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Edwards, Donna - 2017
Edwards, George F. - 1984
Elder, Harry-Jae - 1999
Eliason, Frank - 1973

PortraitFrank Eliason

Frank Eliason was born on a farm in Sweden in 1883. He emigrated to the United States in 1902, then to Wynyard, Saskatchewan, in 1910, where he earned his living as a carpenter.

It was here he became involved in the farm movement in the winter of 1911-12, becoming the secretary of a newly-formed local of the Saskatchewan Grain Growers Association. In the years which followed, he actively promoted the consumer co-operatives, Livestock Pool and Poultry Pool movements.

In May, 1929, he assumed the position of provincial secretary of the United Farmers of Canada (Saskatchewan Section) and continued in this capacity until 1949, when the UFC was reorganized as the Saskatchewan Farmers Union. During these years he also acted as secretary to the Saskatchewan Co-operative Conference from 1929 to 1945 and was secretary-treasurer of the Hudson Bay Route Association from 1944 to 1956.

Frank Eliason labored to maintain a spark of life in the voluntary farm movement through the dark days of drought and depression of the 1930s, long after men of lesser fortitude would have given up. Although the UFC was plagued with chronic financial problems, he nonetheless continued to serve farmers, many of whom were living under the threat of loss of land and livelihood.

Early in 1940, as Russiaís armies threatened to crush Finland, he organized a group of Saskatchewan citizens of Scandinavian birth to aid Finnish victims of the war. When Norway was invaded by the German army later that same spring, the committee extended its activities and launched a campaign to raise funds to assist suffering Norwegians. Throughout the war years, the organization raised some $9,000 for Finnish war victims and $25,000 in aid of the Norwegians.

A grateful King Haakon awarded the Freedom Cross of Norway to Frank Eliason in 1946 in recognition of his services.

He died in Saskatoon on March 22, 1956.

"Nominated for the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame by the
National Farmers Union, 1973."

 

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