Oral Histories

Merv Lawton


Merv Lawton

Coming to Moab was like going around in a big circle. South Africa, southern hemisphere, it’s summertime there when it’s wintertime here. It was a warm country. From there I went to Ontario, a little bit colder. From there I went to northern Saskatchewan, very cold in winter. Then I was moved from northern Saskatchewan down to Moab. And that was like coming around in a circle. We found the same plants, the same kind of birds as we had in South Africa. House sparrows, for example, ravens, eagles. Different models of eagles, you know different model of the raven. We had more crows actually than ravens.

Q: So are you sort of back home?

A: Yeah, very much so, it’s back home. The weeds, you’ve got the same weeds in the garden. Goatheads.

Q: Goatheads?

A: Yeah we have goatheads there and we have goatheads here.

Q: Tumbleweed?

A: No, we didn’t have tumbleweed. You know and the flowers, in the flower gardens, we have the same flowers here as we had in South Africa. Very different from what you have up in Canada

Q: Do you have any comments to make about Moab or your life?

A: I don’t have a great philosophy of life except keeping going. I’m getting older and Sam’s getting older. A few years ago we could handle things pretty much ourselves but we have to get help now. Help is hard to get.

Q: Why is that?

A: The young people nowadays are different from the young people of old…they have different ideas and they don’t have the same thoughts about work.

Q: The work ethic?

A: Yeah and this is not just Moab. This is over the whole country.

Q: Is it affluence, that they’re used to having more?

A: I don’t know what the reason is whether it’s a case of affluence or not. I think a look at the surfeit of catalogues being printed today and sent out in the mail might indicate that most of the articles being produced today have one goal in mind…”Make life easier!”

After review –

Q: Are there other points you’d like to add?

A: I would like to mention that I was always very active in sports. In school I played cricket and rugby and I was involved in boxing. At the University I was still playing rugby and cricket and played rugby representing the University team in the League and also played representing the Province for a number of years. I played against the New Zealand touring team that came to South Africa in two different games. In one I played for the Province and in the other I represented the combined Universities. In Canada, since there was no cricket or rugby, I participated more in competitive sports, racing go-carts and also hydroplanes. In Northern Saskatchewan I raced snowmobiles and when I got to Moab I raced stock cars.

Q: You mentioned your middle name of Dendy?

A: Yes, that is a family name all my brothers and I had and which I have passed on to my sons. My brothers were Alfred Dendy, Roland Dendy, and Sydney Dendy but only one was actually called “Dendy” and then I also used that as the middle name for each of my sons.

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