From the eulogy by her daughter, Marsha
Did you hear the wind blow the other night? It was a warm, strong force and it made its presence known but now it is quieter.
First and foremost, Olinda Genevieve Brand Tindall was a proud Canadian. Born to Astrid Brand, a beautiful Norwegian immigrant and Ole Brand, an American of Norwegian descent, she was raised in Borden, Saskatchewan and loved every moment of life there. She joined two churches, every club and every sport just so she wouldn’t miss anything. She and her friends skated on the Borden creek which surrounded the town, skied down the river hills, sailed on Redberry Lake, golfed on the rough course, played tennis, put on plays and musicals at the school, belonged to C.G.I.T., cheered on their favourite hockey team (her dad coached and her six brothers played), played ball and loved life.
As a teenager, Mom also started piano lessons and earned her ATCM from the Toronto Conservatory so she would be able to teach music. All this in a village of 197 people! When Mom left for teacher’s college in Saskatoon, her friends gave her a locket to remind her of their fun together and she never forgot them. She always loved to go back and always wrote letters to her pals the rest of her life.
Her dad, Ole Brand, was a strong Liberal and Mom often accompanied him to political meetings. These were pioneer times on the prairie and people had to find ways to build a country where everyone could survive and then succeed. This early introduction to political action became a life-
Mom was Bud Miller’s constituency secretary for 7 years and we all know about her fearless letter writing campaigns when she felt an injustice was occurring or she simply felt the need to challenge others errant logic. As recently as this fall, she took on the challenge of providing an unrestricted polling station for the Hearthstone and would not be denied. Last week, she was writing a letter in support of a member of Grace United. Her amazing hand writing was large and sure and her signature was as full of confidence as it had always been.
During the 1930’s, Ole Brand hauled water from the river to keep the beautiful boulevard trees along Borden’s street from dying. From this early example, Mother continued to learn about trees and plants. The trees in our yard were planted in sequence to provide the most colour for the longest possible time in spring. Just as her dad had done, she hauled water by pail to keep the trees and flowers going during the summer heat. After she and Dad and the Nelson’s determined we needed a good horse show for this area, they formed a committee and produced a wonderful event called the Silver Spur Galaxy Horse Show, still talked about fondly by all who attended. Although she couldn’t show a horse, she could sure grow flowers and that became her beautiful contribution. Every year, the pots were planted, nursed along until August and then moved to the Civic Centre for the big show. They were wonderful and made the ring and foyer look like no other show.
After securing a small loan from a neighbour, Mom was able to attend Normal School in Saskatoon, in 1937. Her first job was at Thistledale School which was close to home and she was paid the grand sum of $200.00 a year. But it was a job when many did not have one and with that money, she repaid the loan to the neighbour. From there she moved to Marsden School. Although she met many of the eligible bachelors of the area, mom was looking for a partner to build a life with who had not inherited a farm and not someone who would have to take orders from another generation. She finally found a handsome cattle buyer named Marshall Tindall who had big dreams and a lot of integrity. They married in 1942 and moved to Lloydminster.
Soon she was joining everything! She had Dad joining everything! Some things she had to create so she could join them! She loved to be a part of the community and its people. When Dad was a Rotarian, she was a RotariAnn right down to Rotary plaid socks, when he was on the chamber executive, she wrote his speeches and when he was on the Exhibition Board, she helped with the Agricultural Short Courses.
In 1939, Mom had attended the University of Saskatchewan’s Emma Lake Art School and studied art history under Dr. G. Snelgrove. This opportunity had a profound effect on her life. In 1948, Mom co-
Programming was her main area of involvement. Gesille Folsberg, Paul Braid, Roy Gunn, Alice Tyler and Alex Janvier were all brought in to instruct. As well, Mom belonged to the Midwest Canadian Artists as a member and historian. She helped with inaugural Arts Festival for the Arts Without Borders. She was especially thrilled to be appointed to the Alberta Arts Foundation in 1977 and served until 1980. Mom also served on the Advisory Board during the planning and construction of the Barr Colony Heritage Cultural Centre.
While visual arts were often her focus, Mom also loved the performing arts. She was a committee member of the Overture Concert Series Committee for 10 years during the 50’s and 60’s. Often Billie and I would have to be on our best behavior as the performers would be invited to our home before or after a performance. And while Dad fully supported these cultural adventures, he had often been up at 5:00 am to buy cattle out in the country and by the time the lights would grow dim, he would nod off. No one would notice except when the metal chair he would rest his foot on would suddenly slide noisily across the wooden floor of the gym!
Mom was also the original organizer of the Eastern Star Carol Festival. She was a 70 year member of the Eastern Star and a Past Matron. She and Dad loved to attend Shrine Events when he joined the Shrine. For all these efforts, Mother was named Honorary Parade Marshall in July, 2002 during the Year of the Arts. In 2007, Mom was honoured to receive the first annual Gwen Mottram Arts Volunteer Award in recognition of her life long commitment to the arts. In later years, she served on the Lloydminster Library Board.
Of course, some of my favourite memories of Mom involve horses. I loved the long trail rides the Lloydminster Riding Club took on summer weekends to ranches around the region. Mom was the secretary for 10 years and the unofficial photographer. I loved on our cattle drives to and from the north pastures with mom’s favourite cowboys, George and Frank Mann and Norm Doull. Mom was the cook and would arrive midway with a great lunch except the time when she and Dad were a little displeased with one another. Thank goodness for KFC!
I loved the outfits she had made for me so I could show my horse at the fair. One day, the judge said he loved the outfit but I needed a better horse! The hunt was on and continued for years through many horses until Mom convinced Dad to buy a brown Arabian gelding named Charlie for me. He did so, reluctantly, and Charlie became a once in a lifetime horse for our family. I loved coming home from horse shows and telling her what we had won. Or watching her face when she was in the stands to see our triumphs.
Mom loved to take us to the cabin at Sandy Beach. It was wonderful. The horses were in a pasture beside the cabin, our friends were all along the lake and we didn’t have a care in the world. Sandwiches for lunch, berry picking afternoons, campfire evenings and good books on rainy days. Mom eventually had other cabins at Turtle Lake where she spent happy hours with Mervin and his family. I loved that Mom had a need for her own business and set about to acquire property. It was not a huge undertaking by today’s standards but it was hers and she made all the decisions. Although she had given Dad great support in his business, there was satisfaction in her own business success but few heard about it or even knew she had become an independent business person.
Mom and Dad took us travelling every summer. Of course, art galleries, museums, symphonies, concerts and historical sites were always on the agenda. Mom became the official photographer.
A huge part of Mom’s life has been Grace United Church. She was on the Manse Building Committee, The Christian education Committee Chair for 4 years, Sunday School Superintendent for 10 years and U.C.W. President for 1 year. More importantly, the people of Grace Church became her dear friends, her support group and morning coffee friends. She loved them all dearly and never wanted to miss anything going on at the church. And speaking of coffee, Mom loved her group of friends at Tim Horton’s. How she looked forward to their discussions, their jokes, their hockey talks (Go Oilers and get out the car flag) and their road trips to the Back Forty. They were all very special people in her life.
Our mother also loved Queen Elizabeth. Christmas morning didn’t start until we had heard the Queen’s message. She loved to fly the Canadian Flag on Canada Day, to listen to the CBC and Hockey Night in Canada. She loved hummingbirds, beautiful flowers and fall colours, opera, KD Lang, and Stompin Tom, good cars and well behaved horses. She loved Raf Sayeed and how he loved seniors and cared about her. She loved beautiful clothes topped off by just the right hat. She loved trying new recipes cut from Chatelaine Magazine and old recipes saved in her mother’s handwriting and that Billie Lou made the same recipes and set an elegant table. She loved to write a Christmas letter and receive the cards from all her old friends and relatives and she loved when Marshall played his sax, Win sang or Alison played her violin. She loved watching figure skating, especially the dancers. What a full and wonderful life right to the end!
A useful life; she made a good contribution; she helped build a community; she was a role model; a strong woman with ideas and opinions freely expressed but without malice. She chose Billie and me to be her daughters. She provided us with all the best life has to offer. Her echo is heard in her beloved granddaughters and grandson and great grandchildren. Their music is her music. Their art is her art. Their love of beauty and nature is hers. There is still a soft breeze blowing us forward.