Dave Abel Park


In October 2013, Dave Abel shared with me the news that a Park in Transcona was named after him. Saturday June 28th 2014 marked the official opening of the Recreational Park located at 430 Harold Avenue East.

At St. Barts, we sincerely appreciate Dave, a member of the Vestry and Finance chair, his innovative ideas, financial expertise and oversight, strengthen our Ministries as we work with our parishioners and in the Windsor Park neighbourhood. Professionally he had a career in Human Resources with Manitoba Hydro, Transcona division.

Mr. Peter Martin the Master of Ceremonies who is involved with City Parks and Restorations as well as unique Transcona Hi Neighbour Program welcomed the guests and pointed out that through sheer luck the rains held off.

He then introduced Councillor Russ Wyatt, the high profile elected representative who referenced the work Dave had done in the Community for many decades, inter alia Boy Scouts, dedication to the success of public events for residents throughout the year by working on various committees which promote Transcona, Fiscal initiatives in The High School , on Board of Housing Project, to provide affordable public housing as senior individuals after selling their homes desired to stay in the neighbourhood, and later leveraging funding for projects through his involvement with the Transcona Credit Union.(TCU)

Mr. Brent Thomas CEO of Casera Credit Union, spoke about his integrity, competency and vision at TCU. It began as small credit union in an area with captive clientele base from a government corporation, and through its mission of serving the community significantly increased its Capital holdings and went on to establish CASERA Credit Union which has several branches in Winnipeg.

He added that Dave is a prolific reader, able to bring all the options to board members for discussion and remains a Director on the Board.

Credit Union Central through economies of scale provides services to Smaller Credit Unions and their personnel. CEO, Garth Manness added that Dave through his expertise in Human Resources has developed programs for the entire staff, which has enhanced customer relations, working place and financial policies.

Dave was then at the podium: He told us that on arriving in Transcona with Manitoba Hydro a short term assignment was his consideration, however community strengths in housing, school systems Grade 1 to 9 in same building, and neighbourhood camaraderie changed those initial thoughts fairly quickly.

In my opinion “The Play of the day”, I believe stemmed from the fact that his wife Norma became a school volunteer. The need for a Boy Scouts group became evident and so she volunteered Dave for this. Along with Keith Laing they established a robust unit, which celebrated Father’s day for over a decade with a camp at Bird’s Hill park attended by 135 boys Subsequently Dave was involved with Scouts Canada. The school soccer team had dismal years, few wins, the coach resigned the team disbanded. Observing his daughter’s dismay at the loss of this sporting event, he volunteered to become the soccer coach , went to the library , did all the required reading about soccer and coaching , years later the team reached the finals. In the same vein a friend encouraged him to join the Transcona Credit Union( CN shops nearby, great client base) he quickly rose to the leadership position on the Board of Directors. He acknowledged his thirst for knowledge, actively reading about advances in technology and embracing its assistance in his professional life. . As the TCU blossomed, they were not only able to give significant grants to the community but expanded and diversified into opening the Casera credit union which has branches across Winnipeg. With expertise in Human resources was able to transfer that into the Credit Central business model. Other credits were the establishment of Senior Housing with affordable rents, and the introduction of a fiscal program into the schools where the students learnt the about handling of money and investment with a readily accessible company: The school cafeteria. Dave is very humble and as he recounted his exploits realized how much he had given to Winnipeg over four decades.

An active Anglican he served with distinction at St. George’s Church which included running the garden centre for many years; now at St. Bartholomew’s he has introduced the Hanging Baskets and Planters summer event.

The fact that part of the care of this Park, one of hundreds in Transcona, is done by the nearby neighbour attests to the fibre of citizenship in this Western community of Winnipeg, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012.

A plaque was unveiled by Dave, Norma (married for 45 years-his anchor), Grandchildren and Councillor Russ Wyatt.

Photos of the Plaque unveiling, Signage of the Park, Cofounder of the Scouts(Keith Laing and wife Florence), and Friends of St. Barts who attended are shown below.

June M. James, O.M.

 Keith Laing Co-founder Boy Scouts Transcona & wife Florence
 St. Bart Friends
 Dave and Norma Abel  & Family