1986 has been a very eventful year for our district. We have experienced great sorrow in the loss of four neighbours and one former resident. They are Gerald Heffernan who passed away on February 12th at the age of 74; Frank Brown on March 12th at the age of 20; Carl Nelson on June 4th at the age of 63; and Arnold Ockerman on June 27, aged 58. Mrs. Ethel May Martin, (nee Dunham) a former
resident died on December 6th at 88 years of age. In addition a young man was killed in an explosion at the Murphy Oil plant this spring.
But 1986 also brought many happy events. First and foremost are more new babies than our district has seen in many years. Baby girls were born to Fred and Donna Zapesocki and to Wendy Grekul and to Linda and Richard Hammond. Baby boys were born to Gary and Kathy Ockerman, and Ralph and Carol Jurak. A baby boy was also born to former resident, Trudy Sparks (nee Nelson). This has meant that our district also had some brand new grandparents this year. They are Arnold and Shirley Ockerman; Neil and Mary Nelson; and Elsie Grekul. Mrs. Helen Hillebrand and Mrs. Sophie Ashby, a former resident, became great-grandmothers for the first time.
Our district also had more high school graduates this year that ever before. They are Trevor Dunham, Douglas Nelson, Orin Ockerman, Valerie Ockerman, Chad Opanavicious, and Tammy Zapesocki. Christine Uttley, nee Ockerman, graduated from Lakeland College in Appraisals and Assessment. Stacy Dunham and Margaret Bayduza won awards for academic achievement. Trevor Dunham won an award for Industrial Education 30.
Two of our residents are away at school. Karen Ockerman is taking her second year in the Bachelor of Science (nursing) Program at the University of Alberta. Anthony Bayduza is taking Grade 10 at the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan.
We had two marriages in the district in 1986. Debbie Kummetz married Lee Babcock. Bernice Bartholomew Antonio married Harry Zapesocki. Arnold and Shirley Ockerman celebrated their 25th anniversary in April. Eddie and Ella Hillebrand celebrated their 25th anniversary in August. Both anniversaries were celebrated in the hall. Alf and Vera Fakeley celebrated their 50th anniversary in Elk Point. Former residents Arvid and Hazel Gustafson celebrated their 50th in Edmonton.
We also had two auction sales: Hines and Linda Fitz in June and Olive Nelson in August. Hines and Linda Fitz and Lindas father, Arthur Perrin, moved away to British Columbia. Nick and Pearl Zapesocki moved to Buckingham House in Elk Point. Fred and Donna Zapesocki moved into our district this summer.
Lloyd and Yvonne Brown, Kenny and Nellie Hillebrand, and Fred and Loretta Opanavious all completed new homes this year.
Emory Bartholomew travelled to the Seattle area this summer. At the end of October he took his first airplane ride a trip to Australia and New Zealand. He is 80 years old. Noteworthy visitors to our district were two cousins of the Hillebrands who came from Germany.
1986 saw a slowdown in the oil activities in this area because of the drop in oil prices. It also saw the installation of satellite dishes at many homes in the district. The Heritage Lodge was opened in Elk Point this year. Former residents, Gay Heffernan and Ella Livingston are presently living there. Grace Lien and Ethel Martin also lived there part of the year.
Added note: In July of 1986 a cavalcade of covered wagons and riders travelled with horses from Hazeldean to Lindbergh, through Ferguson Flats north to Muriel Lake, then across to Garnier Lakes and south through Primrose.