Donalda is most famous, it seems, for the giant lamp that overlooks the Meeting Creek Coulee. At 12 metres (42 feet) tall, it is known as the “Largest Lamp in the World” – at least we think so. But Donalda is on the map for other reasons as well. Before the lamp was completed in the year 2000, Donalda was best known as the home of actress/model Tricia Helfer, who played “Number Six” in the Battlestar Galactica television miniseries.
Before 1912, Donalda was not on any map. The unique place name has an interesting origin. The name “Eidswold” was first suggested by a Norwegian settler, Einar Quesseth, but when the railway builder Donald Mann named the Canadian Northern station after his niece, Donalda Crosthwait, in 1911, the village was incorporated as Donalda in 1912.
People often ask questions such as the population of Donalda: it has about 260 residents today. It hasn’t changed much since the 1920s when the village was flourishing as a central place on the railway. Many Donaldans recall the time when four grain elevators stood like the lamp sentinel along the track. The railway station that sits along the old right-of-way today is not the original one but was brought to Donalda from Vandura, Saskatchewan. The plan is to restore the rail from Stettler to Donalda, as it was previously, for tourist excursions.
Birthday wishes this week to Connor Horton, Edna Andres, Nakita Horton, Parker Schoettler-Ma, Bella LaBelle, Danny Bernard, Barbara Hofer, Matthew Berry, Bailey Dietrich, Judy Swaren, Shawn Sutton, Deegan Gebhardt, Kelti Olson, Gwendolyn Tenney, Carl Kittler and Rhett Norman. If I have missed anyone, do let us know.