Gerald and Maryann Rasmussen 403-823-2036
Greetings from Dalum where we know that summer has arrived because the NHL playoffs are over with the Stanley Cup having being presented almost two weeks ago; disappointment in San Jose and jubilation in Pittsburgh.
Last week I ended the Dispatch with a note concerning Joan Snyder and her twin sister, Joy McKee, who were heading to Amsterdam to be included in a television program which is featured on the History Channel. They have since returned from the three day adventure and are able to share that the program is called “War Junk” and that the theme of the show is to connect family members with military artifacts, in this case something from World War II. For any further details we must wait until November when the episode will go to air sometime in the week of November 11.
Readers of the Dalum Dispatch will know that I like to include historical items related to our community and this week I would like to report on two events from neighboring communities which have strong links to Dalum. Last Thursday evening I attended the community tribute to four Drumheller doctors who have recently retired. Those being honoured were Dr. Racz, Dr. Graham, Dr. Jordan and Dr. Neffgen. The event took place at the Drumheller Badlands Community Facility where several hundred guests enjoyed an excellent meal before being further treated to informative and entertaining speeches which paid tribute to the stellar careers of these four valued members of the medical community. With their service going back to the early 1970’s these four physicians have touched many lives in Drumheller and the surrounding area by way of their profession and have also left their marks socially and within the service organizations of the community. With their service to Drumheller going back four decades it was not surprising to see so many health care retirees in attendance and for me, like the others, it was a wonderful evening of visiting and reminiscing. Throughout the conversations there was a re-occurring theme and that was that these four doctors, aside from being highly skilled and dedicated to their profession, are really nice people who deserve all the praise and recognition they received.
On Saturday I took another step back in time when I joined a huge crowd at the school in Hussar where former students, teachers and community supporters gathered to commemorate the end of classes in the building which has been an important part of the community since 1949. Mistress of Ceremonies Wendy (n. Kaiser) Heryford attempted to bring the crowd to order as scheduled at 1:00 pm but the alumni were no easier to settle into place now as they had been as students. The crowd eventually filled the chairs as well as the standing room at the rear of the gymnasium and the program began with “Oh Canada” which seemed to rise in volume with “all thy sons command”; perhaps giving up a school was enough for one day. Member of Parliament, the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs, had attended Hussar school as a child and he delivered the opening address wherein he shared childhood memories from the five years when his father, Dick Hehr had been principal at the school. Other speakers were the senior Mr. Hehr who opened by stating that he never met a microphone he didn’t like and proceeded to use it very well with humorous recollections of his time at Hussar, which he stated were the five best years of his teaching career. Division Seven councillor Ben Armstrong shared memories of his involvement with the school over the years, reminding the crowd of the seventeen small pioneer schools which had closed in order to create the Hussar school and he stressed that it is the building which is closing, not the school. He predicted that the Hussar community spirit will carry on at the new Wheatland Crossing location. School Board Trustee Alan Larsen concluded the speeches with an enthusiastic look toward to this September when classes will commence at the new school which is located about twelve miles west of Hussar. He noted that Standard, Rockyford and Gleichen are going through the same transition in preparation for the beginning of the next school year when all four communities will enter a new era of centralization for east Wheatland and he revealed a list of courses, programs and technologies to be offered which have the current students excited about their future. The guests represented a wide range in ages with those who began their schooling in 1949 now being in their mid-seventies. It was nice to visit with old classmates, some I had not seen for fifty years, and it was a special treat to see my former French language teacher, Lillian Gustaffsen, in attendance at the age of 96 years.
With the Canada Day long weekend approaching it has been suggested that the community corner is due for another grass cutting and Tuesday, June 28, has been set as the date for a work bee. As usual, volunteers with their mowers and trimmers are welcome to meet that evening.
Paula Vogstad reports that she and Treacy are grandparents again with the arrival of Wylie Jo on June 16. Proud parents are Logan and Shawni Jo James.
Birthday greetings this week go to former Dalum girl, Linda McGrath (n. Boe) and to Jim Eskeland, best wishes to both for the coming year.
You may continue to call Gerald and Maryann Rasmussen at 403-823-2036 with your news items or, e-mail to email@example.com.