visits to Canada and the U.S.A. The average temperatures in Manitoba are January -12C, April 10 C, July 26 C; yet when I visited in April the land was still hard frost and some of the roads showed remarkable frost damage. The unmade roads had an unfrozen layer that made driving 'interesting'.

Doug Lamb (centre) was my guide, seen here with Mr & Mrs Lyall who have a Ostrich and Dairy Farm.
Ostriches lay big eggs !

Right: With my favourite administrators - Valorie Unrau and Olive Tunski

Left: the Council at the time of my visit:
Mayor W.M.Wiebe & Secretary/Treasurer Lawrence Hart (Centre), Councillors Clare Tarr & Darwin Crabbe(left), Herb Seaver & John Penner (Right)

South Norfolk, Manitoba Province, Canada

Jim Archer, Administrator (left), and John Steele, Reeve (right) with me during my visit in 1995.

Treherne has the only educational facilities and the Collegiate (right) was presented with a video of Norwich, Norfolk, England, during my visit.

During my visit I was taken to this remarkable House, Church, outhouse and well, totally made out of bottles by two retired farmers.
And then amongst the very many aspects there is the museum that has quite the largest collection of historical firearms.

Nadine & Pearl Dobbin, Historians represented both North & South Norfolks at the First Family Gathering in Norwich, England in 1996.
The Dobbin's history a fascinating tale that deserves to be read in full. It is lodged in the new Norwich Library in The Forum, Norwich, England.
The Dobbin farm has an existing landmark of a grain elevator made out of logs that became jammed in the river. I am happy to agree with Pearl and Nadine when they say "how lucky we are to call South Norfolk our home"! Thank you for that fascinating story of your community - amongst the very best!

One further note is that at the Second World Gathering in 2000, on Norfolk Island, South Pacific, we had only the Manitoba flag and everyone wanted to know 'just where is South Norfolk?' I had much pride in telling them 'just where'!

Norwich, North Dakota, U.S.A.
As I crossed over the border from Manitoba, Canada, I called in on the Peace Garden and this in April weather that was sleeting, with the 'roads' some 5 inches of mud over a still frozen base.
My car was that sandy sludge colour all over!
The gardens looked like they could be an attractive potential were the weather in better form. A totally open international boundary and all traffic passing freely between Canada & The Unites States of America on the 49th parallel. The International Peace Garden is a 2,339 acre botanical garden commemorating peace between the United States and Canada along the world's longest unfortified border. It blooms with more than 150,000 flowers and showcases the Peace Chapel.

Finally, I arrived in Norwich.
Right: Mrs Klein at the Post Office, who had my previous messages pinned on the information board but showed a Norwich distrust of strangers, especially one so untidy in a mud stained car having driven all the way from the Manitoba Norfolks! Friendly, but no 'cup of tea' on that dismal morning. Thus a 1000 mile journey for a mere 10 minute meeting.

Why was it that whenever I asked for the directions to North Dakota, the inevitable reply was "nobody ever GOES to North Dakota!", when in all my discoveries I found that NORTH DAKOTA IS THE GEOGRAPHICAL CENTRE OF NORTH AMERICA! and Derek was there!