The Village of Botha was left in stunned disbelief in 2014 when resident Hazel Davidson was killed in a collision near Big Valley.
On Sunday, Jan. 29 – what would have been Davidson’s birthday – the Village held the second annual Hazel Davidson Memorial Family Fun Skate at the Botha Arena.
Davidson has been a big part of the community, volunteering her time and contributing to different causes and boards that kept the village active and engaged. One of the causes Davidson involved herself in was the care of the Botha Arena.
“I called her the Arena nazi,” recalled Lorraine Hankins, who knew Davidson for many years. “She enforced the rules – no liquor, no smoking, keeping it clean, closing it at night. She really enforced those rules.”
She was an avid fundraiser for the arena, making sure the people who used it contributed something back to preserve the building for future generations.
“We had the most donations to the arena the year that Hazel looked after it,” a poster commemorating Davidson said.
Davidson was also an executive on the Botha Community Centre board and was always involved in fundraisers and functions.
The first Hazel Davidson Memorial Family Fun Skate was held last January, and will continue each January near Davidson’s birthday, Jan. 29.
Hankins knew Davidson for more than 20 years; in fact, Davidson’s husband, Murray, was best man at Hankins’ wedding.
“She was very bubbly, she always had a smile on her face,” Hankins recalled, her voice growing thick with emotion. “She was energetic. She was pleasant to be around. Really nice, everyone knew her. She was just a delight to be around.”
When word reached the village of Davidson’s loss, it struck hard.
“It was really tough on all of us,” Hankins remembered. “She was so very, very nice. I miss her so much.”
The inaugural Family Fun Skate in Davidson’s memory had a significant turnout, including many of her family – mother, siblings, husband and children. Murray Davidson was in attendance too, taking the time to remember his wife with the friends that came to the skate.
While the turnout this year was down, community members dropped in from 1 p.m. until the doors closed around 4 p.m., enjoying free coffee, hot chocolate, and hot dogs.
“It’s the perfect way to remember her,” Hankins said. “She would love to see this.”
Davidson was driving south on Highway 56 on her way to work in Drumheller on Nov. 18, 2014, when she was struck by a vehicle that crossed into her lane. She was transported to Foothills Hospital in Calgary by STARS, but later died of her injuries. The driver of the other vehicle involved in the injury suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Davidson was honoured with a County of Stettler Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, with her husband and son accepting the award in her name.
“The whole community suffered a loss the day Hazel died,” Hankins said.