W. Clifford & Elizabeth (Bert) Blight

Cliff's story about his marriage to Bert

The following text was written by Clifford, he was married in 1933.

After spending four years teaching in Angusville, I took a new position as Assistant Principal in the Village of Isabella, a distance of 46 miles south and east from the former town. The salary was the same, but this gave me the opportunity to teach some high school classes. Isabella was one of the schools in the Miniota Municipal School District, a unique arrangement proposed by William Iverach whereby the school unit was governed by a School Board which was elected on the same basis as the Municipal Council.

Forty six miles across country was a long trip even by car in the thirties, and only one trip by car to visit my sweetheart in Angusville was sufficient to make us agree to a December wedding, if I could arrange living accommodations in Isabella. This was accomplished and the wedding set for December 27. 

Since the railroads ran east-west, and no bus routes were yet established running north-south, some winter transportation would have to be arranged or else, travel from Isabella to Angusville via Portage la Prairie by rail, a distance of some 350 miles. 

The solution; why not hire a team of horses and use a covered sleigh which was used to take the children to school. A team of prize winning horses was hired from Harry Reid and I bravely set off with one of the Shurvels who has a girlfriend in Birtle. There was no scarcity of snow that winter and the temperature hovered around 45 below zero. We made Birtle at noon, where the horses were fed and rested. The trip continued about one o'clock. One of the horses had a cough and, as one could not trot the horses in such cold weather, the last 26 miles was covered at the average speed of a mile each 16 minutes. Some five hours later I was still six miles from my destination and debated whether I should call in for more wood or push on.  I knew that I would be delayed by an invitation to supper, so I suffered the cold and continued. 

I was warmly welcomed by my future wife and her family at their home which also included a welcoming from their dog who sensed that someone was arriving that day. 

The team and sleigh was used for transportation for a Christmas Dinner at the Ahroyds, and I discovered later that wherever the horses were stabled, the cold was spread to the stock. 

The wedding took place as scheduled in the Chaytor home, with a sit down supper for many relatives including my father and mother who had come to spend Christmas with my sister and her husband. The only person made unhappy by the event was the Minister, who had to drive eight miles in a cutter. He thought all weddings should take place in summer time. 

My brother-in-laws hired the town hall, where neighbours and friends came to wish use well.

Two days later we started back to Isabella on our honeymoon. Not only was there sufficient wood for the trip back to Isabella, but all our worldly goods were packed in the covered sleigh. We planned to stop over night in Birtle and we arrived in time to have our wedding picture taken by a professional photographer. Although we tried to keep the picture hidden, it has turned up at different places. Such as, on the piano in an uncle's home near London Ontario when we visited there during the war. Incidently our stay in Ontario included a visit to Niagra Falls where we had our second honeymoon, this time accompanied by our six year old son. 

The following morning we picked up Mr. Shurvel. We arrived in Isabella around noon, where we established our home for the next three and a half years. 

The covered sleigh was the common bob sleigh with a grain box as the base for the canvas cover raised about five feet above the floor of the box. The entrance was through a door in the back or through another door at the front, a slot was provided for the lines. The seat consisted of two planks along each side of the box. The stove was small, home-made from a small 5 gallon drum with a pipe leading through the roof. As far as warmth was concerned, the covered sleigh was comfortable, but one cannot say the same of the seats especially for a five or six hour drive. Never the less it was more convenient than the train trip which might have taken two or three days each way. 

Footnote, "my sister and her husband" is Margaretta (Blight) and Ernest Reid.  Bert was older than Cliff, Cliff was also her teacher in Angusville.

Cliff's retirement as reported by University of Regina

Newspaper clipping - Blight to document Regina Campus history
As teacher, registrar and campus secretary W. Clifford Blight has watched more than 5,000 students graduate from the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus, and its predecessor, Regina College. 

Mr. Blight retires from his current position as campus secretary on June 30, and will be on sabbatical leave for the next year; he plans to document the history of Regina. Campus. In 1973, Mr. Blight will assume new duties as head of the adult admissions program, an area in which he has maintained a constant interest during his long service to the university. 

Born at Oakville, Man. Mr. Blight taught in Manitoba from 1928 to 1937. He graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics. During the Second World War, he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as an armament instructor and was later given responsibility for instructor training. In 1945, be began teaching at Regina College and devoted much of his time to veterans returning to school. in 1952, having earned. a Master of Science in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Mr. Blight was named assistant to the dean years later, he was appointed associate registrar when the college was granted university status. 

At the first Regina Campus convocation in 1965, Mr. Blight participated in his daughter's admittance to convocation by placing around her neck the hood symbolizing the Bachelor of Arts degree, a task he has since performed for several thousand graduates. In 1967, he was named registrar and campus secretary, filling both positions until 1970 when he assumed full-time duties as campus secretary. 

As secretary, he has been responsible for official university records of all faculty, campus and university meetings. 

Mrs. Dorothy Palmer, who. has been Mr. Blight's secretary for almost 16 years, will also be leaving the campus secretary's office. As of July 1, she will take up new duties in the adult admissions program. 

Obituary - WILLIAM CLIFFORD BLIGHT (Registrar Emeritus)

Cliff Blight passed away suddenly at his home, in Winnipeg, on Wednesday, October 26, 1994. 

Cliff had a lifelong interest in education. He graduated from Brandon Normal School, the University of Manitoba and University of Wisconsin. We began his teaching career at rural schools in Grandview, Angusville, Isabella and The Pas. During the Second World War he served as a bombing instructor with the Commonwealth Air Training Plan. From 1945 to 1974 Cliff was associated with Regina College, now the University of Regina, where he played an important role in the development of the university as instructor in mathematics, Assistant to the Dean, Registrar, and Secretary. Throughout his long career, Cliff had an abiding interest in his students and their career

In his retirement, Cliff developed a great love for photography and was aiming at photographing each of the wild flower, of the Prairies. 

Cliff was born al Oakville, Man. on July 114, 1908 into a large and close family. He was the last surviving child of George and Isabella Blight. He was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth (Bert) in 1982. He is survived by his children, William John (Donna) and Elizabeth Ann; I grandchildren, J. Stephen (Lori) and David Clifford; a brother-in-law William Chaytor and many nieces and nephews. 

A graveside service will be held at the Oakville, Man. Cemetery on Saturday, October 29 at 2:30 p.m., the Rev. Heather Funk officiating. Reception to follow in Oakville Seniors Centre. If desired, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the W. C. Blight Scholarship Fund I at the University of Regina, or to a charity of one's choice. 

Obituary - ELIZABETH A. BLIGHT (nee CHAYTOR)  Nick name Bert

Peacefully after a lengthy illness on Sunday, April 3, 1983 at her son's residence, Elizabeth Blight, aged 76 years, dearly beloved wife of Clifford Blight of 804-111 Lockwood Drive, Regina, Sask. Besides her husband, she is survived by one son William John Blight and his wife Donna; one daughter Elizabeth Ann Blight, both of Winnipeg; two grandsons, J. Stephen and David C. Blight; two brothers, Mr. William Chaytor of Winnipeg, Mr. Adam Chaytor of Angusville, Man. ; one nephew Arthur Chaytor of Winnipeg; one niece Mavis Fenn of Calgary.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Desjardins Funeral Chapel, 357' DesMeurons St., St. Boni-face, with Rev. William Vincent officiating. Cremation has taken place. The interment of the ashes will take place at a later date in the Oakville Manitoba Cemetery. Donations may be made to the charity of your choice.

The family wishes to thank the Victorian Order of Nurses, the Home Care Pro-gram of the St. Boniface Hospital and their staff for the care and kindness. 

Clifford's family tree

  • Clifford William Blight 1908-1994
    • wife ELIZABETH BLIGHT (nee CHAYTOR) Nick name Bert 1907 - 1983
    • son - William Blight 
      • wife Donna Blight (nee Crosland) 1936 - 2008
      • son Stephen Blight - email facebook
        • wife Lori Blight (nee Kostelniak) 1958 - 2008
        • son - Jordan Blight facebook
        • son Jared Blight facebook
        • wife Donna Blight (nee Hnytka)
        • daughter Brea
        • son Riley
      • son David Blight 1963 - 2009
        • wife Marzena
        • son Henry
        • son Willie
    • daughter - Elizabeth Ann Blight 1944-2019

Other references