Big action brewing in Botha

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LOUISE BELLAIR/Botha Booster

Hopefully everyone had a fantastic long Canada Day Weekend with lots of memories to remember. The weather was great for the weekend except the sudden storm that went through on Sunday afternoon.

We have another special birthday in the Botha area this coming week. Here’s wishing John Hankins a special day on Saturday July 9. Hope you have a great day Bob.

The Botha Playground Program has another couple of great days coming up. On Thursday, July 7 get ready for the Backyard Barnyard Activity. This is going to be fun for children of all ages. Even if you don’t live on a farm you can have fun on one, and who knows, you might be able to take a pet of two home with you. So come on out kids for a great day. These activities run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parents please send a bag lunch with your child daily, snacks will be provided. Start out point every day will be the Botha Hall, so please drop your child off there or join them for a great time. Children between 5 and 12 years old are invited to all the daily activities. The program runs Tuesday and Thursdays through the month of July. For information or to register your child please contact Donna Morris at 403-742-1038. Five children in total are required daily, so please register your child a.s.a.p.

On Tuesday, July 12 they will have an Alberta Board Activity Day to enjoy the unique and wonderful attractions Alberta has to offer (to the group’s version) Sounds like a great day.

On Tuesday, July 14 come out for the Survivor Day, where children will enjoy the Botha Style journey. Register your child early with Donna for these special daily activities.

Come out on Tuesday, July 19 to the Botha senior centre for another great evening of entertainment. Bring out your Bingo dabbers and try out your luck, you could be the next big winner. Bingo happens every second Tuesday evening and will continue throughout the summer months.

Another summer attraction is the coffee hour every Wednesday morning at the senior centre. Take a break from your busy schedule and stop by for a hot refreshing cup of coffee with your friends and neighbours. It’s a great meeting place and everyone is invited to stop by.

There will be no church services for the month of July as Reverend Susan Bowyer will be away. But regular church services will start up again Thursday August 4 starting at 7 p.m., except on the Centennial weekend when the service will be held on Sunday August 14, 10:30 a.m. at the Botha Hall following the pancake breakfast.

With the Centennial weekend only a couple weeks away, a centennial meeting is set for Thursday July 14, 3:30 p.m. at the senior centre. The Centennial weekend is August 12-14. Hopefully everyone can make it out to this meeting. If you have any questions or concerns about the Centennial please contact Sherri Larter at 403-742-8214 or Josie Hunter at 403-742-2170.

Getting your items ready to enter into the Botha Centennial parade? Please contact Marie or Dan Barnec at 403-742-3911 with your ideas or items. Hopefully with everyone’s help, Botha will be able to have the best parade around. The parade will be held on Saturday morning.

There will be free camping at the Botha Ball Diamond for the weekend with a water station and dumping station located at the hall. Registration will take place Friday evening (Aug 12) between 5 -7 p.m. at the senior centre.

On Friday evening the Old-Time Dance Club is inviting everyone out to the hall at 8 p.m. for a great time. It’s going to be a great place to get re-acquainted with old friends and neighbours. Lunch will be served that evening.

Saturday morning the fantastic parade will start things out. There will also be local talent playing throughout Saturday for everyone’s enjoyment.

Saturday afternoon there is going to be a movie at the park, then a beef dinner.

Ending the weekend on Sunday will be a pancake breakfast then a church service at the hall. Hopefully the weather cooperates for the whole weekend. Reverend Susan Bowyer will be officiating the service that morning.

It will be important to remember Elmer Underwood and his great invention we still use today. Elmer Underwood and his two brothers (George and Johny) designed and built Canada’s first airplane. They also built the first runway. These were invented and tested three miles east of Botha in 1907-1908 on the Underwood homestead. Their experiments started on May 14, 1907 with tests of a rectangular, tail-less kite eight inches across, but it didn’t work. A few days later they were out in the wind testing one of a similar type but with a 20” span.

This time the kite actually had flying wings, a fin or jib which went from front to back in the centre of the kite for stability. It weighed 450 pounds without man or engine and had a lifting surface of 900 square feet. On or around August 1907 Johny was the first man to try to ride it. He was lifted gently up in the air for about 10 feet, and stayed up some 15 minutes swaying smoothly before it was brought to earth. Years later the motor was added and that’s where our aircraft started.

In June 1907 the main work on the machine was almost completed. With word spreading, the Stettler Exhibition wanted them to display their machine at the fairgrounds. This drew more attention and the machine hit the Toronto Globe, the Manitoba paper, the Stettler Independent which called it the Stettler Areoplane and the Edmonton paper – with them calling the machine the Alberta Airship. Shortly afterward the brothers went their own special way in life except for Elmer who stayed in the Botha area. With the money shortage at the time the boys never purchased an HP motor for their machine, or else they would have been in top rank as the world aerial pioneers. Elmer was a very active member of the Botha community until his passing in 1942. So please take the time out to remember Elmer Underwood and his family and their great invention.

With the help from Bob Erickson and his crew working together they have made a replica of the Underwood Flying Machine for the public to see and enjoy. So it’s a must to see that weekend.

To reserve the ball diamond call Ken or Wendy at 403-742-8184, to reserve the diamond. A great place to enjoy your games. To reserve the hall, please call 403-742-2559.

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