Decoration Day shines brightly in Gadsby sun

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Gadsby / Westwoods

It was a bright, sunny and hot day Sunday when close to 200 people gathered to celebrate the 81st annual Decoration Day service at the Gadsby Omega Cemetery.

Ninety-one-year-old Jack Chapman was again the master of ceremonies.

Sergeant-at-arms Murray Wahlund commanded the march of the colours, which was led by piper Laurie Sommerville. Joining them this year from all over Alberta was the Canadian Army Veterans motorcycle club. O Canada, with Elsie Yates on keyboards, was followed by a musical selection from Evelyn Shursen and Roy Klaus. Lorraine Couthard accompanied.

Stettler Legion president Ken Cherowka and Omega Circle president Barbara Carey gave opening remarks. Rev. Jack Schulze, the Legion padre, gave the invocation and lesson.

Guest speakers were Allison, Erko and Rachel Yates of Byemoor. They talked about 4-H, volunteering at an early age and Erika’s trip to Ottawa.

The last post with Marvin Harris, the lowering of the flags by Rosalind LaRose, a two-minute silence, a veterans’ service, a piper’s lament and Reveille were included in the program.

A short wreath-laying service followed and Murray and Rosalind made a presentation to Chapman in appreciation for his many years as the MC at Decoration Day. Guest veterans from the 50 CEF-14 CTR (Calgary Tank Regiment) were in attendance, with King’s own Calgary Regiment Darrel Sundholm speaking briefly.

Many of our local boys that went to war joined the Calgary Tanks. Among them were Tommy Baker of Red Deer, Malcolm Bisset of Edmonton and Stettler-born Ray Gilbert of Calgary … to name a few.

In other news, the Heartland Bells were on the move again. Donna McKay joined the ladies at the Stettler senior centre for an afternoon of cake and raspberries, singing and visiting.

The second annual pancake breakfast was held in Gadsby at the church building, with 90 people showing up. Many people would like to see the breakfast become an annual event in conjunction with Decoration Day. Gloria LaRose won the Sobeys voucher.

There will be a crib tournament in the church building Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 1:30 p.m. Entry fee is $5, which includes lunch and prizes. Ken Bradey presented the heritage society with an encased replica of the church. It was built in 1935 by a young Myrtle Jackson for the church’s 25th anniversary.

Westwoods was the scene of the Helmig family reunion last weekend, with 90 family members present. They came from Donalda, Stettler and Forestburg. Members of the club catered to the Saturday night supper and a silent auction was a big hit.

Don’t forget the annual Gadsby Ball Association tournament this weekend in Gadsby. It might be the last chance to enjoy the sights and sounds of summer.