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Since 1932 Waskesiu Bungalow Cabins have provided families a comfortable and affordable place to enjoy a holiday in PANP. With easy access to playgrounds, a marvellous sand beach, and a convenient store, a family had everything they needed. McDiarmids, Manvilles, Bakers, and Real Robin got to know their many repeat customers over the years. One extended family’s booking was always the same. They reserved five waterfront cabins in a row for two weeks and settled in to enjoy the Park and each other’s company. On a sign over the door, each cabin was labelled with a number and the name of a province or state like 14 New Brunswick or 15 North Dakota. Imagine the jokes made about staying in ‘British Columbia’ or ‘Montana’, when your holiday was actually in a cabin at Waskesiu.
“My first memories of Waskesiu are from 1933, when our family rented a Manville cabin along the lake front. I don’t remember much about the holiday except the beautiful sandy beach. There were thirty-six cabins and the office was at the corner on the lake front, which would now be Bunting Street. ”
By Marj Matheson in Waskesiu Memories, Volume II, edited by Dorell Taylor
“We made it a habit to stay at Manville’s Bungalow Cabins. Ray [Manville, owner] was a great guy, always remembered us by name and seemed so happy to see us. At first, we took one of the little cabins near the playground….As our stays got longer and the family grew, we would get the large unit next to the corner cabin. Ray said he needed to keep the corner available for John Diefenbaker and knew that we wouldn’t be throwing any boisterous parties. When the Prime Minister was there, security police used to patrol the block continuously, day and night, in their large black cars, watching for anything that could be a disturbance.”
By Doreen Kerby, Waskesiu Memories, Volume III, edited by Dorell Taylor
Long-time owner Ray Manville was a well-liked businessman and boss. Rodger Setka wrote this about him in Waskesiu Memories, Volume III:
"Ray Manville was a super boss and he taught me a lot about the business world. He gave me lots of rope and held on to the other end just in case. He taught me the meaning of responsibility as well as proper use of authority. I don’t ever remember him without a big smile and happy attitude about everything it seemed. He was a big round man with a big round face. Sort of an everyday Santa Clause who loved to kid around. He loved little kids and was always giving them candies or some other trinket from the store. I worked for him for four summers. Started as cabin boy and left as Manager."
Ron Clancy, an employee of another business, the Milk Bar, was the beneficiary of Ray’s generous spirit too.
“August 30, 1950, was a cold and rainy night and I had missed the bus to P.A. due to Jimmy not arriving to take over until after the bus had left. Ray had come down to the Milk Bar to say good-bye to me and asked how I was going to get to P.A. I told him I would hitch hike and he said, “No way, you can take my car!” He said to leave it with his daughter, Barbara, in P. A. It was a brand new Fleetline Pontiac with 67 miles on the odometer. He had just bought it in P. A. and driven it to the lake – I was sixteen years old at the time!”
Waskesiu Memories, Volume III.
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