Botha Booster. FILE PHOTO

Enjoy your long weekend everyone

This coming weekend is the August Civic Holiday weekend, so travel safe if you’re headed out.

Louise Bellair

Botha Booster

Floor curling for the first time will be continuing through summer, so make sure you come out every Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. and join in the fun.

Coffee is always on every Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., so take a break away from your busy schedules, and join your friends there.

Bingo evenings are every second Wednesday evening at 7:15 p.m., the next one will be held on Aug. 16, so come on out and join in the fun and excitement. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Last week we mentioned Otto Hunter and John Skocdopole were merchants, and focused on Hunter’s life, this week we will be looking into John Skocdopole’s life.

John and Marie Skocdopole, both were born in Czechoslovakia, and both moved to Botha after they got married and took up homesteading in 1905. Travelling from their birth place to Botha, they brought with them their nine-month-old son, two cows, three mules, hens and enough to set up homestead.

In 1905, John purchased lumber to build a homestead, but unfortunately a prairie fire came through and burnt all the lumber. Also the family altogether by this time had increased by four members, so they had to rent a log cabin near Alix. By trading potatoes, barley and oats for some lumber they were able to move back to Botha. Lucky when they were trading things they were close to the road in site on Emigrant Trail from Lacombe, which ran right past their cabin so everyone could see it. They were fortunate enough as well to move back after and build their homestead again in Botha. Their family kept growing, and by now they had six children in all, who were all raised on the homestead by Botha.

Having immigrated to the US, as a very young child with his parents, John had an advantage of an American education. John took an active interest in the development of the area and was one of the organizers as well as one of the first four elected councillors of the Local Improvement District. John had the best ability to read and write of the elected councillors, he was also appointed secretary-treasurer. Eventually in time, he had to resign his elected position so he could assume the paid position of secretary-treasurer which he held for many years. He also was a charter member of the Botha Farmer’s Elevator, which he eventually amalgamated with the Alberta Wheat Pool.

In about 1910, John and Marie opened a General Store on Main Street, known as the Railway Avenue then. They built the building, which later became Mrs. Johnson’s Cafe and more recently the secondhand store. John himself ran the business for five years, but later had to concede, as it was not a successful venture. John and family moved back to the farm, after the sale of the store. As the family matured, the boys became active in the day-to-day operations on the farm. They inherited the enterprise initiative from their father and were always keen about a new idea that would supplement the income of the farm.

This coming weekend is the August Civic Holiday weekend, which means a long weekend, so hopefully everyone can get out and enjoy themselves. Have fun everyone and play safe.

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