A Personal Business Announcement, May 19, 2018

That is Elmer Verigin with his new monitor, looking at his program CadPro

I recently came to the conclusion that retirement is much to stressful. When a body is used to action 105% of the time, leisure becomes too difficult to adjust to.

Yes I know that we all need breaks and I do that but soon I become irritable and difficult to live with (so Marilyn admits now).

My back has been seriously compromised over the years and my step not as high as it used to be.

I saw this ad for CadPro, a computer drafting program. I had look at CADD previously but the earlier programs were too challenging and required Plotters, etc., rendering them applicable only to serious Engineering and Architectural firms.

So I investigated and now am reasonably adept at developing drawings which I used to do with old fashioned drafting boards, parallel arms, etc., and was not as exciting but just work.

My family was quick to offer projects:

  • Daughter Nona – interior renovations of her house
  • Daughter Lori and Rick – New detached garage for their new housr
  • Daughter Tamara and Kyle – interior house renovations.

The practice was good but it was a tough battle uphill to associate all the icons with an application to achieve what I knew was the intended results. Progress was very promising.

I also remember in my earlier years with Verigin Industries Limited (ViL), being the “design department” and met many clients that needed a custom house or a renovation. I enjoyed meeting these people and translating their dreams to reality. I also found that I could easily suggest changes that would render their plans much more economic. In many instances, the result was that they saved more money than what they paid for their plans. In most instances, ViL became the General Contractior.

That progressed to the design and development of:

  • 98 unit Townhouses at Glenmerry Village, Trail, B.C.
  • Dental Building, Grand Forks, B.C.
  • Various subdivisions
  • and much more

So my mind is still active, why not apply this to the plans of people who need this guidance??

So I printed some business cards and named my new enterprise:


(250) 608 2215 cell


Posted Elmer Verigin, May 20, 2018


Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society #1999 Retiring President’s Report May 21, 2018

This is the President’s Report to be delivered at the AGM Monday, May 21, 2018 at the Doukhobor Discovery Center, Castlegar, B.C.

I served as President of the former Doukhobor Heritage Retreat from 1981 through 1999. There were a few years, during the time of Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society #1999, that several Directors undertook this elected position. Now that I am voluntarily stepping down, I can vouch that the position is very challenging. I wish Jim Laktin, as incoming president, all the good wishes that can be provided.

In the end, it is the Directors and the members that require their entire commitment to ensure that this Society to continue as a success.

We can take brief snap shots at our successful history:

  • Financial contribution from fifteen families in the Doukhobor Cultural Association (DCA) in 1980 to support a loan of $150,000 to pay for the two parcels of land now owned by the DHRS #1999
  • The orderly process to selectively log the large parcel that retired the loan completely
  • The founding of Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society (DHRS) in the early 1990s by a portion of the early DCA and supporting individuals to conceive the concept of a Retreat
  • The cash contribution of 7 members to pay the $1,400 Building Permit fee for the Retreat Building
  • The contribution by the DCA of 3 loads of logs to initiate the cash for start up funding
  • The long list of Donators of materials, equipment and labor to build the Retreat Building
  • The entry of Allan Markin and his contribution of $1 million (and subsequent donations) to establish the basis for the current Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society #1999 (DHRS #1999) in 1999
  • The approval of charitable tax status by the CRA in 1999
  • The continuing process of construction that followed in this order:
    • Start Retreat Building in 1995 and completion in 1999
    • Cabins 1 through 5 inclusive along with the Whispering Pines Center in 2003
    • The Volunteer Campsites in 2003
    • Cabins 6 through 8 inclusive and the stage in 2004
    • The Care-Taker / Office building in 2005
    • Wells #4 and #5 and water distribution system in 2006
    • Well #6 and the Fire Suppression System in 2014

All this was achieved by exceptional cooperation of all Funders and Volunteers who had a vision that attracted their attention. I am proud to have been associated with all this these 46 years!

As I look around this room, I see some of you who have been with me all this time. There are many more who are here in sprit only but continue to support from where they are.

If I begin to thank each of you individually, I would miss one or more of you. You were all fundamental to the success. Yes, we had fun as we worked. The saying that “whatever happens in Whatshan stays in Whatsan” is our secret. Those who want to know, will need to find out for yourselves when you able.

As the Founders age, we are being supported by enthusiastic Supporters. We can now support paid staff that was once all volunteer but today is impossible to achieve that way. I want to congratulate:

  • Nona Kucher, our Rental Coordinator and Caretaker Contact
  • Tamara Verigin-Burk, our CEO

The day to day operations are continuing to become “business as usual” and do not require emergency trips to Whatshan by the President to resolve site issues.

The financial statements show that all bills are being paid with a reserve funding at this time. This is a vast difference from when the project was started and there was no money for a keg of nails. The principle and policy is that there will not be an mortgages nor debts created for the DHRS #1999.

What is in the future? The CEO and RC will report what is taking place and some of the objectives for the future include:

  1. Refund the Markin invested funds in the Vancouver Foundation ($180,000) which is underway
  2. Use this funding to initiate the Society entry into Bulk Water Sales
  3. Complete the zoning application to permit Bulk Water Sales
  4. With Bulk Water Sales revenues, reduce dependence on donations to balance the books
  5. Once all the above is established, search new ways in which the objectives of the Society can be directed.

Whatshan has been my life as well as that of many of my contemporaries, I wish Jim Laktin and the new Board every success to achieve greater heights of success.

Elmer Verigin

A Personal Review of Honesty Versus Lying at the Extremes

So it I 0840 hours PST on May 13, 2018 here in Castlegar, B.C. It is Mothers Day!

My Mother is now in another dimension but what I recall most about her that reaches far above her unconditional love for her family and I, is her persistence in educating me on the meaning of the word honesty……….

Also the consequences of honesty versus lying. Her ability to penetrate my young mind was successful so that today, I still find that I avoid people that have even mildly lied to me. In many ways that has affected my social interaction with people. Especially people who consider fibs and a few “white lies” as a normal way of life. Well even Presidents of USA and our Prime Minster do that.

In a dated article on this blog, I introduced my understanding of Neurons! Since then I have had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Ryan Darcy, a progressively accepted NeuroScientist, who is the Head of that department at the Surrey Hospital and is heading a full exploration of this new Science in the Federal Research Department.

Last year when I met him for a weekend at Whatshan lake Retreat, he explained a few fundamental facts about Neurons:

  • “there are as many Neurons in your body as there are Celestial Bodies in all of Creation”
  • Neurons communicate directly with Quantum Physics (the Environment, partially correct for a better understanding)
  • Neurons control the body functions
  • Neurons can be successfully directly for physical and mental health
  • We talked about this fact in the addictions treatment of drug and alcohol as well as many of the aging diseases such as Dementia and related diseases
  • Even blindness and sight have been successfully treated by inserting microbes in the tongue and communicating with the Neurons. Resting shows great possibilities

Last Monday I went to see my Acupuncturist, Dr. Justin Kanigan, while he followed my aging pains and treated them by poking needles just about everywhere. We talked about Neurons and he suggested that there may be as many Neurons in our stomachs as there are in our heads. I did not know that and I thought about it since. I could not understand all this and so I emailed Dr Darcy for input which he responds as follows :

“…..The sentiment – about gut feelings – is one I have always been a huge fan and encouraged thinking and there is far more to the enteric nervous system that we think. However, there are not more neurons in the stomach than in the brain (100 – 200 million versus 100 billion, respectively). Enteric system does come in second though compared to spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. And it has 90% of body’s serotonin with brain only at 10% – serotonin is key neurotransmitter for mood, emotion and other things……”

Let us just think about that and after a short time, think again!

So what we have going on in our stomachs is a huge explanation of how we think and our actions. Perhaps our reasons for being honest and some lying as I am sure in each person’s life there have been sufficient reasons to be dishonest in order to be able to survive. Once that has taken place, the next time it is much easier to be dishonest.

Now I have a better understanding about Nature and I will work on understanding people. It is not the person but the Neurons / Quantum Physics interrelationship that is causing that person to act mysteriously.

I will write more on this later as now I need to prepare for a Mother’s Day Brunch. The family has decide that we will gather all together:

  • Great Grandmother
  • Grandmothers
  • Mothers

All together and celebrate at the Castlegar Golf Course followed by a likely visit to the Casino while some of us will just go for a walk.

Posted 0945 hours, Sunday, May 14, 2018 by Elmer Verigin


The Changing Identity of “Doukhobor”

Most recently, I have been following Facebook entries on the Doukhobor page.

I am noticing a substantial attitude change to the descendants of the 7,400 initial migrants to Canada from religious persecution in Georgia (Russia) in 1899. It started by isolating themselves from the public so that they could establish a thriving cooperative and then the attraction of self-sufficiency and personal ownership became a driving force to integrate into the Canadian mosaic. Of course, the events surrounding the foreclosure on the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood (CCUB) was a strong contributing force to accelerate that process.

Names were changed to disassociate with the Doukhobor family with the intent to become “successful”. I, too, was mentored by my Professor in my graduating year, “change your name as that will limit your success”.

Today I read inspiring articles and comments by many of the remaining Doukhobors who are not afraid to expose their ancestry.

I smile and am happy to witness the change that is taking place within my life time.

Posted April 08, 2018 at 1030 hours, Elmer Verigin

Comment on the Anti-Gun Demonstrations in the USA today, March 24, 2018

From what I am told,  the first major demonstration against guns was the 1895 Burning of Arms in Georgia (part of Russia at that time). So many took their guns and piled them on that rocky plain at the Perscheeree to note their objection to wars and the effect that any type of gun has upon the death and destruction of all humanity.

This action was misinterpreted as a possible uprising by the local authorities and a troop of Cossacks was dispatched to investigate. They found a group of people singing psalms around this large fire. The irritation to the attending Government Official was that none of the men removed their headwear in respect to this representative of the Czar.

And so about a 100 people were incarcerated in Irkurst for an initial time of 15 years which was reduced later to 10. My Great Grandfather and Great Uncle Morozoffs were part of these prisoners.

The American Youth are sending a resounding message to the Lawmakers to “take the guns away as we do not want to be the sacrificial lambs anymore!”

I wonder if the actual gun is the problem or is it the way we mange our social media. Since time began, the weakest chick gets “pecked” by the others until it dies. The runt in the pig’s litter gets eaten. There are other examples of the manner in which nature seems to deal with this. How many of you have been taunted or teased by others because you were different or that you disagreed with the majority?

So it seems that the common denominator  of the person who perpetrate against others is usually someone who felt they needed to “get even”. Once, the media sends out their news reels and reporters interview people, the event becomes national news and gets attention. The name of the shooter is broadcast and goes into infamy. Could this be the action, that also attracts the method to a person’s madness?

All news of terrible happenings seems to attract and so that is why the media rushes to those events because we “hunger” for this type of news. Someone providing food and medicines for the hungry just does not match up with stories of murder, rape and pillage.

So perhaps we need to work on our social morals and how we can live peacefully amongst our neighbors?

122 years have passed since our Doukhobor ancestors dared to send a message to the world. How many of the descendants even know that it took place? Did it really have any effect on the world? There is more steel used in guns than plowshares today so the message was lost in the delivery.

Will the Lawmakers listen to their children in the USA. Perhaps the entire process is a better class for the students than any taught within a classroom….”go out there and tell everyone that you are not accepting non-action! That you intend to send your message through the ballot box.”

Are they listening?

Posted 1100 hours, Saturday, March 24, 2018 by Elmer Verigin


“Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of ideas. Walter Disney also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland….”

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything….”

“Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace, flunked out of college. He was described as “both unstable and unwilling to learn”….”

“Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded….”

“Babe Ruth, considered by sports historians to be the greatest athlete of all time and famous for setting the home run record, also holds the record for strikeouts….”

“Winston Churchill failed sixth grade. He did not become Prime Minister of England until he was 62, and then only after a lifetime of defeats and setbacks. His greatest contributions came when he was a “senior citizen”…”

I looked over my dossier again and decided that I have done quite well considering.

I also read something else that was really thought provoking……….

This teacher had her class make a list of all the actions her students could complete the sentence that started with:

“…I can’t….

After a set period of time she collected all the papers into a shoe box and the  entire class then went out to the further part of the school yard.

The each contributed to digging a three (3) foot deep hole and then the carefully lowered the shoe box into the hole.

They then recited various rites as if a funeral was taking place and then they all contributed to the burial.

They returned to the class and consumed cookies and pop as if exercising a “wake”.

The Teacher then drew an outline of a tombstone and in heavy font wrote:



From that time forward, every time that a student said that he or she can’t, she referred to the tombstone and said “I can’t is buried and does no exist but he next of kin “I can” has received all the assets.


Thank you Marilyn for leaving this book on the vanity in my bathroom. I am making use of my “down time”.

Posted Sunday, March 18, 2018 by EWV.

A Personal Blog Posting on March 04, 2018

I was thinking today about diaries of famous people…………were they really their personal diary? Who would permit a personal diary to be published?

I read the personal diary of Lev Tolystoi. I was very impressed! After I read his personal challenges while he was serving in Crimea and the missing entries, then he would enter again and recount how he went gambling and drinking which resulted in using prostitutes, contracting venereal disease, the long recovery and his resolution to never do that again.

Later in his diary he admits to being disappointed with what he was doing as an Officer in the Russian Army and the fallacy of war. The result…….he did it all over again!

I have been down on the dumps over the last few weeks. The description is more of being listless. I just cannot find the personal courage to rise above being almost depressed and useless. I just cannot get to doing anything worthwhile except eating, resting and meditating on journeys that go nowhere.

It is like a Spring Fever, whatever that it is………. but it is still Winter?

This is a time in my life when I should be pleased with all:

  • No, I am not wealthy. I had chances to be financially wealthy but I chose not to advance on that path. Yes, it was a personal choice.
  • Marilyn and I are conditionally healthy so no real complaints there
  • My children are in satisfying careers and comfortable
  • They live within a 30 minutes of our house. Nice!
  • All my ten (10) grandchildren have either educated themselves into successful careers or are attending institutions and obtaining impressive grades on their paths to success
  • I completed my first book, Veregin Story 2017, and as first such attempt at writing books, it is passable and most significant: it was written and published in one year. It is now a fund-raiser for the National Doukhobor Heritage Village with sales commissions to the New Horizons in Veregin and the Doukhobor Discovery Center in Castlegar
  • I relinquished my resistance to Marilyn’s coaxing and I have written “My Journey Through a Life of Opportunity” which perhaps covers about 50% of my life and its challenges. It is there for my family who are surprised at who I was and what I was thinking about at that time.
  • I finally rummaged through my personal “suitcase” (the one I left home with) where I stored all my personal correspondence. I was able to sift through all and saved Marilyn’s letters and those of my mother as well as those from my Sister Mary and Brother-in-law John where they encouraged me to continue with university and would send small financial contributions to keep me from starving. This is now assembled into a binder and again, it is for my family.
  • I admit that my work ethic has conditioned me for a full day with little idle moments and so that may be a likely reason for my current feelings so I purchased Cadpro which is an excellent computer drafting program. I am learning how to use it by doing drawings for renovations of Nona and Tamara’s house as well as providing constructive suggestions for daughter Lori and Rick’s new house construction next year. The ultimate objective is to offer drafting to the public for small projects. Maybe that will absorb some of my frustration? It certainly will be an avenue to vent my 55 years in construction.
  • Whatshan Lake Retreat still has its stressful moments but I am comfortable that I have prepared the younger generation to take over. We are waiting for a Bulk Water Permit from Water Rights that can complete our zoning amendment from the Regional District. This achievement will render the Society independent of a constant need for donations and any government grants that occasionally come our way. It should allow funding for many needs in social and health enterprises. That was the original objective of the Founders. Whatshan Lake Retreat is a very successful project that will grow with the needs of the community.
  • Marilyn and I are just now out of debt for the first time in our lives. We have made a joint commitment to divest ourselves of what we are doing and not get involved in any new projects. No matter how well those projects were planned, we always seem to end up “holding the bag” so to speak. The last episode of seniors housing “Grandview” caused us to lose $200,000. What is ironic is that I had promised myself not to get involved again in any development after we left the Coast in 1993. A family decision with friends drew us in. The project is a great success as a 60 acre subdivision that boasts:
    • 47 seniors friendly bungalows and duplexes (all occupied)
    • 56 developed private residential lots (80 % constructed)
    • A Phase 11 – 43 lot residential lot subdivision (now under construction)
    • 13 acres has been set aside for a zoned 204 unit Seniors complex (shovel ready for construction (this is what forced the seniors cooperative to cease development)
    • All the critics predicted that there was not enough demand but here it is, well used.

So what then is my problem?

I am working on it………………….!

Posted 1500 hours, Sunday, March 04, 2018.

My First Career Challenge Was Working With People

The title is very true when my boss finally put me on a “Project Team” where I was to experience the challenges of teamwork in a successful project administration.

The project was $7 million in 1964 dollars which is about 3 times that now. It had multiple components and involved a Power House, Bleach Plant and constructing a 16″ steam that had to connect the Bleach Plant and Powerhouse with a 100′ difference in elevation. This was my training session for a future in construction that would include responsibility for a new pulp mill. This all took place at Watson Island, 11 miles South of Prince Rupert, B.C.

My team was a Project Cost Accountant and a Senior Design Engineer. The drawings were by H.A. Simons Engineering, a well established Pulp Mill Consultant. Tendering for Contractors was by Head office in Vancouver. Our mission was to ensure construction took place as per design and all tie-ins to the existing operation were ready. Then there was the Pulp Mill Operating Union to coordinate with the Construction Unions.

I realized quickly that there was no love lost between the two unions and so that was Problem number 1.

Organizing office space within a crowded Engineering Office was problem #2.

Building a construction camp within an operating pulp mill with a guard house was definitely problem #3.

To my surprise, I never anticipated problem #4 which was how to work with my “Team”

  1. My Cost Accountant, Bryan Debruyn was a British Veteran who had intercepted a German Pillbox during the Second World War and had his stomach ripped apart by 40 bullets. He hated Germans and advised me immediately that he would not talk to the Design Engineer
  2. My Design Engineer, Adolph Steigleder, had served in the World War as a Senior Design Engineer whose function was to design manufacturing plants for planes, tanks, etc. The objective was to conduct all designs in secret, then manufacture the equipment in three blocks at three different locations. The equipment would then be loaded on rail cars and shipped to a secret site for erection, in modules, by a crew who knew nothing about what they were building and were taken away before manufacturing started. No one in the three sites knew what they were manufacturing nor where it would be assembled to a production Plant. No one knew where the location of that Plant would be. But there was a tight schedule. He was a subdued man and understood the feelings of Bryan.
  3. So I had to site between the two and what one said have to be transmitted through me.

So that was the scene.

What I can say is that my boss could not have delegated two better men for the project as I learned quickly from their extended expertise that went back into the War.

I must say the project was very exciting for me as was in charge and had to make report to my boss that went on to senior management. It was completed successfully but there were stories that would entertain this reader many times over but that will take place next time.

Elmer Verigin, March 01, 2018 1715 hours

Metodi Petrov, Masters in Mechanical Engineering

The title seem unusual in my blog…………!

Rob Zwick, and Engineering friend just reminded me that he had worked in Prince Rupert at one time at Columbia Cellulose Co Ltd, Pulp Mill. He says that he met this Draftsman who talked about a “Russian Engineer” that once worked at the interesting operation back in 1963 – 65.

My memory lane opened up and found thoughts came forth of this quite man that methodically worked at his drafting board as the rest of us favored the coffee urn just behind him and swapped stories that were mostly true.

After introducing myself and hearing his name, I asked whether that was a Russian origin as the Engineering office at that time was a “United Nations” of recent immigrants from Holland, Germany, England, Scotland, Estonia, Sweden and other European countries. The Human Resources acquisition of four (4) freshly-graduate Engineers from the four (4) Western Provinces was almost a cultural shock as we were constantly talking and excited about applying our education to a struggling and badly maintained pulp mill. All the “veterans” were more reserved and curious about these “new guys”!

So Petrov, where is that from, I urged Metodi to converse as I was very interested.

“Bulgarian!” was the short answer and stopped there.

I was trained as a Chemical Engineer and graduated as a Civil and I was told that they also liked my long family construction background as the company was into an upgrading mode as well as a possible new pulp mill and I was to be groomed for this possibility.

My boss called me in and gave me a Mechanical Project Engineering assignment. “I am not sure I will be able to do this justice.” I observed after hearing the brief description of the problem and the desired resolution.

“I will designate Metodi as your Draftsman. Just follow his direction and the result will be very practical and functional. You will do well!” as he shooed me out of the door as he had a desk full of files.

I reviewed the information that I had on the subject and then I went into the Plant and had a look at the current operation to acquaint myself before I went to see Metodi.

“It looks like you and I are to get this project to a successful conclusion. I am concerned that I have no clue what the next step should be in this process,” I was very concerned about my contribution to this partnership.

Metodi’s face lit up and he smiled like I had not witnessed in the three (3) months since I arrived at the Mill. That is when he took the time to confide in me as follows:

I am a graduate Mechanical Engineer with a Master’s degree in Bulgaria. When the Germans invaded Bulgaria, I was “conscripted” and taken to Germany to work on their projects. Deadlines were almost impossible to meet and there was always the threat of penalty that he seemed nervous even now to explain but I could see his lips tremble at the thought. The stress was so severe that my ability to make decisions and have confidence in my work deteriorated rapidly until  I was unable to make decisions on my work as it was always altered by my German Superiors.

“I was able to finally escape and now I am still have difficulty making Engineering decisions even though I know what should be done. You sign my drawing and I will be just fine. I will explain everything to you and you will be able to take the project ti fruition.”

So started a friendly professional association that blossomed into a friendship when I was invited to his home and met his German spouse.

Dated March 01, 2018 at 1040 hours TBC Elmer Verigin

Pause for a needed interruption

So the project went well and the combination was well respected by our boss who placed us together on many other projects when I was in the office.

Metodi had many friends at PR and building house was a challenge with the shallow overburden on bed rock. The solution was concrete piers to anchors in bedrock and a reinforced concrete beam over the piers that made a good foundation. Metodi would do the drawings and I designed the reinforced concrete foundations. It was a great “moonlighting” activity that provided us good “beer money”.

I understand that Motodi did qualify for Professional Engineering status and retired in the Okanagan but I was unable to see him after our great time at PR.

Thank you Metodi!

Elmer 1200 noon Match 01, 2018

Veregin Story 2017

Yes that book, Veregin Story 2017, that we compiled with many volunteers to celebrate 100 years since:

  • Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood was incorporated
  • The Veregin “Dom” was constructed

and of course, 150 years since Canada was created.

After receiving 75 copies from Telwell, I was excited to thumb through the pages and found that I read each one out of curiosity. I found that I was enjoying it for the first time as I had no other purpose except to read it with no editing, etc.

Yes, there will always be a few edits that somehow got missed but I am not going to waste time being upset.

I just need to thank all those listed in my acknowledgements again as without you, the book would not be what it is. We all felt that there was so much more that could have been included and that should be part of Book II for the enthusiastic Researcher.

Those who follow my blog, can obtain their copies (if desired) by contacting:

  1. National Doukhobor Heritage Village in Veregin, Saskatchewan by calling Peter Perepolkin at (306) 542 4441 or email ndhv@yourlink.ca
  2. Doukhobor Discovery Center in Castlegar, B.C. by calling Lisa Posnikoff at (250) 365 5327 or email pozoff23@hotmail.com
  3. Elmer Verigin, Castlegar, B.C. (250) 608 2215 or email EMVerigin@shaw.ca

The Project was a first time book for me and very enjoyable journey with a large sweeping learning curve.

Posted by Elmer Verigin January 26, 2018 at 0910 hours