News | DrumhellerMail - Page #2905
Last updateTue, 18 Jun 2024 12pm

Seniors recount Christmas in the Valley

    Christmas has changed considerably in the Drumheller Valley. inSide Drumheller sat down with Cecil and Ida Botkin and asked if they could share their Christmas memories.

Ida: Both of our parents were really poor. Maybe we would get a pair of socks for Christmas, but nothing else.
    Then one year my dad came from Oregon with his sister. She brought us each a doll. A doll is something you never forget when you’ve never had one.
    He’s about the same.

Cecil: Only worse.

Ida: You never even got a doll.

Cecil: We were farmers and we had nothing for Christmas. We didn’t even celebrate it, because we were so poor. We were lucky to get clothes.

Ida: My mom and dad used to raise geese and chickens for Christmas dinner. We usually had a goose for Christmas. But, they couldn’t afford to buy a turkey. Other than that we had all the vegetables we needed.
    In 1944 we each had a weekend off for Christmas, so we got married. But, he went in the army right after that.

Cecil: We got married on the 23rd. That was our Christmas present. Two weeks later I was in the army.

Ida: That’s why we did it, because he had got his call already and we wanted to get married before he left. We’ve had 67 Christmases together.

Ida: We had our first daughter on November 30. We were in Barrie, Ontario, at that time. What do you do with a baby for Christmas? They don’t care whether they get anything or not.
    But we made sure that our own kids never suffered for anything.

Awareness of holiday check stops growing

    ‘Tis the season for safe driving, and it appears so far Drumheller residents are getting the message.
    The Drumheller RCMP has stepped up its enforcement and has been staging a number of check stops leading up to and through the holiday season. Staff Sergeant Art Hopkins said awareness of the check stops is getting out.
    “Last Friday night and Saturday they were really busy,” said Hopkins. “People are talking about it.”
 On top of the weekend check stops, Drumheller RCMP are also implementing random check stops.
    “If you are caught driving under the influence, there are many things that could happen, ranging from driving prohibition to vehicle seizures,” said Hopkins. “That is not including what could happen if someone gets hurt as a result of your actions while under the influence. The financial implications to you and your family are huge should you get caught driving or are involved in a collision where someone gets hurt.”
    Hopkins said so far, during their check stops, no drivers have been charged with impaired driving.
    “There have been some minor drug possession charges and some open liquor charges, but there haven’t been any impaired drivers or 24 suspensions,” said Hopkins. “We have had a couple no insurance and other violations.”
    He said the random check stops will continue through to the new year.
    Bottom line for Hopkins: if you are planning on drinking, plan on a ride home.

iKettle makes online donations easy

    The iKettle phenomenon is catching as an iKettle in the community is now ranked sixth in the country for donations.
    Last week a generous online donation from Rod Dyck of Rosedale Concrete Works of $1,000 put the Drumheller iKettle, sponsored by Q91, up to $1,900.
    Introduced a couple years ago, the iKettle has become a safe and easy way to donate to the local kettle campaign. Online donations are just like regular donations. The funds go to the local Salvation Army to fund local programs. It is less work for the local office at this busy time of year as an e-receipt is automatically generated.
    The iKettle allows the donor to make their contribution using a credit card or through PayPal. iKettle also allows donors or hosts to send emails to help fill iKettle.        Donors can host a kettle, or they can simply give to an existing one. There is no registration fee to participate.
    So far the iKettle is catching on. Last year, the Drumheller Salvation Army was also ranked in the top 10 across Canada for online donations. This year they appear to be on the same track.
    To make a donation to the Kettle, simply go to or, and follow the banner link on the bottom of the page.


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