The Rimbey Old-Timers’ Reunion was punctuated with lots of laughter, hugs and even a few tears as old friends, many of whom had been separated by time and distance, got together once again.
The reunion was held last weekend, June 20, 21 and 22 at the Peter Lougheed Community Centre, The Rimbey Drop In and Pas Ka Poo Park. Close to 250 people registered for the event.
This year the class of 1964 and students who attended Rimbey schools prior to that date were recognized. The Donnelly and VanHunbeck pioneer families were highlighted.
Gladys Johnson, president of the Old-Timers’ Reunion committee said she was pleased with this year’s celebration.
“It was a good time and the weather co-operated. Next year we will be celebrating 60 years and I think we should endeavor to make it even a little more special. We really have an excellent committee and I really appreciate their enthusiasm and co-operation.“
Betty Adamkewicz (nee Simpson), treasurer of the committee, said the reunion provided a wonderful way to meet up with old friends and classmates.
“It was so interesting and so nice to talk to everyone and learn where they’ve been and what they’ve been up to,” she said.
Adamkewicz, who was living in Slave Lake, has moved back to Rimbey.
“It was time to get back to my roots and family,” she said.
John Frank from Calgary spent some time chatting with John Laux about former sports teams they had played on. While exactly who was on the teams and the years that they played could not be brought to recall, it was obvious the men were having fun remembering.
“In 1958 I won the ‘best goalie’ award,” recalled Frank.
Now a retired mechanical engineer, Frank is still active in sports, curling in the winter and golfing in the summer.
He enjoyed the reunion and noted the organizing committee did a great job.
“I know how much effort it takes,” he said.
Janet Walter and her sister Leora Peacock, enjoyed the time to be together, reminisce and share special childhood memories.
The ladies, whose maiden name was Riley grew up in the Bonavista area, located about six miles north of Rimbey.
Their mother, Ruth Wiley was a schoolteacher in Rimbey for several years.
Four of the six siblings followed in their mother’s footsteps and became teachers.
While the sisters sat and chatted, many people came by and commented that their mom had been their teacher.
“You look like your mom,” they told Leora, who, at 91 looked incredibly youthful with salt and pepper curls and a lovely smile.
Someone produced a picture of one of the classes at Rimbey elementary with the teacher and it was determined that teacher was, in fact, Ruth Wiley.
Walter, who shared her sister’s youthful looks and friendly smile, enjoyed the walk down memory lane, as did many of her friends and classmates. She said she loved coming to the old-timers’’ reunion.
“It is a great place to renew childhood memories.” she said.