On August 18, 2006, Grant John Moffat of Forrest disappeared on his way to a Charolais Field Day in the Ste. Rose, Manitoba area. To date, no trace has been found of him. He was a well-known Charolais breeder, editor of several cattle association newsletters, photographer, and a dedicated supporter of youth in the cattle industry and 4-H.
Grant was born on February 17, 1951 to Jack and Verna Moffat, and lived his whole life in the Forrest area. He attended elementary and high school at Forrest and went on to continue his education at Assiniboine Community College.
His first job was with Burns Foods in the livestock office, where he worked for several years. He then went to work at the Brandon Livestock Yards. During this time, he was also busy establishing a purebred herd of Charolais cattle and later GM Sales Services. His herd was called Holymsyde Charolais, using the family farm name, which was based on an area of England where his paternal grandparents had come from. Grant’s love of cattle made both of these ventures a perfect fit for him for a number of years. He traveled all over the prairie provinces, showing his cattle at summer fairs and selecting cattle for the sales that he organized. He realized that photography would be an asset and took many courses to improve his skills. He was often hired to shoot family gatherings, weddings, fairs, etc. He had a talent for choosing the just the right background to suit his subject and he won frequent awards at local fairs for his pictures.
Over the years, he had several young men assist him with grooming and showing his cattle at the summer fairs. These people appreciated the opportunity to learn from Grant and he made sure they earned their wages. He eventually had a young woman, Sam, helping him and he was always appreciative of her efforts, as she worked as hard as any of the others. She enjoyed the opportunity of learning new skills, but never got the chance to drive his truck. We believe that was because both of her older brothers had dented 2 of Grant’s trucks on separate occasions, when backing up the trucks to the trailer or parking it – one of them being a new truck. When one of them said they had good news and bad news for him and which one did he want to hear first, Grant said he might as well hear the bad first. Upon hearing that his new truck now had a dented bumper, he just shrugged his shoulders and then continued on with the real work with his cattle.
Grant was never concerned about material possessions, but was passionate about his animals and was heartbroken when he had to have a dispersal sale when his health determined that he could no longer care for them. But even after having his dispersal sale 2 ½ years ago, he still had about 20 head of cattle when he disappeared – old habits are hard to break.
Just a couple of months before he disappeared, he purchased a blade sharpening business and was just starting to get it off the ground. He had written several articles for local newspapers and was quite proud to do some reporting from the Regina Exhibition a couple of years ago. Last July, he helped organize the Manitoba Charolais Youth Association conference at Portage and was always encouraging young people to get involved in the cattle industry.
During his youth, he was a member of the Forrest 4-H Beef and Swine Club where he excelled in showmanship and public speaking, winning several awards for both. Over the past several years, he was often asked to judge 4-H public speaking competition for different clubs. His knowledge of choosing calves and getting them ready for local shows was often called upon to assist members of the clubs.
Grant’s love of writing was apparent in the many articles he did for local papers and he had starting interviewing people for a book he planned to write about Manitoba summer fairs.
Grant was predeceased by his father, Jack, in 2001 and his mother, Verna, in 2006. His extended family includes aunt and uncle, Amy and Ron Voy of Brandon, MB, Uncle Clare Wheeler of Chilliwack, BC and several cousins across Canada. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the vast number of people whose lives he touched through his life and who miss him dearly.
Grant’s sister, Janie Hale, her husband Ron and their family of, Shawn and Charlene, her husband Dave, and their children, Dylan and Delton are still praying for his safe return. A celebration of Grants life was held on August 18, 2007 at Central United Church in Brandon, MB.