I quietly celebrated my 77th birthday with family and friends last week, and looking back at it all, I will always be amazed that I have managed to survive for over three-quarters of a century. Of course I never did everything right, far from it, but along the way I was blessed with a very supportive and patient family, made a lot of great friends and worked with so many super people in three different careers, but we always found lots of time to let loose and have some fun. Everyone loves birthdays, especially when we were kids and getting our first bike, doll, ball glove, or record player, but as we got older we celebrated in a different way and then maybe tended to mellow the happy occasion just a little as we become seniors. My birthday falls on September 11th, so when that horrific tragedy occurred on 9-11-2001 there were so many other vital issues that have been so much more important.
No matter what age we may be we always like to go back and reminisce about the glorious and topsy-turvy days of our youth, family, social, recreation, and our choice of employment and careers. I just barely made it out of Grade 12 up at the grand old Ponoka Composite High School, but I was so lucky that in the 1960s the great owners up at the Ponoka Herald gave me the opportunity to get involved in the newspaper business, a colourful career of writing stories and taking pictures that I am still involved in to this day. I would leave the Herald in 1977 to join the Town of Ponoka Recreation Department for a busy but enjoyable nine year stint as the manager of the new arena complex, and then it was back to the Ponoka Herald in 1986, where I eventually became the manager and editor. In 1995 I was in first of my three terms as a member of the Ponoka town council, and it was there that I made a leap of faith and decided to completely change careers, becoming a staff member of the new Ponoka Rising Sun Club House. Shortly after my retirement in 2003 I was contacted by the Ponoka News and joined the staff as a reporter, later having the sweet opportunity of taking on the editor’s chair. After my wife and I moved to Red Deer I stayed with the News for a while, then thankfully I was encouraged to do some freelance writing, which has included the Reflections, Remember When? and Hammer’s Column, which will always be my favourite hobby as well as a great way to stay in touch with old and new friends.
So why has work always been a pleasure and a real rush through all those years for me and so many others? It has been because of the great people that we have had the pleasure of working with as well as those we have served along the way, while boldly pursuing each other’s lofty and exciting goals and then sharing each other’s successes together! Whether it be a part of our jobs or as a dedicated volunteer, we can all have the exciting and unique opportunity each and every day of assisting and providing the quality programs, social and recreational activities, support, health and wellness, achievements and joy and kindness for countless fine folks and families of all ages and all walks of life that we proudly serve year round in and around our friendly community. Of course for all of us there were and always will be those occasions where we didn’t want to go to work or were having a bad day, but somehow in the professions I chose I was able to discover that those around me made me feel better, made me laugh, and really helped to make me be a better person. For all of us, no matter what occupation we now have or had in the past, how satisfying it can be at the end of a work day, no matter how tough it may have been, that we have been blessed with the great opportunity of being able to assist and reach out to others in so many kind and special ways, while wishing them a great day right along with everyone else.
Two very special anniversaries in Ponoka this week
The public are cordially invited to drop in, meet the staff, and offer your congratulations on the celebration of two milestone community anniversaries on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 in Ponoka.
Your Ponoka News will be proudly celebrating their 70th year of serving our progressive town and county from 1949 to 2019 with ongoing weekly coverage in print and photos of vital community news, sports, and family events, as well as through quality advertising promotions for all aspects of business and year round activities. In appreciation to our loyal advertisers, paper carriers, correspondeants, and of course our faithful readers and everyone else who have supported the Ponoka News over the years please join the staff for cake and coffee at their Chipman Avenue location from 2 to 4 p.m. this Thursday.
Also on Sept. 19 from 3 to 7: p.m. the Ponoka Rising Sun Club House at 5216 50 St. will be celebrating their 25th anniversary of service to the community, with staff and members inviting everyone to drop in for a chat and a coffee at your leisure. With year-round education, employment, and social programs the busy facility has been providing and encouraging past and present consumers of Mental Health Services to have the opportunity of living independent and self-sufficient lives as an active part of our friendly town and county of Ponoka.
Try to get out and enjoy fall to the fullest, and have a great week, all of you.