Mother Teresa School says farewell

HALKIRK HERALD - Mother Teresa school held its final awards night on Monday evening with many former teachers and students among the crowd.

HALKIRK HERALD — The Mother Teresa school held their final awards night on Monday evening with many former teachers and students among the crowd. All of the students, including new student Reece Lefebvre, were presented with their plaques, which highlight their strengths and improvements during the 2015 – 16 school term. The Schaffner family Devoted Reading award was presented to Sage Gonda; The jr. high female academic award went to Abby Musgrove with Cale Neufeld receiving the male academic award; the Mary Ann (Farnalls) Theaker Memorial Award for achievement in the arts was presented to Cale Neufeld and Mikenna Schauer; Trey MacGillivray and Devon Johnson were awarded the male and female athletic awards with the Sam Draganuk Citizenship Award being presented to Devon Johnson. The students entertained the crowd with their various talents. Bringing down the house was the Grade 1-3 presentation of “the most likely to”, foretelling the futures of the grades 1-9. The students also sang “Hike of my Life” and “Hall of Fame”. Ellyn Schaffner made a surprise retirement presentation to Maxine Baird, who has served 28 years as secretary, teacher’s aide, coach and much more. The staff and students, in a touching ceremony, each presented Maxine with a rose and a personal note of appreciation. Parent council reps, Melody Neufeld and Alison Schauer, presented each student with a Mother Teresa backpack; a bouquet of flowers and a gift was presented to the teachers, Mike Courtney, Sheri Beier, Tracey Turre, Desirae Bargholz and Kara Zilinsky; to the bus drivers Melody Kent and Darcy Mabbott; to maintenance staff and to Karen Norman, who has taught piano lesions at the school for over 20 years. Congratulations to all on a job well done.

On Wednesday a crowd of 150 plus students, staff (past and present), town and county councillors, parents and community members attended a farewell BBQ, hosted by the Elks, at the school. Students then enjoyed several games to pass the afternoon.

History of the Halkirk School: In January 1910, the first class of the Halkirk school was held above the Higgins Store with Dave Stronach as teacher to 20 students. In April of the same year, the Halkirk School Dist. 2162 was formed. In May, the school district borrowed $ 1,500 upon the security of the District for the purpose of purchasing a school site, NE 1/4 of 38-16-W4, erecting and furnishing a school house. In 1922 – 23, a two-room frame school was built. These two rooms were at the north end of the present school. Extra classes were held in the United Church and the IOOF hall.

In July of 1924, the school district borrowed $ 7,500 for the purpose of erecting and equipping a new school. In 1925, the first school house was sold to Wilf Creasey, who used it as part of his residence. In later years, the house was moved west of town and is now the home of Edith Rendall. In January of 1944, Halkirk joined the Castor School Division. In 1949, the Rosebank school was moved into town to make a fourth classroom. It was soon destroyed by fire, and students, once again, were taught in the United Church. In 1950, a new addition of two rooms was built on the south end of the two existing rooms. The year 1957 saw the last rural school students bussed to Halkirk.

In 1958, a gym, a stage, bathrooms – (did you catch that – bathrooms!!) and three classrooms were added. The Elks purchased the second one room school building in 1959 and it is now the hall kitchen. 1961 saw one more room added to the SW corner, completing the Halkirk School.

Twenty-one years ago, the school was purchased by East Central School Division from the Clearview School Division and became the Mother Teresa Catholic School. The north end, which included the 1923 and 1950 classrooms, was demolished in 2007. This June marks the end of school classes in Halkirk. A declining enrolment means it is no longer feasible to offer classes in our small community. A sad day in our history. (Taken in part from Halkirk Home Fires Vol. one and two.)

Best wishes go out to Rose McColman and to Sage Gonda, who are each sporting a broken arm.

The seniors’ centre had a BBQ last week followed by a meeting, which will be the last one until end of September.

Several Halkirk Elk members joined with the Castor Elks hosting an Elks golf day and steak supper on Sunday at Castor golf club.

Noel and Shirley McBride hosted their 13th open house on Saturday inviting friends, family and neighbours to spend a day on the farm admiring the miniature horses, hiking, enjoying nature, visiting and eating; lots of mosquitos came, too.

Sixty-eight descendants of Harry and Celia Duncan gathered at the rodeo grounds on Saturday for a wiener roast BBQ (fault of the rain), visiting and picture taking. The Duncan family consisted of six girls, Sis (Art) Creasey, Doris (Jim) Fowler, Beattie (John) Godbersen, Peggy (Henry) Dahmer, Fern (Louie) Engel, Jean (Alf) Plouvier, and four boys, Donald (Irene), Jim (Elsie), Harry (Hazel), Alec. With the exception of Harry, all remained in the Halkirk district. Jim is the only surviving sibling, making his home in Paragon Place in Stettler; sister-in-law Irene lives in Stettler and Hazel lives in Calgary.

Kent and Evelyn Johnson were out in Vancouver for their granddaughter Drew’s graduation. Drew is the daughter of Kim and Darryl.

John deMos’ sister, Hilda, from Holland, is here visiting with him and Judy. Last weekend the family gathered in Calgary to celebrate Hilda’s 80th birthday.

Coming up: July 5 – Playground activities in Halkirk. Phone Mandy at FCSS – 882-2115 to register.