Bert and Miriam Tieman
Bert and Miriam Tieman met aboard their ship as they immigrated to Canada in 1920, Bert from Holland and Miriam from England. They were married in Calgary in 1926. The Tiemans moved to the Peace Country in 1927 and settled in Grande Prairie in 1946.
Bert and Miriam opened their home to care for children with disabilities and through that came to be involved with the Peace School of Hope and Barrydale Dorm. Miriam volunteered with the Women’s Institute to sew curtains and quilts for the dorm while Bert taught woodworking.
Lloyd Olley was a long time friend of Bert’s. The two men met at the Grande Prairie museum. Lloyd says Bert was a wonderful carpenter and cabinetmaker and when the Association for Retarded Children opened a workshop, Bert spent many hours teaching the kids how to use the tools and saws. Bert traveled to many of the municipalities in the North and South Peace Area to get support for the building of the Peace School of Hope and the Dorm.
Bert sure did his share when it came to the Retarded Children’s School. All the time and effort that he put in on that was amazing.
Lloyd remembers how his neighbour Bert was able to convince him to attend many community meetings.
He’d phone me up and say ‘Are you going to this meeting?’ and I’d say ‘I don’t think I’ll go tonight.’ He’d say ‘You get yourself over here and you pick me up at 8 o’clock. You’re going to that meeting. We need you down there.’ Well OK. We did that for years, the same thing. He wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Bert not only volunteered his expertise to the school but also advocated for the handicapped in the community. He did not hesitate to express his opinions. An article concerning Approved Home Programs printed in the Daily Herald Tribune in 1974 included quotes from persons with disabilities. One submission in particular, a note from a seven year old boy, prompted Bert to reply with this letter to the editor.
Bert came to be referred to as the “Father of the Association” as a tribute to his tremendous contributions in its formative years.