REFLECTIONS: Saluting the pioneer women and families of Ponoka town and county

Legion Ladies Auxiliary member Wendy Peavoy. Photo courtesy of the Fort Ostell Museum

By Mike Rainone for the News

The steady and ongoing growth, progress, and successes of our Ponoka town and county have been an integral part of our colorful and amazing history that has so boldly unfolded over a span of 120 years. If you take a little time to visit and stroll through our Fort Ostell Museum next to the pristine pond in the Lions Centennial Park visitors of all ages will be treated to countless outstanding displays, photos, and artifacts of the exciting and rapid development of the thriving urban and rural family friendly communities and amenities that we have been blessed with over the years and to this day.

The Reflections and Remember When feature page each Wednesday in your Ponoka News has been dedicated to telling these great stories from then to now, as well as saluting the families, individuals, organizations, milestones, and memories that have helped to make the dream of a great life on the Alberta prairies become a reality that so many should be very proud of.

Wendy (Zieglar) Peavoy

In 2004 when Ponoka proudly hosted their gala 100th centennial celebration a large group of ladies from throughout our town and county were honoured for their ongoing and dedicated efforts and contributions. Their longstanding service and support has been on behalf of countless clubs, organizations, and projects throughout the years, which have been blessed with the amazing results and successes that have been so beneficial to the generations of families and individuals of all ages who would choose to make their home in and around Ponoka, both then and now.

Wendy Peavoy joined the very active Ladies Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 66 Ponoka in 1980. For close to 40 years she has avidly served in all areas of the year-round and ongoing events and vital causes of a longstanding national organization that has been proudly dedicated to the appreciation and support of several generations of our local Canadian soldiers and veterans, along with their families and community. In 1969 Wendy married Earl Peavoy, the son of Gordon and Florence Peavoy, who had settled in the Seafield District in 1951, and then moved with their family of four to Ponoka in May of 1954. Earl was employed in the lumber/drafting industry for many years, while Wendy served as a longstanding and congenial and caring member of the front desk staff at the Ponoka Medical Centre. Over the years Earl and Wendy and their two children were very active in all aspects of the community, including sports, and as avid volunteers.

During her many years of service to the Legion Auxiliary Wendy Peavoy has faithfully served in many executive roles, including as first and second vice president, as their president in 1995-1996-and 1997, and later as the membership secretary and as a member of the Honours and Awards Committee for several years. Her vigorous and longstanding service as an executive member of the Ponoka Branch No. 66 has always allowed her to gain more insight of what the vital business and ongoing community support of the Legion has been all about for over three-quarters of a century. The countless other capacities in which this energetic and dedicated lady has served with the Legion Ladies Auxiliary would begin way back at the original old Royal Canadian Legion Building along 52 Ave. For several years she enjoyed helping to prepare for the annual senior’s Christmas supper and then transporting all the goodies down to the recreation centre. Wendy also had the honour of organizing the Legion Ladies’ District Rally, which attracted 200 delegates to our community, and then later was in charge of putting together the always popular Past President’s Ball. There have always been those very busy year-round Friday and Saturday nights where she looked forward to joining in with her auxiliary mates working at banquets, helping with the Potluck Lunch at the Nov. 11 Remembrance Day ceremonies, expertly putting together all sorts of salads and desserts for countless events, as well hosting the popular meat draws, Legion bingos, and even painting and sprucing up the facilities whenever required.

During the always wild and woolly Ponoka Stampede time Wendy would look forward to riding on the Legion float in the parade, to working at the Stampede breakfast and volunteering in the club rooms by serving tables, to the large crowds of visitors and rodeo fans. Mrs. Peavoy always faithfully marches in both the Remembrance Day and July 1 parades, where she often proudly carries the colours of the Ponoka Ladies Auxiliary. She also attends several of the Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary funerals as a member of the Colour Guard, where she solemnly reads the auxiliary remembrance with great respect for their deceased comrades. Each and every year she enjoyed selling poppies and greeting the people at the Ponoka Co-op Shopping Centre and during her many years of service to the Ladies Auxiliary Wendy was very instrumental in getting all of the members up to date on their much deserved annual honours, awards, bars, medals, and pins.

Wendy Peavoy, who was nominated by her fellow Ladies’ Auxiliary members to receive a coveted Centennial Award during the Town of Ponoka’s 100th Birthday Celebration in 2004, has also represented the Auxiliary at many of their provincial conventions, enthusiastically serving as whip at one of these annual gatherings. In appreciation of her many decades of dedicated service to the Ponoka Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary, Wendy has proudly received a Certification of Appreciation and Merit and the 75th Anniversary Award, and to this day she will always be ready and willing to help when the need arises.

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