Women of Aspenland 2012

 

 
Abigail Alvera (Bergen) Fonteyne and Elsie (Jones) Baker will be inducted into the Women of Aspenland  Exhibit at the Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum on October 20 at 2:00 pm along with Cecelia Rose (Lilly) Enman and Effie Jean (George) Roper.
 
 
 
 
ABIGAIL ALVERA (BERGEN) FONTEYNE
 
 
For over 40 years, from her graduation from high school until her death in 1970, Abigail Fonteyne taught piano lessons to the budding musicians of Wetaskiwin and area.  She also played pop and ragtime with dance bands and entertained family and friends as far west as Ma-Me-O Beach.
As a piano student of Miss Florence Kelly, she took exams in musical theory and piano from the Associate Board of the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music of London, England, so was very well qualified to teach.  She also encouraged her four children, Warren, Darol, Lorne, and Lois, to develop their musical talents, including her sons taking dance lessons from Jean George and entertaining to her piano accompaniment at Lacombe and at the Ponoka Stampede.
Although it is said of Abigail that music was her life, she also enjoyed curling, bridge, bingo, gardening, quilting, sewing, playing games, was an active member of the Catholic Women's League, and wrote poetry.  She was a multi-talented lady.
Abigail was born in 1906, the third of 10 children born to Emma Olstad and Nels Bergen, who married in 1901.  Nels Bergen came from Sweden to Michigan to Alberta where he was ordained as a pastor for the Western Baptist Union at Innisfail in 1899.  He was briefly in Wetaskiwin before moving to Wisconsin that same year.  In 1909 the family returned to Alberta, where Bergen was pastor of the Swedish Baptist Church in New Norway until moving to Wetaskiwin in 1917.  In 1926 Abigail married Arthur Fonteyne.  They farmed north-east of Wetaskiwin and had four children, Warren, Darol, Lorne, and Lois.  In 1947 the Fonteynes moved into the City of Wetaskiwin where Arthur was an alderman in the '50s.
 
 
ELSIE (JONES) BAKER
 
 
Elsie (Jones) Baker is one of those special people who have the natural musical talent and ear to be able to teach themselves to play the popular music that people most enjoy singing and dancing to.   Born in 1930, as a child, she taught herself to play the organ which her grandparents had left behind when they returned to England.  In the 1970s she learned to play the accordion.  In 1951 she married Dave Baker, another self-taught musician, and her parents gave them money to buy a piano as their wedding present.  Their children remember falling asleep to the music their parents played to unwind after a hard day's work.
The young couple lived on the Baker farm near Bittern Lake, and their income in the early years was primarily the two to five dollars Dave earned each night he played his saxophone at community events and celebrations,  and the cheques for the cream from their three milk cows.  In 1966, Elsie returned to working in a bank, this time at CIBC in Wetaskiwin, and the family moved to Wetaskiwin in 1974.  Dave continued to play for country dances throughout a wide area, switching to a vibraphone after surgery for lip cancer left him unable to play the saxophone.  Elsie retired from the bank at the end of 1989, and joined Dave in playing for small local events such as birthday parties, anniversaries, some weddings and in community halls as well as in the Auxiliary Hospital and seniors' homes.  Their entertaining and assistance to others was recognized in 1991 by the Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce award for Citizens of the Year.  
Elsie and Dave had four children, the “4 Bs” Barbara, Brenda, Robert, and Beverly, born 1954 to 1958.  They remember their mother always caring for others, from their father's bachelor uncle living with them while his two broken arms healed, to daily visits with Dave's mother in long term care, to long days with Dave when Parkinson's disease necessitated his living in long term care until his passing in 1998.  Elsie moved into Luther Manor in 1997 and was soon involved in arranging the musical entertainment for the “Birthday Party of the Month” and organizing a Hymn Sing every other Sunday from September to June as well as providing transportation for many who need it.  She also plays piano, accompanied by Lou Paradis on the banjo, at the Wetaskiwin Hospital three times each month, and arranges the Hymn Sing at the Peace Hills Lodge every second Monday from September to June.  Elsie's gifts in music and caring remain fully used.
More Stories:
  • The Wild Side - A New Local TV Series Coming Soon Coming your way is a new television series, detailing the life of the average outdoorsman here in Alberta, the team they share the field with, and the families involved in accommodating their passion, named, ‘The WildSide’. ...
  • Fall Crocuses Dare Alberta Winters Canadian gardeners are known for their adventurous spirit. Not to climb mountains or hike in a foreign wilderness, but to sometimes introduce new plants in their gardens, year after year. Through the import of seeds and bulbs ...
  • Rising Starz Fundraiser For Make-A-Wish Set aside this Saturday, October 25th, for the First Annual Rising Starz Event, showcasing the talents of local performers with the intent to raise enough money to grant a wish to a wish child. The ‘magic’ of a wish can reinvigorate ...
  • Rosebrier 4H Beef Club It’s that time of the year, 4H has begun. We are all so excited to begin a new year with new calves. We have 19 members in our club this year. During our October meeting we held elections. Our Executive are as follows: Emilee ...
  • Leduc City’s Emergency Response Proves Effective In Dealing With Spill Leduc Fire Services responded to a chemical spill at the Leduc Recreation Centre (LRC) on Oct. 16, 2014. Fourteen firefighters, two pump trucks, one rescue truck and a command vehicle were dispatched to the LRC shortly after ...
  • The 2014 Calmar Firemen’s Ball Goes Country! This year, the 8th annual Calmar Firemen’s Ball did a 360 and went from the usual formal affair to a down home country casual theme, much to everyone’s liking! The evening began with an excellent meal with plenty of country ...
  • Medieval Fundraiser Immanuel Anglican Church in Wetaskiwin had a wonderful time with its second annual evening of Medieval Feasting and Entertainment. The evening was intended as a fundraiser for the church, and included a silent auction. The ...
  • Thorsby Ballerina Headed For the Big Stage Six years of dance classes might enrich the life of a youth, but for a young Thorsby ballerina, hard work and focused passion will lead to an opportunity of a lifetime. Kiera Souza, who turned nine years old on October 17th, ...
  • Bob Robinson: Rodeo Hall Of Fame Inductee 2014 Millet’s own Bob Robinson had the honor of being inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, during the Rodeo Historical Society’s Rodeo Weekend, September 26-27. Born September 13, 1931 in Calgary to Frederick ...
  • Small Fire Department Receives Big Boost On Friday, October 10th, the County of Wetaskiwin’s Mulhurst & District Fire & Rescue Department was presented with a cheque for $15,000. The money was donated during the ‘2014 Larry Majeski Memorial Golf Tournament & BBQ’ ...
  • This, That And Everything As of October 10th, Millet really does have This That And Everything. Located at 5009 – 49 Ave in the old Fields location, owners Richard and Sabrina Jaffray-Barnes have realized their dream of a family business. The couple ...
  • Louisiana Hayride At Maclab Upon making plans to attend the country Music Tribute concert, “Hayride” at the Maclab Centre for the Performing Arts in Leduc, it came to the attention of regional theatre-goers that the Maclab now offers reserved seating. ...
  • Power Off Predators Technology, the Internet and social media are facts of life in today’s society, and with all the benefits, there is a dark corner where predators groom and lure young people. When Warburg resident Colleen Foster was approached ...
  • Turkey Chase and Search for The Yeti The Annual Devon Turkey Chase is in its 9th year, held once again at the Lions Campground on the shore of the North Saskatchewan River. This fun outdoor event is so rooted in the Town of Devon’s local culture, that it has ...
  • Fall Food Roundup Success The shelves of the Leduc and District Food Bank are filling up again with another successful Fall Food Round Up. This year, 17,679 pounds of food was collected in the door-to-door food drive Oct. 6. Another 3,900 pounds have ...
  • Leduc Food Bank Cooking Lessons Each month, between 100 and 150 families in the Beaumont, Calmar, Leduc, Leduc County, Devon, New Sarepta, Thorsby, Nisku and Warburg walk through the doors at the Leduc and District Food Bank looking for help to feed their ...
  • Young Leaders To Be Praised At 3rd Annual Mayor’s Event On October 29th, from noon till 2 pm, at the Best Western, over 70 Leduc teens will be applauded for their character, service and leadership at the 3rd Annual Mayor’s Youth Leadership Recognition Awards Luncheon. Leduc Mayor ...
  • Battle Lake Church Welcomes New Pastor A Commissioning Service planned for October 25 marks the first six months of the Buchholz’ pastoral ministry at Battle Lake Community Baptist Church. This is a momentous event for the congregation as it marks the end of a ...
  • Saving Lives During Operation Impact Submitted by S/Sgt Neill Pearson A/Officer in Charge, Wetaskiwin RCMP October 10-13, 2014 will mark Operation Impact, a national campaign to make Canada’s roads the safest in the world. Members of the Wetaskiwin RCMP detachment ...
  • 1st Annual WCTS Walker-Thon Raises Over $3,000!!! The Wetaskiwin Community Transportation Society held its 1st Annual Walker-thon earlier today (Friday, September 26, 2014) at the Wetaskiwin Mall. Led by Mayor Bill Elliot and W1440 Morning Man Billy Williams, 14 participants ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia