West of the Fifth defined by local columnist

The circulation of the Rimbey Review is about 5700.

Don Ahlquist

The circulation of the Rimbey Review is about 5700. You may think that this number is not particularly impressive but when you consider the pioneer family history of the readership it really is very significant.

The dictionary defines “frontier” as “The extreme limit of settled land beyond which lies wilderness”. This definition asserts both geographic and metaphoric truth regarding the Rimbey District and its people. This statement is based on the empirical insight gained by having had the privilege of serving for six years as this county’s community peace officer. I have formed some incredible friendships with people who have demonstrated a style of independence and persistence rarely found anywhere else.

-If I started to name the families who have built this vast community over the last 150 or so years, I would be well over the allowed word count for the article. The trials, hardships and achievements of the past three or four generations have provided the environment of comfort and optimism we enjoy today.

If one were to use monetary terms as expressions of success, recent history would demand the conclusion that the oil and gas industry are paramount. The people of this region however are aware of three important factors. First we do not use monetary terms as our ultimate expression of success. We use traditional Western family values, a sense of community and an unparalleled work ethic for self-identity. Secondly the oil and gas industries are most often run and serviced by people who go home after a hard day’s work in the oil patch and feed their cows or perform some other agricultural chore. Thirdly, agricultural enterprise will be here long after our wealth of hydrocarbon reserves have been exhausted.

Anyone who lives in the West Country; Rocky Mountain House, Clearwater, Eckville, Ponoka, Bentley, Rimbey or a host of other Counties, towns and villages west of the fifth Meridian knows that the Term “west of the fifth” is usually used as a good-natured poke at our “Frontier” residents. On those rare occasions when someone uses the term as a pejorative (negative or insulting) expression, they plainly do not have access to a complete cerebral faculty: Their binder is out of twine, their well is dry, they’ve saddled a dead horse, their dog won’t hunt, their cook left home, their powders wet. I am searching for an amusingly appropriate trope. Oh! , I know, they live west of the “fourth”.

I would like to personally invite anyone in our readership who has a family story with historic reference to call me, Don Ahlquist at 403-304-9396 so we can discuss the possibility of having your story featured in the Rimbey Review.


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