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Authority record
Agriculture

Rochester & District Agricultural Society

  • AATH 12.27
  • Corporate body
  • 1979 - Present

The Rochester & District Agricultural Society (RDAS) was chartered on the 21st day of August 1979 and is a non-profit organization that brings people together to celebrate agriculture’s influence on our past, present, and future. The first charter night was January 25, 1980, and the Chairman was Allan Gerlach.
RDAS is committed to promoting agriculture, preserving community spirit, and researching local agricultural history. Hard-working volunteers maintain facilities and run programs and events that bring people together. The facilities include a hall, fair grounds, outdoor horse arena, baseball diamond, beer garden, summer hall, and skating rink with warm-up room.

Spence, George Leslie

  • Ath 18.23
  • Person
  • 1907 - 1997

Leslie Spence was born in 1907 and came west with his parents, Percy and Dorothea Spence, in 1909. Percy homesteaded SE 28-66-23 W4 and worked for the HBCo. transporting freight scows on the Athabasca River. Leslie had five brothers and three sisters. Leslie attended school at West Athabasca School after 1914 when it was opened. He helped his father freighting, including driving a freight team to Wabasca when he was 12 with brother Earl, Dave Wilson, Pete Jacobsen, Art Cullins and others. They freighted fish from Calling Lake for J. Macintosh in the 1920s. Leslie bought SW 25-66-22 W4 in 1950 and farmed hay and oats, and had cattle and horses. The 1975, Athabasca Legion Branch 103 honored Leslie by bestowing on him their Citizen of the Year Award.

Wolanuk, Victor

  • ath 20.18
  • Person
  • 1928 - 2016

Victor Wolanuk was one years old when his parents Wasyl (Bill) and Annie Wolanuk immigrated from Poland with their three children (Xannie and Antonette) in 1929. Bill (1892 – 1945) homesteaded at NW 10-68-21-W4, Richmond Park, Alberta and two more children were born in 1930 (Mary) and 1937 (John). Annie and the children kept the farm running after Bill’s death in 1945; Victor eventually taking over the homestead. He married Anne Popwich in 1955. Victor became an Athabasca School District No. 42 trustee in 1950, was a member of the Farmers’ Union of Alberta (subsequently the United Farmer’s of Alberta), a director of the Richmond Park Mutual Telephone Company, and a member of the “Reflections from Across the River,” 1994 history book committee. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 88 years. His grandson now farms the family homestead.