Work party cleans up church yard, cemetery

Baljennie News


As Saskatchewan gradually reopens following COVID-19 closures, North Battleford Western Development Museum remains closed to visitors and volunteers. While awaiting their turn to reopen, museum staff have kept busy. Staff have been baking spudnuts every other Wednesday as a fundraiser. Email or phone orders are taken by noon Tuesday for pickup Wednesday. Two summer students have also been hired.

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The annual cleanup day at Baljennie St. Bridget’s Anglican Church yard and cemetery was held June 16. A number of volunteers met to mow the grass and weeds. A weed trimmer was used to cut around the grave sites. Overhanging branches were also cleared. A big thank you goes out to the Wintersgills for mowing grass in the main areas before cleanup day.

Farmers are busy spraying seeded fields for pests such as flea beetles. Rain has been generous in helping crops get started. Cool nights and lack of daytime warmth mean the season is a bit behind average years.

I just received the sad news that my only surviving pen pal, Hilma Johnson of Okotoks, Alta, passed away in early June. She was one year older than I am. We had been pen pals since April 1953. Hilma had written a letter to the pen pal exchange in the weekly Free Press out of Winnipeg asking for a pen pal close to her age who lived on a ranch. Well, I did not live on a ranch, but on a farm, but I answered the exchange, sending a letter to Hilma Mikelson. At that time she lived at Gilbert Plains, Man. She answered and we had been exchanging letters, photos and gifts ever since.

Hilma married Trueman Johnson and had a family of one daughter, Shannon, and lived on a farm at Newton Siding, Man. 

We have been able to visit back and forth several times over the years. Here husband passed away in 2002. Then their daughter moved to Calgary, Alta. and soon Hilma sold the farm and moved to a senior home in Okotoks. We did get to visit with her in her new apartment and she returned more visits to our farm at Baljennie and attended our 50th wedding anniversary in 2004. Due to failing health our contact has been much slower in recent years.

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