Pictured here is the local Stettler history book committee. Back from left are Laurie Tait, Nancy Land, Joan Heuer, Donna Chapman, Jack Schulze and Ross Martin. Front from left are Anita Mappin, Joy Wood, Tammy Menard, Stan Eichhorn and Verna Rock. photo submitted

Pictured here is the local Stettler history book committee. Back from left are Laurie Tait, Nancy Land, Joan Heuer, Donna Chapman, Jack Schulze and Ross Martin. Front from left are Anita Mappin, Joy Wood, Tammy Menard, Stan Eichhorn and Verna Rock. photo submitted

Organizers behind the Stettler history book project seeking more input

Committee members hope to have material gathered by the end of January

Organizers behind a Stettler history book continue to put out the call for the community’s input, and they are hoping to have all the material in and digitized by the end of January.

“There are a few things that we would like to emphasize,” said committee member Stan Eichhorn during a recent chat at the P&H Elevator.

“One of the things that we are looking for right now are donations to help us with the continuing costs – the preparation of the book. So all donations are gratefully accepted.”

Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 1437, Stettler. The postal code is T0C 2L0.

“One of the things that we have to do when we go to publishing the book, is that we have to put up 50 per cent of the cost,” he explained. “That’s one of the things that we are going to have to face – not for a while, but down the road for sure.

“Something else that we really need now is more volunteer help,” he added. “We need volunteers to research information on some of the files that we have started and that we would like to develop further,” he explained.

Areas for more research run the gamut from past and present local businesses, medical and postal staff, and school principals to a range of community clubs such as the Kinsmen and the Lions.

“We have very little information on most of them,” he explained. “And they are certainly an integral part of our history,” he said, adding that 4-H clubs are another initiative they don’t have a lot on, and young people’s clubs in general.

“So we do need those volunteers who will take on those projects – big or small – and find out what’ s needed to basically complete the story,” he said.

“We’d also like a few pages on Christmases in Stettler,” he said. “So those are a couple of the main things we need – volunteers and donations. We’d also like to reiterate that people don’t have to have lived here for a certain number of years to take part (in the book).”

Even those who have called Stettler home for a relatively short period of time most certainly have a story or two to contribute, he said. “Those will help to tell the story of the town, too.”

Meanwhile, there have been a steady stream of submissions, said Eichhorn.

“We’ve been getting a fair bit of stuff lately – we will be pushing 600 files before too long.”

He also pointed out that the project is very short on photos.

“We really need pictures, and they can be in colour as we are doing the book in colour,” he explained.

Photos don’t even necessarily have to be attached to a particular story, as long as they have names and some details included with each submission.

According to the commitee’s web site, “Stettler is one of the few towns in the area that does not have a book dedicated to the history of the community. Botha, Big Valley, Red Willow all have their own books, as well as Bashaw, which is discussing another one in the near future.

“Without these books, it is very easy for the colorful stories of our communities to vanish as the people who lived them slowly start to leave us. It is important to remember the history of our community, and to have a physical record of the many wonderful people who not only built our town, but continue to make it a great place to live.”

In the meantime, committee members also wish to emphasize that they are available to help craft stories for the project as well.

To that end, there is a a spacious and bright basement room adjacent to the P&H Elevator where folks can come and do research and work on their stories.

“We are usually here on Saturdays, and other days by appointment if necessary,” said Eichhorn.

For more information about the book project, you can email Joy Wood at joywood@telus.net, Verna Rock at vj.rock@telus.net or Stan Eichhorn at stan.eichhorn@gmail.com. You can also call 403-742-2249.

As to the overall purpose of the book, it’s important for future generations to have a record of their community’s history, said committee member Joy Wood. “It’s our history – it’s family and it’s about community,” she said, adding that it’s also critical that the local history is recorded and the sooner, the better. “Pretty soon, there isn’t going to be anyone to ask,” she pointed out.

Verna Rock, a committee member as well, agreed.

She also urged local citizens to contribute, with a reminder that they don’t want to be disappointed when the finished product is out there and their particular family isn’t represented.

“I’ve said to people, I think that it’s also a tribute to your parents and to your grandparents – whoever also established and/or lived here and helped to build this community to what it is,” explained Eichhorn.

“We want to try and give future generations more of an appreciation as to what went into this community, and why it’s a good community.”

Again, for more about the project, call 403-742-2249 or email stettlerhistorybook@gmail.com, vj.rock@telus.net or stan.eichhorn@gmail.com.

Find them on Facebook at ‘Stettler History Book’.

Again, submissions can also be mailed to P.O. Box 1437, Stettler. The postal code is T0C 2L0.

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