Edith Walker with the flowers presented to her in appreciation of her 60 years of working with the 4-H.
In her 60 years with 4-H, Edith Walker has done it all, and enjoyed every minute of it. Ever since the first 4-H Clubs in the Falun area were begun in the 1952-53 club year with Food, Barley, Garden, and Capon (neutered male chickens raised for eating) Clubs, Edith has been involved in some capacity including as assistant leader, leader, council member, fund raiser, competition judge, and clerking in the Wetaskiwin District Beef Clubs Sale.
Edith Walker was an assistant leader with the Garden Club and the Lone Ridge Clothing Club, which began in 1953-54, until these clubs disbanded in 1971. Unfortunately, at that time the registration of leaders were not always submitted, so she hasn't been formally credited with all of those 19 years. In the meantime, her oldest son, Lester, joined the Falun 4-H Club in 1962, so Edith was also involved as an active parent, a volunteer with the beef show committee as well as helping with the sale, and was registered as an assistant leader in 1969. In 1970, the Falun Club had 43 members, so it was split into the Falun East Club with 24 members led by Gilbert Pockrant and Edith Walker, and the Falun West Club led by Albert Jaburek and George Stewart. Edith continued with this club leadership until 1985, 16 years of formal leadership. At some point during these years, Edith also was involved in starting the Lone Ridge Small Engine 4-H Club, which is still going after moving to the Ponoka area.
In the meantime, the 4-H Foundation was formed in 1972, and a part of their vision was to build a camp similar to the one in Saskatchewan. Edith helped to make it happen, both through her involvement in the many meetings she attended and through fund raising efforts including bingoes, bottle drives and highway cleanup. The 143 acre parcel of land on the south-west shore of Battle Lake was purchased in 1977.
Between 1985 and 1990, Edith Walker sat on all levels of 4-H councils, from district to regional to provincial, and held executive positions much of this time. She recalls this part of her involvement among the highlights of her work with 4-H, as it provided a different experience, perspective and understanding, and especially as it provided the opportunity to meet so many other 4-H leaders on the provincial council.
Edith has found her work with 4-H both enjoyable and satisfying. She delighted in working with the kids, teaching them and helping them in a variety of ways. She found it very satisfying to watch them grow up and make something of themselves, and appreciates that employers value 4-H experience. She wouldn't have put in 60 years with the organization, 50 years with the Beef Club, if she didn't find it enjoyable and satisfying with each year special and having its own highlights.
Even after her five children, Lester, Ross, Donna, Fern and Maureen, completed their 4-H programs, Edith continued to assist 4-H through conducting workshops, judging public speaking, and clerking for the annual Wetaskiwin District Beef Clubs Sale.
In 2013, 4-H will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in Canada; a 100 years of helping our youth develop into responsible, capable, caring adults. Those 100 years have been made possible by the work of dedicated volunteers such as Edith Walker. Her outstanding contribution has been made, with her husband Bill by her side, over a period of 60 years, and counting. Thank you, Edith!