HAPPY CANADA 150. S&J are thankful for the land of CANADA they call home. Elder and Sister McCollum are grateful to have a special part in celebrating Canada 150 since 50 years ago in 1967, S&J along with many other young couples, began a special Centennial project. S&J are pleased to announce that their project continues and will reach its official 50th on August 29, 2017, their wedding anniversary.
Being senior missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Elder and Sister McCollum do have privileges that younger LDS missionaries are not allowed. S&J planned a family gathering in the very location where S&J met 55 years ago in 1962: Waterton Lakes National Park. This beautiful spot is located in southern Alberta in the Rocky Mountains near the edge of the BC/AB border and along the Canada/US border where Waterton Lakes National Park meets US Glacier National Park. Read on and we will show you some photos of our brief but most enjoyable family gathering.
FLASH BACK – celebrating Canada 2015 in Laie, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
S&J share this photo in their Canada Edmonton Mission Blog because Elder and Sister McCollum got to have a dinner visit in Lloydminster on July 4th/2017 with friends Les and Alpha Harper, whose hometown is Lloydminster. Les serves at BYUH & Alpha attends university at BYUH but they were in the city for a few days. GREAT VISIT! THANKS!
This is the chosen symbol to represent Canada 150 in 2017. It has no geometric meaning and cannot easily be reproduced!
The symbol that represented Canada 100 years in 1967 had geometric meaning and was easily reproduced using 11 triangles.
The streets and gardens of Lloydminster, our Canada Edmonton Mission city usually called the Border City, went all out to celebrate Canada 150. Red and White blooms hang from pots, grow in gardens and line the streets creating amazing symbols of Canada 150.
SUMMER DRIVE TO ONION LAKE
Like all of Canada in the summer months, the highways are filled with road crews repairing roads and resurfacing. Good to have a smooth new black top for highway #17 out to Onion Lake Nation despite the one way traffic and line-ups. It’s an opportunity to stop and enjoy the beautiful crops.
Watch for photos of the Canola when the pods appear.
ONION LAKE – SERVICE CONTINUES – CHECK OUT THE FIRST NATION CREE CEMETERY
Summer service at Onion Lake is slowing down somewhat with schools closed for the summer. Although Atoskasotan, the adult education and employment centre continues to give opportunities to serve. The Full Gospel Log Cabin Church held Vacation Bible Study camps and the young Sister Missionaries had fun with 97 young Cree children for three days in mid July.
Since S&J arrived in the area January 2017 in the dead of winter, no pun intended, there just wasn’t an occasion to snap a few photos of this Cree First Nation burial site. Alas, due to poor memory and lack of time to stop, photos of the CREE graveyard are finally posted. Amazing similarities to the POLYNESIAN cemetery in Laie, Oahu, Hawaii. (View below)
Below are two photos taken 2015 in Laie, Hawaii at the Polynesian Cemetery.
NEWS! GREAT-GRANDSON Rohnan Granger Anderson continues to do well. His parents Kole and Caesha (our granddaughter) are thankful to now have their little son at home with them in Burnaby, BC.
Rohnan is a very special 50th Anniversary gift!
VISIT TO CALGARY
While in the south end of the province, S&J are blessed to attend the Calgary LDS Temple with Glenda, Jeannine’s sister. S&J have been able to monthly attend a temple (except during May) while serving their mission, despite the 5 hour round trip from Lloydminster to the temple in Edmonton. S&J hope to maintain this goal. While serving their mission in Hawaii, it was easy to visit the temple once a week, since it was only a five minute bike ride away!
WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK
Sunday morning, July 2nd, S&J head to Waterton, a 2 hour drive, in time for 10am church services at the Waterton LDS Chapel, 425 persons are in attendance with families, members and guests seated in the entrances and in the shade around the building. S&J get front row seats in the chapel when the Aaronic Priesthood young men finish passing the sacrament and go to sit with their families. Even better,S&J are blessed to be seated in front of friends of 50 years, Gary & Deannie Ursenbach who live in Waterton during the summer. Sam had the missionary discussions for the LDS church in their home (& the home of Grant and Beth Spackman) in 1967 in Regina SK. At the time, Jeannine was studying at the Grey Nun’s Hospital/Medical Record Library Science; Sam came from Ontario to work for the summer with the city of Regina. It was in June of 1967 they set in motion their plan to be married the end of August 1967, Canada’s Centennial year.
After services, Sam and Jeannine drove and walked around the small village of Waterton.
An icon in the Waterton Lakes National Park, the Prince of Wales hotel sits atop a bluff overlooking a spectacular vistas of Waterton Lakes surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. It was built by the US Great Northern Railway and opened in 1927. It is a survivor of the golden age of railway resort development like the famous CP Rail hotels in Canada. P of W is the oldest largest wooden structure in Western Canada.
Over the 50+ years of visiting Waterton together, S&J have never stayed in this landmark. They’ve tented, slept in their van, stayed in a trailer, motels, lodges etc. but never put out the”big bucks” to sleep on the hill in the Prince of Wales. 2017 brought a change! Their children surprised them by arranging for S&J to be guests at the hotel along with the rich, famous and wealthy!!
MONDAY 4pm to THURSDAY 11am: S&J Family Gathering at airbnbSummerside/Leavitt AB
The original gathering plan to celebrate S&J’s 50th was to keep it simple since S&J would be in the middle of serving a church mission: a gathering with their dear immediate family. No big bash, nor a cruise to an exotic port or fly-away to the view a wonder of our world. Late Fall 2016, a large Inn near Waterton with 7 bedrooms/bathrooms was booked to accommodate the crew. Looking back, S&J should have realized, nothing is simple when a family has seven children, add the spouses, then 17 grandchildren and the addition of #1 great-grandchild.
The planning for their uncomplicated 50th event turned into a hilarious “gong” show! It is a blessing S&J have senses of humour. S&J love and appreciate all of their children and the extended family, all with their concerns and idiosyncrasies.
BUT WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT:
- One son would be transferred through his work and move across the Atlantic (to Cambridge UK) 2.5 months before the event.
- A month before the event, son-in-law Jason is offered a new position within his work-place requiring him to take three weeks of uninterrupted training and be settled in a new city immediately following the training.
- In June, the oldest granddaughter delivers baby Rohnan prematurely who is admitted to NICU in Vancouver.
- 15-year-old grandson gets invited to a university level biology lab/research session at Portland State University for July & August.
- One son tells S&J they won’t be coming. S&J hear from another son that he and his family won’t be attending.
- A guest of honour, Sam’s sister Margaret who lives near Lake Huron, Ontario plots out a long RV trip to celebrate Canada 150 and spend a few days in Alberta with S, J & family. With D&M’s RV packed and one week to go before departure, David’s leg gets a very serious infection that began with a spider bite. All travel is cancelled for D&M.
- One week before leaving for the gathering, one American daughter-in-law discovers that her passport has expired. This is followed with a lot of stress and speculation as to her ability to enter Canada and re-enter USA. She brings along her birth certificate and drivers license. Thankfully, there was no issue since she was travelling by car. Thank you dear Lord.
- A known yet thankful fact at the planning start, was that the 2nd oldest grandson would be serving a LDS church mission/Florida USA.
- Grandson Logan Berry (almost 18y) from Oregon is able to attend and represent his family!
So….Spring 2017, S&J cancelled the INN and booked an airbnb home in the countryside just a 20 minute drive to Waterton for the family gathering which included a house-full of seventeen persons; certainly less stressful than if all 34 had attended! S&J assume this was the Lord’s plan: a break from their mission and an opportunity to see 6 of our youngest grandchildren interact and play together.
With a Family so spread out by distance, S&J have been blessed to have all the family gather in 2002, 2006, 2009. At the 2012 gathering, due to work related issues, two sons were not able to attend. One great blessing of the 2017 gathering/50th celebration: those two sons and families attended. S&J thank their family for the 2017 memories in their 50th Anniversary year!
50th ANNIVERSARY CAKE
GROUP PHOTOS – Canada 150/ S&J 50
MEMORIES – 1967
SURREY RIDES in WATERTON
PADDLE BOARDING – Emerald Bay/Waterton Lakes
DUCKY SLING SHOT – Family Reunion Tradition
EXTENDED FAMILY VISIT US
VISIT TO CALGARY ZOO – A FAMILY TRADITION
An appropriate ending to S&J’s gathering 2017 included a visit to the Calgary Zoo. For 18 years, the McCollum family lived a 15 minute drive from the Calgary Zoo and always had annual passes.
BACK IN THE SADDLE – ONION LAKE FNIYES: First Nation Inuit Youth Employment Strategy
Jeannine cleans up the classroom and welcomes Chad and Donovan. Sam and Jeannine give training to a group of young adults – Challenges to help them make wise decisions. We had fun and good discussions with them.
PLAYING TOURIST ON WAY HOME FROM ONION LAKE – IMHOFF PROPERTY
After a visit to St. Walburg SK, we find the almost hidden road that leads to the IMHOFF Home and Gallery.
Count Berthold Von Imhoff, a German immigrant to St. Walburg, Sask., painted exquisite religious murals and frescoes in churches across the province of SK from 1913 to 1939. He transformed sparse walls and ceilings into works of art. Most of the time, he didn’t charge the poor parishes for his expensive materials or labour. Previously we visited the Museum in Lloydminster where a lot of IMHOFF’s huge collection is housed.
An elderly grandson and his wife still live in the IMHOFF home. We got to see two rooms in the home that have been left in the 1913-39 era.
The studio where IMHOFF painted his prolific collection. Huge canvases adorn the walls of the studio.
We took this photo in the Lloydminster Gallery. This is just a sample of the vast size of many of his murals that show his extreme talent. It is hoped that the gallery and home will be preserved. At the farm/gallery, the paintings are well preserved because the building is not heated and the dry air of SK also helps. We are thankful we took the opportunity to visit the site.
VISIT TO FRENCHMAN BUTTE
Voted the “BEST SMALL TOWN MUSEUM” in Saskatchewan! 53 people now live in this village. Jeannine liked the train station; it reminded her of the RR station at Barnwell AB where relatives lived when she was a child. Sam was most impressed with the Golden Eagle.
PARADISE HILL, SK
We make another stop on the way home, to visit Brother Henry and Sister June HUDY who live in a senior complex in this small town.We also stop for a quick take-out from a restaurant operated by an LDS Korean family that also attend our LDS Branch of the church in Lloydminster.
VERMILON AGRICULTURAL FAIR
A small town 45 minutes West of Lloydminster holds a country fair for 3 days each summer. We head out to visit the fair and see our young sister missionaries: Sister Morris and Sister Hacking who are volunteering at the Fair.
We found it curious to see a photo of Hatley Castle near Victoria BC in the photo competition. Then we found a photo taken from the inside of the Prince of Wales Hotel/Waterton. Both earned 1st prize in their section.
We saw huge Flemish rabbits. Huge horses waiting to have a cool-down shower and cleaning.
We saw children having their sheep judged. Hitched a ride on trailer pulled by a tractor.
VERY expensive farm machinery. Enjoyed the races from the grandstand:
Our first time viewing chariot racing. Then the “pony chucks”. Similar to chuckwagon races but without out-riders and no cook stove being dropped into the wagon. The horses are just 2-3 year olds, not thoroughbreds like used in Chuck Wagon Races. By this time, we were worn out and head home! Great time. Like going back into memories of our childhood when we visited country fairs with our parents and siblings.
Here is our dear Primary class with 4 and 5 year olds.
Summer time and we are busy with the days going by just way too fast.
Farewell for now from Elder and Sister McCollum