Tansem, Wally

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Tansem, Wally

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Wallace Tansem was born in Wanham, where his father, Peter Tansem, ran the first store and Post Office. His school years were spent at South Slope school, and he farmed in the Wanham area with his family as a young man.

In 1945, Doris Williams came from Edmonton to teach at the South Slope school. She married Wally in 1946 and remained in the village for more than 50 years.

Always having a strong interest in the little community, Wally & Doris were involved in many activities over the years. In 1958, when Wanham became a Village, Wally was elected the first Mayor. In 1962, they took over the Post Office which had been established by his father. In 1969, with the help of his friend Lawrence Laughy, Wally began to produce a small weekly newspaper. Approximately fifty issues were written before the project folded, but it was resurrected for a time in 1975.

In 1970, Wally became the first president of C.O.C.O. (Community of Coordinating Organizations), a group whose aim was to coordinate all the activities in Wanham which required funding, a place to meet and an executive to make decisions. This group went on to create a fund-raiser, the Wanham Plowing Match, which would see yearly visitors and contestants from across Western Canada.

In 1983, Wally retired from the Post Office, and in the late 90s, the couple moved to Grande Prairie.


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