My Roots

I trace my roots in the Spruce Woods area back to 1881. My Great Great Grandfather, Richard Brandon, was working on the construction of the railroad. When the tracks reached Douglas Manitoba he decided to homestead north of Douglas and become a farmer.
One of Richard’s children was Mathew Brandon. Mathew continued the farming tradition and raised his own family on his farm site which today is 1 mile east of the the junction of highway #1 and highway #10.
Mathew’s children included Eileen. Eileen was born in 1920 and is my maternal Grandmother. on January 29th 2023, Eileen celebrated her 103rd birthday. At some point in the early 1970’s Eileen’s first few grandchildren were old enough to talk but young enough to trip over their words and “Grandma” came out as “Bumbi” (pronounced Bum-Bee). Her husband Keith, loved the nickname and made sure it stuck. For the last 50 years Eileen has been better known as Bumbi.

Bumbi still lives on her own at 103, as she tests the upper limits of a 55+ condo community’s age rules. Bumbi has very much adopted my wife Sharla and the two of them scheme to beat me as a team in 3 person cribbage. Sundays in our house are reserved for Bumbi. It’s her time to get cat snuggles, enjoy the fireplace and have a homecooked meal.
My paternal grandparents first came to Brandon when my Grandfather, Dave Dzogan was hired to be an automotive mechanics instructor at Assiniboine Community College when it first opened it’s automotive program in 1966. Dave remained at ACC until his retirement in 1991. Olive Dzogan, my Grandmother, worked at BU as the Student Residence Administrator. Dave has now passed, but Olive is set to celebrate her 95th birthday on March 1st 2023.
I was born in Winnipeg, but spent a lot of my childhood at the Connon dairy farm at the east end of Richmond ave in what is now an industrial park.
I chose to move to Brandon in 2000 to start my business, Summus Inc, and later settled in Douglas in 2007. The building I now live in and run Summus from, was originally a hotel built by CP Rail around 1880-81. Although I can’t know for sure, I like to imagine that my Great Great Grandfather spent at least one night in this building before walking to his homestead and starting his life on the prairie.