Situated 13 miles west of Mayfair is the hamlet of Whitkow with a population of 10 people.
Mr. and Mrs. Claude Grosjean, originally from France, were the first settlers at Whitkow in 1905. Mike Kozlowski hailed from Whitkow, his hometown in Europe, thus the origin of the name. Like all small towns, this one boasted of three grain elevators (two burned in 1967) in the grain farming area, amongst many other businesses, such as Shyluke's Hardware, Bobiak's Meats, three cafés, a drug store, implement dealer, blacksmith, shoe repair shop, pool hall, hotel, livery barn, post office and a curling rink that was destroyed by fire.
Whitkow area was populated mostly by new Canadians of Ukrainian origin. Two churches and two halls lasted many decades. The churches were of Greek Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic denominations. Whitkow had something that other communities didn't have, a tailor, Harry Kowalchuk, who sewed many fashionable garments. Henry's Transport was popular for hauling freight to other small communities.
Telephone service arrived in 1957 and power in 1955. Mayfair became a bigger centre for many small schools closing doors.
In 1955, Whitkow celebrated its 50th anniversary and again in 1980 with a 75th anniversary celebration. People from the United States and many provinces attended, reminiscing about the "good old days" when one didn't even think of locking the doors at night.
Lorna and Russell Buziak of Whitkow have been kept very busy as spectators at six grandchildren's hockey games and tournaments.
Valentine’s weekend was busy for Shirley and Julian Goyan, with company from Lloydminster, two daughters and grandchildren and also for Darcia and Jim Tkatchuk of the Whitkow area. Darcia had her brother and family from Calgary for the weekend and also their children and grandchildren.
Dave and Maryann Mischuk travelled to Cold Lake, Alta. to visit their son, Adam, who has been living there for the past six years. Adam is employed by an environmental company. They stopped at Lloydminster to pick up his four-year-old daughter, Logan.
Ruby Rafuse motored to Sherwood Park, Alta., to watch her granddaughter Kaitlin participate in "Kolektsiya,” a Ukrainian dance production. She is the president of the Vohon Dance Ensemble and still attends university. This is their newest production, showcasing many traditional regional dances from over the years. This storyline combines elements of folklore and fantasy with mystery, love, loss and certainly dance. Ruby's son Shane, wife Barb and three daughters are always a delight to visit.
Mayfair's Housing Authority had its annual supper for the board members and their families Feb. 12. The local CWL prepared the delicious meal.
Ron and Heather Buziak spend many hours at their at their Ministikwan Lake cabin on weekends that usually last three to four days. Ice fishing, snowmobiling and visiting cabin friends pass the long cold winter days.
Mayfair's next scheduled bingos at Gamex in North Battleford are Monday, March 9 and Wednesday, March 25. This is the recreation board's most profitable fundraiser. If you can work, please call Alice Grigor at 306-246-4212. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Spiritwood’s adult drama club, "Spirited Players,” presented Headsets: A View From the Light Booth Feb 13 weekend for three productions. A few of us watched the hilarious comedy. Our drama club is always looking for more male members and this play featured five men and just one woman. Apparently it wasn't so long ago that it was like "pulling teeth" to get a few men involved. Over the years, they have been fortunate to discover men who are regular participants and these fellows in turn encourage their friends to join.
Ron James, a stand-up comedian, put on a very entertaining evening Feb. 21 at the Gold Eagle Casino in North Battleford. CBC apparently pulled his half-hour comedy show, so he is taking his talent on the road. My husband and I enjoyed his humour. A standing ovation was given by the crowd.
My daughter and I attended a fantastic concert by 61-year-old Tom Cochrane, who was born in Lynn Lake, Man. He has hit international fame and is still cutting new albums. This was held at Prairieland Park on the Saskatoon Exhibition Grounds.
The highway proved to be a challenge en route home. We saw four vehicles in the ditch and a vehicle accident west of Radisson.
Redfield, also in the Mayfair community, was once a bustling place for many pioneers. I will give a brief highlight in my next report.