Salute to our Ag Societies
Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 11:45 am
In the life of small towns across Alberta, there are events that everyone looks forward to year-round, whether it’s the Myrnam Fair and Fun Days, Vilna Boomtown Days, Ashmont Heritage Days, Haying in the 30s, the Glendon Derby Daze, or St. Paul’s Lakeland Rodeo Association Finals. These are family events that bring our communities to life, but scratch the surface of any of them, and you’ll realize how much more than just a day of fun they are, but how they reflect not just hours, but decades, of hard work and contributions from Agricultural Society volunteers.
The St. Paul Ag Society celebrated its 100 years last Saturday, doing exactly what it, as an Ag Society, has done in the past century – promoting agriculture, entertaining people with a great night of dinner and dancing, and giving back to the community.
Looking around the walls of the Recreation Centre, covered in St. Paul Journal articles that depicted decades of the society’s existence, was to see in print just how active and integral the society has been to the lifeblood of St. Paul, not just in putting on events but in helping construct our town with donations. That display, along with the reflections of past presidents and the entire night itself, was a testimony to the hundreds of hours and dedication volunteers have poured into this labour of love, to bring us all the events we know and love. These events define our small town Alberta neighbourhoods as “warm, friendly and hospitable” places, as Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson described it.
As more and more of our villages and towns approach 100 years, we will likely see more Ag Societies celebrating their centennial. Each time will be an opportunity to recall how the life and character of our villages, towns and counties were shaped by agricultural societies and their army of volunteers.
Congratulations and a mighty thanks to you all. We know we wouldn’t be what we are without you and look forward to the next 100 years to see how your societies grow, evolve and strengthen.