Did You Know?


Please email reunion@blight.ca with any contributions for this page.  It is intended for past and present stories of any Blight/Dixon/Wilson descendants.


1. Did you know....Douglas Wilfred Adams (Jack Adams/Laura Blight/George & Isabella) has one of the top British Royalty collections in Canada?  He currently has five to six hundred pieces and started his collection in 1977 at 12 years of age.  His china/figurines/paintings/pictures/books collection dates back to 1831 to present day pieces. 

He was acknowledged by former Governor General of Canada, Edward Schreyer, in 2005 for his extensive and extremely impressive royalty collection.  He has attended a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty, The Queen and other members of the royal family.  

Doug has shown his collection twice - Portage la Prairie and Souris (Golden Jubilee).  In 2012, Doug was awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal for volunteer service at Brandon University.  He is currently residing in Brandon, Manitoba and teaches Grade 3.  He is just about to complete his 28th year of teaching.  His collection is beautifully displayed and well worth a visit to Brandon!
/submitted by Keri Pohl
 
2. Did you know...of the following elected government positions held by family members?
  •  1905 to 1906 Reeve of RM of Portage la Prairie:  John Weir (lived in Oakville, MB and was married to Sarah Dixon, sister to Isabella)
  • 1934 to 1935 Reeve of RM of Portage la Prairie:  Fred Metcalfe (lived in Oakville, MB and was married to Annie (Rene) Blight, daughter of George & Isabella)
  • 1959 to 1967 Manitoba Conservative MLA:  Walter Weir (Dick Weir/Sarah Dixon, sister to Isabella) Became the youngest member of Premier Duff Roblin's cabinet when he was appointed Municipal Affairs Minister at the age of 32.
  • 1967 to 1969 Premier of Manitoba:  Walter Weir (Dick Weir/Sarah Dixon, sister to Isabella) for the Conservative Party
  • 2010 to current Councillor for RM of Portage la Prairie:  Kevin Blight (Jim Blight/Wilfred Blight/George & Isabella Blight)
  • 2010 to current Reeve of RM of Portage la Prairie:  Kam Blight (Jim Blight/Wilfred Blight/George & Isabella Blight)

3. Did you know...nineteen year old defenceman Halli Krzyzaniak (Kelly Blight/Don Blight/Leslie Blight/George & Isabella) is a current member of Canada's National Women's Hockey Team where she first represented Canada during the 2014 4 Nations Cup at Kamloops, BC?  Halli was featured by Hockey Canada on November 4, 2014 in an article entitled 'Discipline, persistence make dream a reality for Krzyzaniak'  http://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/news/Krzyzaniak-ready-for-2014-NWT-debut   The article highlights her hockey journey from her home town of Neepawa, MB to Kelowna, BC attending the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy and then on to the University of North Dakota.  She is quoted as saying:  "There are no words to describe how it feels to be named to the team - pure excitement and happiness.  To wear the maple leaf in front of a home crowd is going to be a dream come true."  Congratulations Halli!
 
 4.  Did you know...Rick Blight (Don Blight/Leslie Blight/George & Isabella) was drafted 10th overall to the NHL Vancouver Canucks in 1975?

1975 NHL DRAFT PICK

 

Rick Blight

Selected in first round
No. 10 overall by Vancouver Canucks

  Born October 17, 1955. 

Position: Right Wing
Height: 6-2   Weight: 185

BEFORE THE DRAFT

Last Team: Brandon (WCHL)                             
Birthplace: Oakville, Manitoba (Canada)
   

PRE-DRAFT STATISTICS

Year

Team

League

GP

G

A

TP

PIM

1970-71

Portage

MJHL

47

20

19

39

33

1971-72

Portage

MJHL

45

32

35

67

73

 

Brandon

WCHL

1

1

0

1

0

1972-73

Brandon

WCHL

68

31

62

93

70

1973-74

Brandon

WCHL

67

49

81

130

122

1974-75

Brandon

WCHL

65

60

52

112

65


PRE-DRAFT AWARDS AND HONORS
World Junior Championships: 1975 (silver) (unofficial tournament)
WCHL Rookie of Year: 1972-73 (Brandon)
Miscellaneous: Played in second World Junior Championships in Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba, an unofficial tournament that helped set stage for first official World Juniors in 1977.

NHL CAREER

Debut: October 8, 1975 (Vancouver at Minnesota)
Numbers:  8, 10 (Vancouver); 21 (Los Angeles)
Stanley Cup: Never won.  Playing Status: Retired 1983

CAREER NHL STATISTICS

Years

Teams

GP

G

A

TP

PIM

1975-1983

Vancouver, Los Angeles

326

96

125

221

170

CAREER NHL PLAYOFF STATISTICS

Years

Teams

GP

G

A

TP

PIM

1976-1979

Vancouver

5

0

5

5

2




5.  Did you know...Retta Reid (daughter of George & Isabella) took art classes in her later years and developed an uncanny ability to use art as a creative outlet to illustrate times past and present by painting daily life and things that inspire us? 


6.  Did you know...of the following military enlistments? (please advise of any names not listed to reunion@blight.ca)
  1. Hugh Blight (son of George & Isabella) enlisted in Armed Forces in 1916 and served overseas till his discharge
  2. Cliff Blight (son of George & Isabella) joined the RCAF in 1940 as an armament instructor and was stationed in Ontario and Saskatchewan.  He was released from the RCAF in 1945.
  3. Jack Metcalfe (Rene Blight/George & Isabella) joined the Navy at age 17 and was stationed in Scotland.
  4. Jack Foxon (Iva Blight/George & Isabella) joined the Navy in 1944 and trained as a telegraphist.
  5. Bill Blight (Hugh Blight/George & Isabella) enlisted in the Canadian Air Force and was posted in Rivers, MB.
  6. Mac Baker (husband of Erma Blight/Hugh Blight/George & Isabella) enlisted in the Army and was posted to MacDonald, MB until the end of the war.

7.  Did you know...a tornado or cyclone touched down less than a mile from the Blight homestead and took a significant part of the roof of the home of Hugh Blight (son of George & Isabella) in the early 1950's? 






At the time of the storm, Hugh was asleep in the upstairs bedroom and he awoke from the noise of the storm to see daylight above him!  Some buildings outside were also damaged and others were untouched.  Manitoba summers and tornado watches!  Incidentally another tornado that caused extensive damage in Elie, MB in 2007 passed over Oakville and surrounding areas!   






8.  Did you know...Floyd Blight, Don Blight, and Ken Blight (sons of Les Blight/George & Isabella) were inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2003? 
From The Daily Graphic article:  "The three brothers often played on the same side for various local tournament-calibre ball clubs based in Portage la Prairie, Poplar Point, and Oakville from the 1940s to the late 1960s.  Floyd was a noted power hitter and was the only player known to have hit a baseball over the old Oakville School building, over the highway, and into someone's garden.  Don Blight, known as Ding in his playing days, was primarily a short stop.  In later years, he became a catcher for his brothers.  Ken Blight, the youngest of the three, was a left-handed power pitcher.  At the time, left-handers were particularly rare.  The Blights made their name in the game during its golden age in Manitoba.  At that time, every community had a team and a tournament with cash prizes.  It was possible to play ball seven days a week during the summer."



9.  Did you know...Alfred Adams (husband of Laura/George & Isabella) won Grand Champion for St. Vital Joint Dairy Cattle Show in the 1940s?  Alf had a dairy farm for many decades.























10.  Did you know...The Portage Diversion (also known as the Assiniboine River Floodway) is a water control structure on the Assiniboine River near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. The project was made as part of a larger attempt to prevent flooding in the Red River Valley. The Portage Diversion consists of two separate gates which divert some of the flow of water in the Assiniboine River to a 29 km long diversion channel that empties into Lake Manitoba near Delta Beach. This helps prevent flooding on the Assinboine down river from the diversion, including in Winnipeg, where the Assiniboine River meets the Red River. During the flood of spring 2011, the Portage Diversion handled roughly half the flow of Niagara Falls. 

Prior to construction of the Portage Diversion in 1970, the area directly around the George Blight farm was susceptible to flooding.  Close-by neighbors experienced major flooding in the 1940s and 1950s.  The following pictures depict areas close to the George Blight farm (top photo shown on the road -  Fred Metcalfe, Wilfred Blight, Evelyn Blight, Jim Blight, Irene Blight, Annie Blight & unknown lady):

11.  Did you know...plowing bees were held in the district as needed, either to assist those in need due to illness or for fun competition?  The following pictures illustrate such an occasion in the 1940s in the Mill Creek District which is a few miles from the George Blight farm.  This plowing bee is
on the Trew farm at SW 27-11-4 and includes neighbors Bob Trew, Ron Craig, Mel Trew, Col Galbraith, Jim Galbraith, Stan Kirton, & Earle Thomas (sister Eva married Hugh Blight).



12.  Did you know...in 1950 when the United Farm Women disbanded, they decided to put a christening font in the Oakville United Church in honour of Isabella Blight?  Verna and Floyd Blight (Leslie/George & Isabella) were asked to have Dianne baptised at the dedication of the font - the first baby to be baptised using the new font.  This silver font is still used today for all baptisms at the Oakville United Church and is beautifully enclosed in a freestanding, oak cabinet. 
The engraving is as follows:
IN LOVING MEMORY
MRS. ISABELLA M. BLIGHT
1869 ~ 1945
THE PIONEER MOTHER WHO OPENED HER HOME FOR THE FIRST CHURCH SERVICE IN THE OAKVILLE DISTRICT.




/submitted by Verna Blight
13. Did you know...Ernest H. Reid (husband of Retta Blight/George & Isabella) wrote textbooks for Canadian schools in the 1950's?  Irene Blight
(Wilfred/George & Isabella) used his arithmetic books and his Canadian History Book:  Canada, Land of the Beaver throughout her rural school teaching days in the late 1950's and early 1960's.  In her opinion, they were wonderful!


















14.  Did you know...George's Uncle Eli (younger brother to George Sr) emigrated from England and came West from Ontario to Manitoba in the late 1880's? 


He travelled by train and onboard met two gentlemen:  Finlay Robertson (grandfather of Verna Robertson Blight) and John Elliot.  The three men spent the winter entrenched together in a ravine (slough) on the open prairie just south of Oakville, MB.  Imagine a mud hut in a Manitoba winter!  (May have looked something like the example on the left.)




Uncle Eli eventually owned property south of Portage and lived in the area with his wife, Agnes, and daughter Ida May.  At some point before he returned to Ontario later in  his life, he left a wooden box with his nephew, George Blight.

This wooden box was handed down to Retta Blight who handed the box down to her son, Jim Reid.  The box is now with Kathy Lewis, sister of Jim. 

Uncle Eli remains somewhat mysterious to us.  Interestingly, a pistol belonging to him was left with George Blight Sr.  It was handed down multiple times until it ended up with Irene Blight who donated it to the Portage Fort La Reine Museum.  

15. 




Did you know...this is the table made by Wilfred Blight (George & Isabella) and given as a wedding gift to his nephew Laurie Foxon (oldest son of Iva & Bill) and Evelyn Foxon in 1945.
 
Wilfred commented to Laurie: 'I made it big enough to handle the twelve kids that you say you plan to have Laurie'...and this became a standing joke between them.  Apparently, Evelyn wasn't consulted about having a dozen children and they ended up having six.  The table was well used by the family and is still in use in the home of Robyn Gitzel, great-granddaughter of Iva, daughter of Bob & Betty Hill.

/submitted by Betty Hill






16.  Did you know...Laura Adams (George & Isabella) studied to become a Registered Nurse at the Portage General Hospital in 1928, possibly inspired by her close relationship with her Aunt Margaret Clark (Isabella's sister) & Dr. Will Clark?  Their daughter, little Margaret Clark, died at four years of age and her tiny doll in a nurse's uniform was given by Aunt Margaret to Laura.  The doll has since been returned to the Clark family.  Coincidentally, the last medical procedure by Dr. Clark prior to his debilitating stroke was to deliver Laura Adam's baby girl, Janet in 1938.

                             Laura in the O.R. Uniform (on the right)












   




Little Margaret Clark is pictured holding her dolls on the left of the photo.




/submitted by K Pohl








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