Russell Petterson honoured by his former school


Russell Petterson recently turned 90 years old and was honored with a birthday party at Sunrise Village Oct. 9.

Russell Petterson recently turned 90 years old and was honored with a birthday party at Sunrise Village Oct. 9. Petterson was the first principal at Crestomere School and also spent many years as principal at Ponoka Composite High School.

On Oct. 8, he was honoured by Crestomere Schoolwith a drawing from Grade 7 student Dawn Wienecke. The 12-year-old, along with Crestomere principal Penny Mueller, visited Sunrise Village to personally deliver the drawing. Petterson was thrilled with the birthday present.

The Ponoka News asked Wienecke to tell readers how she got involved in Russell Petterson’s birthday celebration.

I first got interested in drawing last year, in Grade 6 art. I’ve drawn cartoons, flowers, borders, and animals but never real people.

When the staff at Crestomere read about Russell Petterson’s 90th birthday, the principal, Mrs. Mueller, asked me to draw a picture of him, to honor him, as he was the first principal of the school. I agreed, because I really like to draw. Mrs. Mueller took a copy of the original picture of him, and gave it to me to draw. I was nervous, because it was the first portrait I had ever tried to draw. I set to work with my charcoal, which I have only been using for about a month.

I had to draw my first portrait, and make a big card, in about a week. After I finished my first copy, I didn’t think that it was good enough. I drew the second one in two days, over the weekend. On this one I worked much harder at the exact shape and shading. I was really happy with the picture.

For the card itself, the teachers let me pick all the colors, so I used black as a frame for the picture, and dark blue to go underneath it. When I was done, Mrs. Long took the card around the school, and got all the staff and students to sign it. All the students, from kindergarten to Grade 9, took great care in signing their names. Mrs. Long also took the picture around with the card, to show all the classes what I had drawn. We added the picture to the card after everyone signed it.

When I was asked to come present the card to Mr. Petterson himself, I was kind of excited and nervous at the same time. It was a privilege to present the card to Mr. Petterson on behalf of Crestomere School, and I wish him a very happy 90th birthday.

Dawn Wienecke,

Age 12, Grade 7