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Season 3

Andy Russell
Jack Morton
Father Lacombe
Bill Twan
David Thompson
William Roper Hull
Louis Riel
Jerome and Thaeus Harper
James Gladstone
Bert Sheppard
Harry Hargrave
Paddy Cripps
Pat Burns

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Bill Twan

Bill Twan grew up on horseback. He left home at the age of 13 and cowboyed on neighbouring ranches for 10 years. In 1937 he went to work for the Alkali Lake Ranch. The boss’s daughter Paddy rode with the cowboys and she and Bill became good friends.

The ranch weathered some of the hardest times in Canadian history, World War 1 then the Great Depression. It took its toll and in 1939 Wynn Johnson sold the ranch to the Riedemann’s. Bill became the cow boss under the new owners and was every inch a leader. If there was a tough job to do, he’d take it on himself and lead by example. He was a tough boss and if you couldn’t do the job he’d sure let you know, but he was fair and always went the extra mile.

Bill’s skill with a rope was uncanny. He’s renowned for such feats as roping an eagle out of the sky, dropping a loop on a huge black bear and branding a moose. With his skill with horses and his love of speed he naturally went from riding broncs to jumping, racing and roman riding. He was a tough competitor in roping events well into his late sixties.

Bill always used to say, “You’re no kind of cowboy at all if at the end of a long hard day you ever look after yourself before you look after your horse.

A cowboy till the end, Bill Twan passed away in 1987.

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