Archive for December, 2016|Monthly archive page

Canada 150/Arena Anniversary

In Alix, Alberta on December 31, 2016 at 10:29 AM

dsc00621Tomorrow, Jan. 1 we start the Canada 150 celebrations with the Arena Anniversary Event.

At the time of the building of the arena, Canada used the British flag.  Some copies will be available for colouring at the celebration tomorrow.

At the event, we displayed the museum’s “Red Ensign”


Alix High School, Grades 10 – 12 1941-42

In Alix, Alberta on December 26, 2016 at 4:22 PM


Alix Wagon Wheel Museum has a large collection of photo albums and scrapbooks which can be seen at the museum.

Barbara Villy Cormack

In Alix, Alberta on December 19, 2016 at 4:16 PM


Barbara Villy Cormack – author, recipient of the Order of Canada, Alix area resident – see her on under “Women of Alix” > the Women > Alix.

Excerpt from “Alix Carnivals”

In Alix, Alberta on December 15, 2016 at 11:03 AM

From “Alix Carnivals”

Skating in Alix in the early days had always been on the lake.  The first regular skating and hockey rink was made beside the hockey rink.  It was open air, of course.  A most memorable event was the fancy dress parade about 1929 or 30.  A chap by the name of “Weary Wallace” skated all evening in a bathing suit. …Bob Straub remembers playing hockey that evening.

The covered area in 1946 made yearly carnivals possible to plan.  The carnival committee wrote to the Cultural Activities Branch to ask for suggestions.  As one person expressed it, “They sent us not just ideas but a man.”  Walter Kaasa came down from Edmonton, helped with the plans, and taught us figure skating.  Groups were formed to take charge of every phase of the programme.  Nancy Drushka’s description was most apt, “Nothing ever fell on any one alone.  Everyone helped.”

From Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Christmas Concert

In Alix, Alberta on December 13, 2016 at 11:35 AM

The Christmas Concert
from “John Alexander McCutcheon = by Stella McCutcheon Sorensen” in Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club 1974: From a child’s point of view, Christmas concert was the highlight of the year. Mother helped the teacher make bags of colored net into which treats supplied by the school board… were portioned. How excited we were about putting our best foot forward on the stage. And the almost unbearable wait for Santa’s arrival with a treat, and hopefully a gift, for each child.

Diedrick Primus by Alma Primus

In Alix, Alberta on December 12, 2016 at 1:21 PM

From “Diedrick Primus – By Alma Primus written at 92 years

On July 24th [1902] we moved to our homestead.  First thing we did was to set up the tent, then made a little yard to put our chickens in, a pen for our pig, and a corral for the cows.  At night the coyotes howled, just seemed to be right behind the tent.  The mosquitoes sure knew how to sting, but Mr. Buckley said “They do that just to get acquainted.  After that they are not so bad.”

One day when Dad went to Lacombe, a great big bull came along and stuck his head into the hay stack and was tearing it all up.  I told the children to get into the tent, then took a pitchfork and got after him, driving him away.  When we were in the States the ladies said it was slang to say “Bull”.  That same afternoon a man on a horse came along and asked whether we saw any cattle, so I said, “There was a big man cow came and tore they hay stack all to pieces”, when I should have said ‘gentleman cow’.

After we had our hay put up we started to build our shack.  We never saw anything built with logs before so had quite a time of it.

We made butter and salted it down in butter tubs shaped like a pail but made of wood.  They were filled with butter, salted and covered with cheese cloth and salted again.  These were taken to Lacombe every two months.  Also the eggs we had were traded for flour, sugar and groceries; and for clothes if any money was left.  We picked berries.  There were lots of gooseberries and raspberries to can.  We had lard from pigs and lots of milk and butter.  We ate rabbits, prairie chicken, ducks and lots of fish from Buffalo Lake.  Clothing was mostly made over, and moccasins were worn.  A bachelor told us, “You buy a bushel of potatoes; you plant the eyes and eat the rest; that will give you a start.”  We picked feathers off the ducks and made pillows and mattresses.  Mr. Neis from Buffalo Lake threshed our first grain with horse power.

This article is excerpted from Pioneers & Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974


The Curling Rink and the Arena

In Alix, Alberta on December 10, 2016 at 9:25 AM

An item in the Sports Display:

John Holsworth’s Curling Sweater Knitted by Lucylle in the 1940’s

Alix AB 1949-1950

John Holsworth, being a curler, was interested in starting curling in Alix.  Bob Whitfield Sr., Randy McKinnon (Red and White Store) and Smokey Beason (Red and White Store) and John Holsworth got permission from the Dairy Pool to take down an and old building next to the skating rink.  They saved all the old lumber and nails and with work bees of the community built a three-sided building using the south wall of the skating rink as the main wall.  This completed the rink.  Many persons in town were interested in curling or learning.  Everyone bought their own rocks and even took them along when curling in the bonspiels. John took his own rocks when curling in Edmonton.

Bonspiels were up to 60 rinks with four sheets on the skating rink and tow sheets of curling ice.  John Holsworth was draw master.

The bonspiel was in February and there were lots of headaches with the warm weather during the day, so many times all night curling took place.

We worked with the rink committee and lunch counter.  Seven groups of ladies ran the lunch counter.  All funds went into one account and we were the AAA Association.  Many good times and friendships were developed.

Lucylle Holsworth

From “The Alix Curling Club – By Edith Holsworth”

From Pioneers and Progress Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

The first Alix Curling Club was built in 1928…. The names that come to mind in getting the club started are: Alex Bissett, Felix Straub, Robert Whitfield Sr., Tom Wilton, Art Foster, Clarence Johnson, Chris Sorenson, Chris Topenberg, Bill Patrick, Harold Edgar, Jack Brethour, Bill Foster, Bud Todd, Wally Peacock, Terry and Eric Jamieson, Humphrey Parlby, Fred Crowe, Mayor Jack Mackie, along with Tom Cunningham, Bill Bright and Mr. Van Meer from Tees. The ‘kid’ rink was made up of Harold Patrick, Jack Collins, Bob Straub, and Jack Walper….

[I]n the fall of 1962, the new curling rink was built….


Christmas Concerts

In Alix, Alberta on December 9, 2016 at 9:20 PM

Christmas Concert in a  Country School

From “Hickling School Memories – By B. Parlby”

At Christmas concerts the stage up front was made with planks which rattled when walked upon.  Blankets for draw curtains were hung with heavy safety pins from a strong wire strung from wall to wall.  The light supplied by gasoline lamps with their white mantles often faded out as the gasoline was burned up and the pressure grew low.  Then there would be a rush for the little hand air pump, and someone would work it very hard, pumph, pumph, pumph, until the light shone brightly once more. Every one came; benches as well as desks were full, with fathers standing at the back.

Some preschooler, usually a prospective pupil for next year’s grade I, and gave the welcoming recitation.  I still remember Sid Morris standing very straight in a smart navy sailor suit for his recitation, and a few years later, Gerry Parlby, who was so delighted with the applause of the audience that he beamed at them and began clapping for himself.

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive History Club, 1974

Dick and Ella Waddy

In Alix, Alberta on December 5, 2016 at 9:49 AM

From “Richard Edmund Victor Waddy – By Ella Waddy”

Richard Edmund Victor (Dick) Waddy opened his eyes to look upon this beautiful world at Calgary, Alberta on September 18th, 1906, the second born of six children to Julia and Percy Waddy.  Percy had been with the royal North West Mounted Police…..

At the age of 14 in 1922 he lost his father in an unfortunate hunting accident, after which he went to live with an uncle, Jack Waddy, who was an Indian Agent at The Pas, Manitoba.  Here he stayed and attended school…. [H]e returned to Rockyford where he worked for two years….

Dick and another lad about the same age headed North, stopped at Alix where they got work  The friend obtained a job at the North Star Coal Mine owned by Ed Bray, while Dick got work with Roy Hoppus who owned a Livery Barn, and a breaking outfit.  Dick went out to haul a load of hay one day and fell off the high load breaking his arm…. When he was well again he came back to Alix, then went to work at Alec Larkins’ where he was employed during the summer.  In the winter, he mined at the North Star Coal Mine for Ed Bray.  In 1925 he went to work on the Nielsen farm operated by Jack and Monto.  He worked hard but had many good times with the family.  He became very fond of Grandma Nielsen who nursed him through scarlet fever….

During these years, he met Ella, a second cousin of the Nielsens.

Ella Lucille Bavender was born near Union, Iowa U.S.A. on February 22, 1909 to Richard and Myrtle Bavender…

In March 1922 the family, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Bavender, Ella aged thirteen and Stephen five, moved to the Johnny McCutcheon farm nine miles south of Clive…. Steve and Ella attended North Star School.  They returned to the States for the winter for several years.

Dick and Ella had a very exciting courtship.  He loved to ride in the local rodeos.  He would climb up the board corral, slowly settle into the saddle while Ella would sit chewing her finger nails. The big door swings open wide, out comes that animal, bucking, snorting and kicking.  How relaxing when he was removed from the saddle!

We also had many thrills and spills with the cutter (sleigh) in the winter.  Sometimes we would drive forty miles in a night to a dance or party.  I can still hear the tinkle of the sleigh bells through the cold crisp air on a winter’s night. They sounded so beautiful.

On April 14th, 1932, Dick and Ella were married at Lacombe United Church Parsonage….

A few days later we moved to our first home, a rented farm north of Stanton School, known as the Jim Whyte farm…. We had quite a collection of horses to start our farming.  When Dick started the first morning some snorted, some bucked and went their different directions, up, down, sideways and backward. We had a very interesting year as 1932 was the worst of the depression years.  We grew a beautiful wheat crop, it graded No. 1 and was sold for 31 [cents] per bushel.

We lived very cheaply, we recall one month our grocery bill was $2.50.  We lived off the land as there were lots of wild prairie chicken for meat and plenty of wild raspberries and saskatoons.  We grew a good garden, kept a cow, pigs, and chickens….

We could not afford to buy gas for our car so we took the engine out of it and put a tongue in and hitched up the old grey mares, Nellie and Naggie.

This article is taken from “Alix Agricultural Society”, published in Gleanings, (the follow-up book to Pioneers and Progress), Alix-Clive Historical Club, 1981. Both books are available for sale at Alix Wagon Wheel Museum, Alix Public Library, and Alix Home Hardware