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Bringing Bob Nolan Home

 

Photos from the Sons of the Pioneers Performance in Winnipeg

Photos from the Bob Nolan Memorial Service

A Song about the little Clarence Nobles

 

The late Bob Nolan, one of the original founders of the Sons of the Pioneers, was born Clarence Robert Nobles in Winnipeg on April 13, 1908. His early boyhood was spent in that city before he was temporarily taken to New Brunswick for a few years. He spent the rest of his life in Arizona and California, becoming a well-known songwriter and actor in the 1930s and 40s. Americans thought of him as "The Stephen Foster of the West" because of the songs he had written. Canadians, for the most part, hardly knew him.

 

In the early part of 2012, Brandon poet and songwriter Brian Bergquist conceived the idea of "Bringing Bob Nolan Home" by booking the current Sons of the Pioneers for concerts in Manitoba.  Rarely happening in music groups, the Sons of the Pioneers have never retired. Since their inception in 1934, they have performed continuously, adding new musicians as necessary but always keeping the unique harmony that made them famous. They still have a large and loyal fan base.

 

There were three shows in Brandon (October 26 & 27th) at the Manitoba Centennial Auditorium; one in Winkler (October 28) in the PW Enns Centennial Concert Hall and the final concert was in the Pantages Playhouse Theatre in Winnipeg on October 29th. The Sons of the Pioneers gave their audience the Pioneer sound of the 1940s and 50s and the crowds, though not large, were appreciate and very enthusiastic. Talented Eli Barsi and her husband, John Cunningham, opened for the Pioneers. Unfortunately, Sourdough Slim was missed.

 

The Manitoba Country Music Association inducted Bob into their first Hall of Fame and presented the Sons of the Pioneers with a special award in Bob's name at their evening concert at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre. Cool Water   Tumbling Tumbleweeds

 

Earlier, Mr. Bergquist arranged to have a special memorial ceremony held at the Ft. Garry Hotel, a hundred yards from the exact place where Bob as a little boy left Winnipeg for the last time.  The participants in this private ceremony gave freely of their time out of respect for the legendary Bob Nolan. Everyone, including the Fort Garry Hotel, donated their time and services for the memorial. Everything was carefully, lovingly planned and carried out.

 

When Bob's ashes were scattered on the Mojave Desert in Nevada by his daughter 32 years ago, she retained a small box of them for herself. Until now, Bob's grandson had been unsure of how to dispose of them in an appropriate manner. Now it was evident that Brian Bergquist was the right person for the task and he was charged with finding a final resting place for them in the city of Nolan's birth. He planned the respectful ceremony carefully and had the beautiful urn engraved with Bob's name, a verse from "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" and "Poet Laureate of the West".

 

The Sons of the Pioneers (Luther & Tommy Nallie, Randy Rudd, Mark Abbott, Ken Lattimore and Ricky Boen) comprised the Honour Guard and were joined by singer, Eli Barsi, and her husband, John Cunningham. Jack Robertson of the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band led the procession with his bagpipes and the urn was carried by retired RCMP Staff Sgt. W. J. "Robbie" Robertson in his ceremonial red serge dress uniform. The eulogy was read by Brian Bergquist who also added his own emotionally moving thoughts.

 

The service was photographed by Ora and Dean Walker of Winnipeg and filmed by Ivan Traill, videographer, from Neepawa, Manitoba. Also present was Dwight McCauley, Protocol Officer from the Premier's Office.

 

The urn containing the last remains of Mr. Nolan is presently in the hands of the Manitoba Country Music Association until such time as it can be interred in the park at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Mr. Miles Trach is negotiating with the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba for this final resting place.

 

Mr. Bergquist established a special scholarship set up in Bob Nolan's name to encourage young entertainers interested in Western music: The Bob Nolan Western Music Scholarship, February 2013. The Sons of the Pioneers will judge the entrants the first year.

 


 

Photos from the Memorial Service for Bob Nolan

October 29, 2012 at the Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Photos by Ora and Dean Walker of Winnipeg

 

NOTE: THE PHOTOS BELONG TO BRIAN BERGQUIST AND MAY BE USED FREELY AS LONG AS THEY ARE CREDITED TO ORA & DEAN WALKER.

 

The urn

 

Left: Jack Robertson of the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band led the procession

Right: the urn was carried by retired RCMP Staff Sgt. W. J. "Robbie" Robertson

 

Sgt. Robbie Robertson (ret) and Jack Robertson lead the honour guard

 

Brian Bergquist reads the eulogy

 

Brian Bergquist reads the eulogy

 

Brian Bergquist speaks of his admiration for the legendary Bob Nolan

 

 

Standing, left to right: Jack Robertson, Mark Abbott, Ricky Boen, Luther Nallie, Tommy Nallie, Brian Bergquist, Ken Latimore, Randy Rudd, Sgt. Robbie Robertson (ret)

Front: John Cunningham and Eli Barsi Cunningham

 

The Sons of the Pioneers, October 29, 2012

Mark Abbott, Randy Rudd, Ricky Boen, Tommy & Luther Nallie and Ken Lattimore

 

The Sons of the Pioneers, October 29, 2012

Ken Lattimore, Randy Rudd, Ricky Boen, Tommy & Luther Nallie and Mark Abott

 

The Sons of the Pioneers, October 29, 2012

Mark Abbott, Randy Rudd, Ricky Boen, Tommy & Luther Nallie and Ken Lattimore

 

Sgt. Robbie Robertson and Brian Bergquist

October 29, 2012

 

Sgt. Robbie Robertson and Brian Bergquist

October 29, 2012

 

Eli (Barsi) and John Cunningham, Sgt. Robbie Robertson

October 29, 2012

 

Eli (Barsi) and John Cunningham

October 29, 2012

 

Sgt. Robbie Robertson in Brian Bergquist's buffalo coat

October 29, 2012

 

Ken Lattimore and Sons of the Pioneers' manager, Nolen Berry, talking with Dwight McCauley, Protocol Officer, Premier's Office

October 29, 2012

 

Mark Abbott and Sgt. Robbie Robertson

October 29, 2012

 

Sgt. Robbie Robertson and Ken Lattimore

October 29, 2012

 

Sgt. Robbie Robertson and Ken Lattimore

October 29, 2012

 

 

Sons of the Pioneers in Action

 

Ken Lattimore

October 29, 2012

 

Luther Nallie, Mark Abbott and Randy Rudd

October 29, 2012

 

Luther Nallie

October 29, 2012

 

Tommy Nallie

October 29, 2012

 

Randy Rudd

October 29, 2012

 

Ricky Boen

October 29, 2012

 

Ken Lattimore

October 29, 2012

 

Ricky Boen, Tommy Nallie and Ken Lattimore

October 29, 2012

 

John Cunningham joins his wife, Eli Barsi

October 29, 2012

 

John Cunningham joins his wife, Eli Barsi

October 29, 2012

 

Ricky Boen

October 29, 2012

 

Ricky Boen and Mark Abbott

October 29, 2012

 

Randy Rudd and Mark Abbott

October 29, 2012

 

Randy Rudd

October 29, 2012

 

Rickey Boen

October 29, 2012

 

Ricky Boen

October 29, 2012

 

Ken Lattimore

October 29, 2012

 

Eli Barsi

October 29, 2012

 

Ken Lattimore

October 29, 2012

 

Tommy Nallie

October 29, 2012

 

Luther Nallie

October 29, 2012

 

Tommy Nallie, Ricky Boen, Ken Lattimore, Luther Nallie, Randy Rudd (at the mike) and Mark Abbott

October 29, 2012

 

Ricky Boen, Tommy Nallie and Ken Lattimore

October 29, 2012

 

Ricky Boen, Tommy Nallie and Ken Lattimore

October 29, 2012

 

Eli Barsi

October 29, 2012

 

The Sons of the Pioneers on stage at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

October 29, 2012

 

Ricky Boen, Tommy Nallie, Ken Lattimore, Luther Nallie and Randy Rudd

October 29, 2012

 

Luther Nallie

October 29, 2012

 

Luther Nallie and Randy Rudd

October 29, 2012

 

Mark Abbott

October 29, 2012

 

Eli Barsi

October 29, 2012

 

Eli Barsi

October 29, 2012

 

Eli Barsi and John Cunningham

October 29, 2012

 

Ricky Boen, Tommy Nally, Ken Lattimore, Miles Trach, MCMA Board Member, Chris Ising, current President of MCMA, Luther Nallie, Randy Rudd and Mark Abbott

October 29, 2012

 

Tommy Nallie, Ken Lattimore and Chris Ising, MCMA President shaking hands with Tommy Nallie after the presentation of
the MCMA BOB NOLAN Inductee Award.

October 29, 2012