Pioneers of Rainbow Lake
FTLComm - Tisdale - Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It is forty years since my wife and I began our life together. We were married in the summer of 1968 and after our two week honey moon we packed up our things and drove off to northern Alberta. I was the new principal for Rainbow Lake School and Judy was the teacher for grades three and four. the school had opened in January of 68 and we were the second couple to work in the school which was really a set of ATCO trailers. At the bottom of the page is how the students looked one of the very first days of school in September 1968. That's Aaron Eklund on the right at the front but unfortunately Kevin is not in this picture which was just shot one of the first mornings of school in September 1968. I did not take the picture below of Kevin that same year, as he stands in front of the Banff Oil's Fairchild 27 that provided the community with a direct link to Calgary.

I got an e-mail containing this picture today from Kevin who lives and works in Yellowknife. I believe he is or certainly was, involved with aviation and his father and mother did their best to help the newly weds who lived in the trailer across the street from them adjust to life in a northern oil community with wolves howling from the hills at night and mud up to your ears from May to September.

Kevin realised the importance of he and his fellow students leaving Pincher Creek and Calgary to start their lives together in a village about sixty miles from the Northwest Territorties and about twenty-two miles from the B.C. border. They were pioneers and their lives were brought together by their parent's work in the oil field and at the Banff Oil gas plant only a few miles from town. Kevin's father Joe, was a gas plant operator with a class four steam ticket and was head push on his shift. His mother Marion, was the mother of a good sized family and someone the new teachers relied upon heavily.

So Kevin began the quest of getting in touch with the kids from 40 years ago and began with Carmen (Konowski/Glessing) Rodwell who lives in Sylvan Lake and was in grade five back in the beginning days of Rainbow Lake. Through their friends they had maintained contact with some of the Rainbow Lake kids but some have just drifted off on their own course as the lives of people take them forward.

Carmen sent me e-mail and the picture that appears at the top of the page which was taken in the fall of 1970 when Judy and I had left Rainfow Lake for me to return to college and Judy to the busy task of bringing our first son into the world. Carmen is on the extreme right in the front row of the picture.

Now for the important stuff, Kevin and Carmen would like to bring as many of the Rainbow Lake folks back together in Central Alberta this coming summer and they need help finding those folks. If you are a Berkholtz, Mitchell, Unger or any of the others in the pictures on this page we want to hear from you. We are setting up a web site rainbowlakeschool very shortly to put the information together but in the mean time if you see yourself here or someone you know send off an e-mail to me, Kevin or Carmen.

Timothy W. Shire

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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
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