Last waltz for Sunbeam School | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateThu, 22 Feb 2024 3pm

Last waltz for Sunbeam School

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    It was a bittersweet celebration at the Sunbeam School as hundreds of community members came to celebrate the landmark, and to also bid a tearful goodbye.     The Sunbeam School celebrated its centennial last weekend. Marg Trentham, who, with four others, helped organize the event, estimates that 300 were through the site for the celebration, and all brought a different feeling and memory.
    “It was incredible,” said Trentham summing it up. “I was getting phone calls all day (Monday) saying how well it was run.”
    It was a reunion as classmates from days gone by, friends who have left the area and even family members who had not been seen for years, came together.
    One highlight for Trentham is when they released 100 balloons, all with personal message written on cards from members of the community.
                    “It will be interesting to see if anyone finds them, how far they went and if they come back,” said Trentham.
    On top of socializing, the crowd was treated to good food and all kinds of entertainment. Local musicians took to the stage as well as the famous “Hawkins Family,” made up of Becky, Andrew and Eric Neuman, Keith Moe, Laurie Jarvis and Susan Montgomery.
    The school opened in 1911 to 14 students, and operated until 1949. A couple years later, the community took it over.
    Trentham said the hall has enjoyed great success over the years as a community hub.
    “It didn’t matter what we put on, it was a hit. People would come to the ski-doo rallies because of the chili and the homemade pies, and we never ran out of food,” she said.
    Other events such as Halloween parties, farm sales and showers have been mainstays of the hall.
    What has made the event more emotional is that even as plans were being made for the celebrations, plans were being made for its sale.
    Lack of support by community members, and facing the high costs of maintaining an aging building, the community has decided to liquidate the hall.
    “It just breaks my heart to say this is it, we had just so much fun down there. I guess it's life, another turn in the road,” said Trentham.

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