After 26 years of being an integral part of the Rim- bey community, Jan and Marion Slomp are moving on.
Their time in Rimbey, however, will not be forgotten and they will be missed for their community involvement and their willingness to help out whenever and wherever they could.
Florence Stemo and her husband Ken are close friends of the Slomps.
There was a well worn trail between our homes,” the couple recalled. “We’ll certainly miss them,” added Florence Stemo.
The Slomps came to Rimbey from the Neth- erlands with their three children, Paul, Hannah and George.
The family began farming and soon became involved in the community.
“They had all kinds of energy and really wanted to share what they had so they began taking in foster chil- dren,” said Stemo.
Three of the foster children, Crystal, Cady and Shayna became part of their family.
“They really are quite unique people,” said Stemo, who recalled the two families taking trips together and enjoying lots of time visiting.
“They were good company. They had a lot of vitality. It’s a good thing they were married to each other. They were a force to be reckoned with.”
The couple is moving to Courtenay, British Columbia, an area where one of their sons is now farming.
“We will continue to farm,” said Jan Slomp, in a telephone interview, Tuesday. “We will set up a small farming operation over there.”
Slomp said there have been several farewell parties for the family and it has made leaving the com- munity in which they have lived for over two decades difficult.
“I almost feel guilty,” he said.
However, he is looking forward to the milder win- ters.
“I like three months of winter, but I never did like six months. And we want to see our grandchildren more than once a year.”
Slomp and his wife visited the Rimbey Lodge before leaving, saying goodbye to old friends who welcomed them when they first arrived here many years ago.
“They were very wel- coming to us. We were a young family then. We shook their hands and thanked them. It was a wonderful visit.”
Slomp, who is presi- dent of the National Farmers Union, said Rimbey is in the middle of his constituency so he has lots of excuses to come back for a visit.
“As well we have friendships in Rimbey that are way too good to let go,” he said. “We need to maintain them.”
Slomp was returned as president for the National Farmers Union at the union’s 45th annual national convention held in Saskatoon, Sask. Nov. 27 to 29.
He remains passionate about being a voice for local farmers.
In the last two or three decades, the government has enforced deregulation of many policies, tip- ping the scales of power in favour of corporations directed from abroad, he said.
“We need better policies for food and farmers and we need to be the voice for those running family farms. Our policies are watered down and the farmer’s interest is diminished.”