History

NATURE REGINA started out as the Regina Natural History Society, and is the oldest natural history society in Saskatchewan, having been in continuous existence since 1933.

ORIGIN: The Regina Natural History Society was formed in 1933 during the most devasting drought and depression that had threatened the Prairies in recorded history. High winds blew topsoil which filled ditches and covered fences. Concern for the survival of plants and animals, together with the lack of money for expensive amusements, provided incentive for formation of the Society.

Early in January 1933, four men met in the Regina Normal School to discuss the creation of a natural history society. They were Fred Bradshaw, H.C. Andrews, E.H.M. Knowles and J.H. Taylor. Bradshaw, who had studied, photographed and lectured about wildlife, had been Director of the Museum since 1928. Andrews, a science teacher who later became Principal of Saskatchewan Teachers’ College, had a very active interest in the outdoors. Knowles was a barrister who pursued the study of wildlife as a hobby, and Taylor, a Regina businessman, was an avid bird watcher who enjoyed leading field trips.

They called a meeting, and on 16 January 1933, people interested in nature gathered at the normal School and the Regina Natural History Society was born. Taylor acted as Chairman, Bradshaw was elected President, and Knowles became Secretary-Treasurer. Fred Bard, who later became Museum Director in 1947, was a charter member and second Secretary-Treasurer. The annual fee was set at 25 cents, with meetings to be held on the third Monday of each month. Bradshaw gave the first address on “Identification of Some Common Birds.”

A constitution, drafted by Knowles, was adopted at a meeting on 20 February 1933. The purposes of the Society, as set out in this constitution, were the study of natural science and the conservation of wildlife.

The first public meeting of the Society was held in March 1933. J.C. Campbell from the Department of the Interior, Ottawa, showed films on National Parks and Sanctuaries. At later meetings during the first year, lectures on birds were given. In the fall, Edgar Houldsworth spoke on the rocks of southern Saskatchewan, and H.S. McLurg gave a talk on astronomy. The first nature hikes occurred during May.

The inaugural year of the Regina natural History Society ended with 72 members.

The above information was obtained from the book: “NATURE IN TRUST” An Account of the Regina Natural History Society 1933 – 1990, published in 1992 to celebrate the Society’s sixtieth anniversary.