Halkirk’s population balloons for village’s ‘party of century’

Hailed as the “party of the century,” Halkirk’s big 100th birthday celebration will go down in the history book as a huge success

Hailed as the “party of the century,” Halkirk’s big 100th birthday celebration will go down in the history book as a huge success, thanks to the army of volunteers, young and old, who gave 110 per cent this past weekend and during the last year of planning.

Once you live in Halkirk, it’s always home and the people came home. There’s no way we could name who had company — I think everyone did. Let’s just say that I saw an Ontario licence plate, I know there were people here from Saskatchewan, British Columbia and most cities, towns and villages around Alberta.

But the prize goes to Cecil Bird from Sydney, Australia, who made a special trip just to be here. The other person from afar was the Ashbachers’ ag exchange student, Malene Scholer, and her mom Mary Ann from Denmark. And we’d like to compliment our guests who left the village as they found it, clean and pretty. Thank-you.

On Friday evening, there was a wine and cheese at the bonfire on the bull-a-rama grounds and registration at the hall. Saturday started with a complimentary breakfast dished up by four generations of the Farnalls clan; at 11 a.m., a fantastic parade saluting Halkirk’s 100th birthday with many local and former families represented; at noon, the 4-H kids sold hot dogs provided by ATCO power and the Airey family handed out free ice cream cones; JD Johnson was emcee for the opening ceremonies on Main Street, with speeches from the local dignitaries; Dick Creasey then auctioned off the first 10 copies of Halkirks new history book, Halkirk Home Fires, Volume 2, as well as a Shane Doan sweater. The first edition of the book was purchased by the Chick family.

The hall was open for registration with a display of papers and newspaper clippings, as well as a slide show; the mini arena had an awesome model train set up; there was local talent and a sing-a-long at the church; refreshments and displays at the curling rink; the hotel celebrated its 100th year and the old Halkirk store was also open for business; the privately owned elevator was open with displays and refreshments; there were kids’ activities at the school; the seniors’ centre served coffee and cake, had displays and sold the new history books. A huge, delicious, catered buffet with enough food to feed all of our visitors very well was served at the bull-a-rama grounds. The day closed with a family dance and a fabulous display of fireworks. Sunday morning started with a great breakfast, followed by a cowboy church service at the community church.

Congratulations to Jim Gonda and Valerie Golby, who were married on June 30 at Pigeon Lake, with an open house and dance at Lakedel Ag Society community hall. The newlyweds will make their home in Castor.

Congratulations to Scott and Heather Rowland on the arrival of their first child, a daughter, Amina Grace, born June 28 in Lethbridge and weighing seven pounds and 10 ounces. This is the eighth grandchild for Margret and George Rowland.

Congratulations to Cody and Natasha Gonda on the arrival of a seven-pound, seven-ounce baby girl, Felicity Danielle, born July 6 in Red Deer. They also have a two-year-old son, Ryan. Felicity has many grandparents, but the Halkirk grandma is Joann.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Tillie Schilling, who passed away on July 3 in Stettler. Tillie and her late husband, Harry, retired to Stettler in 1976. Their story is on Page 539 of Home Fires, Volume 1.

The 16th annual Camp Teckla was held at the Stettler gyms this past week, with 154 enthusiastic youngsters in attendance. Leighann Doan-Reimer was, once again, the head coach.

We extend birthday wishes to Lennice Wiltse Gamroth, who will celebrate her 80th birthday on July 13. Lennice is one of our former residents who reads Halkirk news online every Wednesday morning. Have a great day, Lennice.

Kathy Muncy and her daughter-in-law, Deirdre, returned last Sunday from an eight-day tour to Alaska.

Kathy has her daughter-in-law Abby and granddaughter Avery from Midland, Texas, visiting now. Son Keith will be arriving next week in time for their annual fishing trip to Cow Lake, near Rocky.