In many small Canadian communities, there are special people behind the scenes who seem to be involved in everything and silently contribute to the community through their actions and deeds. Al Clemmer is one of those people. For the sixty-years he has lived in Alder Flats, Al has been the unheralded volunteer that has given so much to the citizens of Alder Flats and the surrounding area. His contributions started in 1957 with the building of a Community Hall and continue to this day with other projects and activities. It is because of his selfless dedication and volunteering efforts that Al is being inducted into the Wetaskiwin and Community Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1957, Al’s father Dick Clemmer was one of the major spear-headers in building the first Alder Flats Community Centre. Dick enlisted his son Al to assist with the building and that became the start of Al’s volunteering in Alder Flats. In 1960 Al was on the committee promoting construction of the curling rink that was attached to the Community Centre. He not only helped with the building of the rink but did most of the running to Edmonton or elsewhere for any requirements. Once the curling rink was built, Al taught curling to the young kids. At the time the ice was natural ice and Al was one of the crew that put in the ice every fall and made sure things were prepared for curling season ahead. Al was always at the rink cleaning and fixing.
Al was a member of the group that organized the 1967 Centennial Voyageurs Pack Horse Relay Race. This was an extensive project that drew over 1000 people. Besides being the Relay Race starter, he assisted in organizing the barbecue to feed everyone. From that function, the annual Alder Flats Race Meet and Rodeo was created. Al has volunteered every year since and has ordered the meat and done all the barbecuing for the annual steak dinner. Additionally, Al helps to maintain the rodeo grounds and assists in the organization of this yearly event.
Al was also involved in the raising of funds to build a new larger Community Centre with a new curling rink, this time with artificial ice. Additionally, he obtained the Grant for the skating rink and helped to build it. When the wooden boards of the skating rink were replaced by steel and plastic it was Al who managed this project. He was at the rink every day supervising and helping until the project was completed. Over the years, it was not unusual to see Al flooding and scraping the ice for the skaters.
From day one, Al has been the “go to” guy in the Alder Flats community. Besides assisting the putting in and maintaining the curling ice in the original curling rink, Al at one time or another has maintained most of the community buildings and facilities including the Community Centre, the skating rink, the fitness centre and the Legion. This volunteer maintenance job of the facilities has been Al’s job for the last 25 years and even though Al is now an octogenarian he is still the one called when there is a problem. He knows where everything is and how to get things fixed. Many take Al for granted but he never complains.
Al is indeed an example for everyone to emulate, giving back to humankind is such a desirable attribute. Al Clemmer’s volunteer time, his leadership, his efforts and his commitment to improving the lives of his neighbours through community events and facilities is being recognized by inducting him into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame.
The Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner will take place on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Best Western Wayside Inn Banquet Room in Wetaskiwin. Invitations are open to everyone and banquet tickets are available for purchase at the Encompass Credit Union in Wetaskiwin. The deadline for purchasing tickets is March 30. For further information about the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame, check out www.wetaskiwinsportsfame.com.