“It’s about the history of the area,” says Brenda Kissel, “and in many ways it’s also about the future.” Kissel is President of the Glendon and District Historical Society and on a mission to preserve the history to make it better for the future generations. The composition of the population in Glendon has changed in recent years with more and more people taking advantage of the bedroom community to Bonnyville and St. Paul. “Many people aren’t from here and don’t know about our past,” she adds. “It is up to us to preserve it while there are people around who still know it.” In recent years, the Society was inactive but a rejuvenated group has taken on the ambitious job of bringing history to life!
The Glendon and District Historical Society held a re-dedication ceremony of the Spasiuk Memorial Bench at Minnie Lake in October 2012. Metro and Frances Spasiuk donated the land for the MD Campground at Minnie Lake so people from everywhere could enjoy the wonder and beauty of the tiny lake. The Memorial Bench is a tribute to the gift and a reminder to all who are able to use this land of the quiet generosity of Metro and Francis Spasiuk. During this dedication, the Society also auctioned off seven copies of the 1985 edition of So Soon Forgotten which was the Glendon and District History Book. As well, the copies were donated to the Glendon School, the Glendon Seniors Hall and the Village office. The Society is proceeding with digitizing the book so that future generations can still have access to the memories and knowledge woven into the pages of the special book. Copies will be available for purchase later this year and anyone interested can contact any of the Directors. Recently, the original gold copy of the 1st edition So Soon Forgotten was donated to the Society by Alex and Nellie Kindraka and can be found on display at the Glendon Seniors’ Hall.
In the fall of 2012, Director Allan (Jeep) Smith, researched, developed and then erected signage to mark former school sites of Columbine, Moose Creek, Gifford, Glendon and Franchere (still to come). Before centralization of schools, these tiny schools were dotted throughout the district bringing the world to rural kids. The Society wanted to recognize these iconic symbols of rural Alberta.
The Glendon and District Historical Society also endorsed the local paper The NEW Glendon Bulletin. The Bulletin was modelled after the original Glendon Bulletin which was produced by the Edmonton Journal as part of the Municipal Paper Plan (1952) and written by high school student Mary Sarawanski. The Bulletin was revived March 15, 2007 after discussions with former Historical Society Executive Metro Spasiuk and Grace Smith. The purpose of The New Glendon Bulletin was to tell everyone about the comings and goings in Glendon. The monthly publication is printed and distributed locally and also sent to a subscriber e-list. The Historical Society is binding copies of the issues to have as a record of events in the community. If anyone would like to be added to the e-list or has ideas for articles, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Society welcomes all ideas and volunteers. If you have an interesting story to tell or have an idea about something the Society should be preserving, contact any of the Executive: Brenda Kissel (President), Jackie Reszel (Treasurer), Cyndie Kissel (Secretary) or Directors Jeep Smith, Louise Onciul, Irene Wengzynowski, Thelma Watrich, Mary Elanik, Pat Karas and Elaine Doonanco. The next Historical Society meeting is Monday, May 6 at the Sire Hall in Glendon at 7 p.m.