RICHARD EDWARD HADLAND (DICK)
1924 ~ 2012
“Never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labour of man. When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers therefore are the founders of civilization.” ………..Daniel Webster
Dick was born in Virden, Manitoba on February 22, 1924. After he had a brain hemorrhage in September 2010, he had not been able to communicate easily. He died in Dawson Creek
January 30, 2012.
In 1928, Dick moved from Woodnorth, Manitoba with his Father, Mother & 2 brothers (Austin and Roger) to Baldonnel, BC. This is where he grew up: going to school, playing hockey at the corner and working on the farm.
In 1938 he and Johnny Simpson stayed at Monica Storrs ’Abbey’ while they were attending High School in Fort St John.
In 1942 he attended Craigdarroch Castle (predecessor of the University of Victoria) for Senior Matriculation.
That summer he worked as a chainman for Duncan Cran BCLS, as they surveyed the road to the Beaton River Airport which was on the Northwest Staging Route during WW II.
In 1943, he enrolled at the Royal Roads Naval Officers’ Training School in Victoria. He was discharged due to a damaged eye and an old knee injury. Dick was particularly proud of his time at Royal Roads, and would have been very proud to have been able to serve his country during the war. He paid tribute to many of his friends who didn't return from overseas on his last trip to the college when Marion got her Masters degree at the same school. Needless to say Dick was very proud of her accomplishment.
In 1945 he was his brother Austin’s Best Man.
He attended the University of British Columbia, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1947. While attending there, he continued to play hockey, this time for the UBC Thunderbirds.
He loved farming and in 1947 he engaged in a family effort to develop the present day farm across the Beaton River. His father had purchased an Army Surplus TD 14 cat and a WD9 tractor and so Dick embarked on a lifelong venture to farm ‘across the Beaton’. Many enduring friendships were made during the development of the farm, including Don & Eva Kruse, Paul Stahlke and Herb Lindley. Herbie in particular, felt like the Hadlands were his family. He was always impressed with the co-operation and work ethic of the family. Recently he shared a telling story depicting the Hadland Family culture. He recounted on one occasion as the men left the dinner table one of the brothers undertook to tell him to do a certain job. The boy’s father halted the group and admonished them by saying that ‘in this house we do not tell, we only suggest’. I think this speaks volumes of how Dick developed his own family’s culture.
It was in 1947 that he met Arla and took her to a Halloween Dance at Baldonnel. He ended the party with appendicitis. After surgery Arla nursed Dick back to health. This was followed by their marriage in 1948. This marriage resulted in the birth of Terry in 1949, Randy in 1952 and Marion in 1957. This led to a busy period of farming and raising their children. Another family pattern mentioned was Dick’s flair for making good porridge. All the Hadland men do this.
A house was built in Dawson Creek in 1954/55 as Terry needed to go to school. A house on the farm was built in 1964. A grain elevator was added in 66/67 becoming a regional landmark.
Dick’s love of quality farm machinery led to his involvement and part-ownership of Wepsan Sales. This was an International Harvester and Toyota Dealership. Explains why he liked buying Toyota vehicles, including a RAV 4 in 2010.
He contributed to his community in many ways. Dick was President of the South Peace Seed Cleaning Co-op from 1970 – 1974, served on the Canadian Grain Commission in the mid 70’s and won First Place for the Best Grain Sheaves at the Dawson Creek Fall Fair in 1977.
He was active in supporting local Minor Hockey by being a coach and a Commissioner. Both Terry and Randy benefited from this volunteer work. When Randy and Doreen’s son Ti m was involved in Minor Hockey Grandpa paid close attention. He ‘knew’ when to phone Randy and Doreen’s to find out how Tim’s game went. Tim remembers one occasion when he excitedly told his grandpa that he had scored 5 goals and assisted on 4. His grandfather’s response was “You could have done better”.
This was an example of his attention to excellence.
He also helped with the first speed skating oval in Dawson Creek. This was during the days when ice preparation and snow clearing was all done by hand. Dick’s sons Terry and Randy participated in this sport. This is where Randy met his future wife Doreen. (Her father was also involved)
It should be noted that Dawson Creek was one of the birthplaces of Canadian Competitive Speed Skating. The family can be proud that Dick participated in these early beginnings of a National Sport.
Dick’s life changed with the passing of Arla in 1984. Together they had raised their family and developed a successful farm producing wheat, canola and certified Creeping Red Fescue. Thus began his phasing into retirement.
On February 2, 1985 he met Luella at a Groundhog Day Singles Dance in Fort St. John. They were married in 1986.
A trip to Expo 86 in Vancouver included Megan and Jenny.
He enjoyed travel and visiting with relatives old and new. On cruises to the South Pacific and the Panama Canal, he sought new sights in company with Luella. This last Cruise culminated in a cross Canada Rail Tour from Halifax to Vancouver.
With Luella’s encouragement Dick was actively engaged in the blending of his and her families. Both of Louella’s sons, Jeff and Steve were employed in the family farm and formed an attachment with Dick. In Luella’s words ‘Dick restored their faith in mankind by being a role model’.
Dick continued his support of his local community by clearing the sidewalks in the neighbourhood of his new home, with a snow blower.
He formed a strong attachment with both of Luella’s daughters, Jenny and Megan.
Grandchildren plus Great Grandchildren were now happening. He was very proud of all his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Dick and Luella took an active interest in the hockey careers of Grandsons Tim and Arlo.
When Annalei Florient (Randy & Doreen’s daughter) asked her daughter Molly about her favourite memory of GG she said: “He gave me love.” Even though few words were ever exchanged between Molly and GG, Love was present, when words were not. He always had a twinkle in his eye for his Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren!
In the past year and a half, Dick had a life struggle in which he was lovingly supported by Luella and the whole of his blended family. He was recently the client of a speech therapist who was helping him with his speech.
Randy said Dick hated taking pills all his life. Luella recounts that he had to take many pills during his illness. She thought that if she explained the purpose of these pills that he would be more accepting. She said the first white pill was to reduce an itchy skin condition. His immediate response was “That pill does not do one damn bit of good.”
One of Dick’s last pleasures was having Luella drive him in the van to visit in the countryside. An unforgettable trip to visit Brother Austin in November 2010 caught Austin cutting trees up for his woodpile. Austin had just turned 90 and he was found using his brand new chain saw. Dick’s observation made to me later, the one word I heard him distinctly say: “Remarkable”.
His last trips were to Megan’s on Christmas Day 2011and to Taylor to celebrate his sister-in-law Evelyn’s 90th Birthday at the Annual Hadland/Hill get-together Boxing Day 2011.
His daughter Marion came up during his last days. On Saturday she fed him lasagne (his favourite) followed by pumpkin pie with lots of whipped cream. This was totally appropriate for all the Hadland boys were well trained to love eating sweets and that characteristic has been embraced.
Dick passed away Monday January 30, 2012 at 87 years of age.
Dick had a long life well lived and was lovingly supported by his family.
It has been said that Dick was lucky to have been married to 2 wonderful women.
A Celebration of Life service was held Monday, February 6, 2012 at Bergeron Funeral Chapel, Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Dick,
may be made by donation to the
‘Rotary Manor Care Facility’
1121 - 90th Avenue, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, V1G 5A3
‘Dawson Creek Minor Hockey Association’
PO Box 1032,Dawson Creek, British Columbia, V1G 4H9