“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Sept. 1979, 80
BYU is helping Alaskan Eskimos increase production in family gardens. The American Indian Services and Research Center at BYU has donated a farm tractor, rototillers, a water pump, hundreds of plant-starting kits, and six tons of commercial fertilizer to Eskimos at Kutzebue, just across the strait from the Soviet Union. The donated materials will be used in the tundra regions north of the Arctic Circle. Donations covered the cost of transporting the equipment and fertilizer nearly 4,000 miles.
The pumping system and irrigation will increase garden yields of families who previously have had to haul water to their gardens by hand. Rainfall in the region is light to moderate. Tony Schuerch, a BYU graduate who lives in Kotzebue, directs the BYU-sponsored project and travels by air to help families with garden projects. This is the first time many of the families have grown fresh vegetables. Purchased vegetables can cost as much as $2.50 per head of lettuce and $2 for three medium-size tomatoes.
July 15 was a golden day for hundreds of golden voices. It marked the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of the Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Twenty-four choir veterans who performed on the first nationwide radio broadcast on 15 July 1929 were on hand for the anniversary celebration, which included a broadcast and concert. Edward P. Kimball, announcer for the first broadcast of the choir’s weekly “Music and the Spoken Word,” was also honored.
Australia has its first Latter-day Saint mayor. Owen Herbert Pershouse, president of the Charters Towers dependent branch, was elected mayor of Charters Towers on March 31. President Pershouse, a jeweler, defeated an incumbent who had served for fifteen years. The Pershouse family joined the Church in April 1978. Five other members of the Church who ran for offices in the local election were defeated.
President Ezra Taft Benson celebrated his eightieth birthday a month early but in grand style. President Benson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, was honored July 3 and 4 with multiple celebrations in Washington, D.C. He participated in public and private activities.