Ed Karlo was put to work auctioning off a basket of goodies for Secret Santa.
Auctioneer extraordinaire, Ed Karlo, was the 2013 inductee into the Wetaskiwin Agricultural Hall of Fame. At 91 years of age, Karlo has been recognized by the Alberta Auctioneers Association as the oldest practising auctioneer in Alberta. He is still employed by Vold Jones Vold Auctions in Ponoka (since 1957) and by Zimmerman Auctions (since 1994). Reg Lyle's father once said that Karlo was the only auctioneer that he could understand. He clerked for various auctions from 1947 until 1951 when he obtained his own auctioneers license. From 1951 to 1994, he ran his own Ed Karlo Auctions.
However, Ed Karlo was more than an auctioneer. He was only 13 when his father took ill, so he had to leave school to work the family farm located five miles west of Wetaskiwin. He tells how he started farming with horses, getting up at five in the morning to feed the horses and clean the barn, then harness the horses and work in the field all day. He says that now, more field work can be done in two hours than in two days with horses. He continued working the farm until 1986. Today his daughter, Evelyn, and her husband Eric Heilman still operate the family farm. He also has two grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
The Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society combines its annual banquet, recognition of students receiving Agriculture related scholarships, induction into the Wetaskiwin Agricultural Hall of Fame, and some good entertainment to provide a splendid evening.
The WCHS Freda Nelles Award was awarded to Robyn Lethbridge, the Olds College Endowment Bursary to Mason Betlamini, and the University of Alberta Leadership Award to Jordan Peterson and Marissa Green. Of these award recipients, only Jordan Peterson was present to express his appreciation.
Entertaining magician and slight of hand artist, James Hanson, led in expression of appreciation to those who prepared the food before beginning his interesting show which included considerable audience participation. He ended by escaping from being padlocked in a straightjacket inside a padlocked mailbag.
The Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society holds events around the year with the Cutter Rally in February, 4-H Beef Clubs Achievement Days in May, Light Horse and Gymkana events, the Rawhide Rodeo, and sponsoring the weekly Farmers' Market. The 15th Annual Rawhide Rodeo will be held on June 13th to 15th in 2014, and will again be held in conjunction with Pioneer Days. A very special event this summer will be the RCMP Musical Ride on August 20th.
The Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society has been a very important part of its community since 1898, and opened the Wetaskiwin Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1980. The Ag Society and the people involved in it have been instrumental in the development of Wetaskiwin County and City.