The Byemoor Community Hall spilled over with more than 100 people as they came together to celebrate William Stanford Walker or Buster’s 90th birthday, from far and near on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 28.
With the party organized by his grandchildren, it was easy to see that Walker had lived a long and fulfilling life with 18 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
A chuckwagon rider, Walker started running them in the late 1940s.
“I started running chuckwagons in 1948, I was never a top driver, and I never had top horses but I sure had a hell of a lot of fun,” Walker said. “I had good outriders and we all worked hard, and when I wasn’t running wagons I was judging them and I enjoyed doing both.”
Walker judged for the last time at the Ponoka Stampede in 2004.
“I think the party was very well attended and a testament to the many friendships that grandpa has made over his many years,” said Priscilla Brown, one of his granddaughters.
Buster as he has always been known was born in Hanna on Feb. 1, 1927 to Harry and Bessie Walker.
He was the oldest of 13 children, all of whom were raised on the family farm near Endiang.
Buster was married to Betty, who raised their family of five children on a farm in Byemoor before moving to Airdrie in December 1972.
When Buster’s first wife died in an accident in 1983, Buster married again in 1986 to Anne, from whom he had four kids.
“Life led my grandpa down a few different paths, but he returned to the area in 2012 to reside at Heart Haven in Stettler, where he lives now,” Brown added.
According to Buster, the best times of his life were as a young man working on a thrashing crew in the Byemoor/Endiang area.
“I also enjoyed raising a family, I think Betty and I did alright,” Buster said. “My advice to all youngsters out there would be to live honest lives. Be honest, be fair, and when things happen, you just need to find a way to move on.”