Bienfait Social Activity Page

Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada

Bienfait Social Life

Gatherings called Community Affairs were frequently held in the earlier days.
Some of the buildings used were the old Brick School and Boruk's boarding house, which was situated west of the Legion Hall.
The music was supplied by such musicians as Mr. Clark and Mike Murdoph.
The most popular instruments in those days were the guitar, violin, accordion and piano.
Both dancing and singing comprised an evenings, entertainment with lunch being served at the end.
The first dances in early Bienfait were held in the present day Anglican Church. (now a residence)
Dance steps popular in that day were square dances, two steps, highland fling, waltzes, turkey-trot and Charleston.
The dances usually opened with the grand march.
Dances in 1955 were held in the Union Hall and Legion Hall.

Some Musicians and Orcheatra's
from the past listed here
Various Performers:
Mrs. Parkinson
Mr. McPeak
Mr. Clark
Mike Murdoph
Val Doerr
Night Hawks
Ken Johns
Jack Fraser
Tig Mitchell
Frank Fairles
John Fraser
Saul Krivel
Robert's Revellers
Robert Miller
Stewart Doerr
Mike Miller
Robert Walliser
Miss Elsa Backman (Piano)
Blue J's
James Miller
Gerald Miller
Johnny Dunitz
Joe Meister
Peter Fahlander
Jack Doerr
Judy Rohatyn
Dean Sane
Wayne Taylor
Murray Weppler

The admission to dances was 75 cents with each member of the Orchestra receiving about $5.00 for his nights work.
They would start at 9:00 PM and end about 2 AM
If some of the people lived far away, they would party till dawn when it was safe to go home.
The most popular songs from the early days were Red Wing, Charmaine, Over the Waves, and Let the Rest of the World Go By.
The dances were truly a Social
The ladies would sit on one side of the hall, and the men on the other.
The crowds would even include the youngest members of the family.

Mr Hugh Fraser, born in Bienfait, in 1926,
has been kind enough to inform me,
Of an omission to this page, of one band
That was very popular in the 40's,
To correct this mistake,
I have listed the information on the right.
Per Hugh, This band was often booked
For up to a hundred miles around;
This meant that on weeknights
They had to hurry home
For a couple of hours' sleep before work!
Thanks for the Contribution Hugh!
later Al's Playmates
Jack Fraser- sax (Hugh's Father)
Alphonse Gisi - banjo, guitar
George Thompson - drums
Thelma Dunbar- piano
There were almost always six on stage
and over the years the following
also played for varying periods:
Cal Southernwood - trumpet
Hugh Fraser- piano, clarinet
Mike Miller - accordion
Robert Walliser - accordion

There is someone out there reading these pages, which is great,
Larry Rohatyn sent me this update on another couple bands in the area
The Twilight Kings
In Larry's words
“This band was lead by my brother Micheal Rohatyn as singer and lead guitarist;
Larry Rohatyn on accordion;
Wilfred Sane on bass fiddle;
and Ron Erdman from Frobisher on violin.
Later this group was joined by Walter Senchuk of Estevan on portable bass, guitar and vocal as well.
This group played for many a dances in the area, and in particular the Union Hall and the Legion Hall in Bienfait.”
June 1957 article, says they were an Estevan Band winner of the ACT-CKRM talent hunt show, in the Estevan Legion Auditorium

Larry remembers another group, but can't figure out the name they went by, so if anyone knows it, please let me know,
Per Larry
“Another group was led by Ed Melher, singer and guitarist;
Steve Rohatyn on accordion;
Matt Melher on violin;
and Garnet Clark on steel guitar and bass fiddle”

That's all for now, thanks for the input!


  • Last modified: 2018/02/19 15:20
  • by dlgent