Part of my duties as Rotary 5360 District Governor is to visit all 48 Rotary and Rotaract clubs during my year (July 1st 2021 to June 30th 2022). These clubs are located from Banff in the west to Swift Current in the east and from Lacombe in the north to the US border. So far, I have visited 39 clubs of which 28 were on Zoom due to COVID.
The remaining 11 were in person meetings and Sue and I have had a great time exploring small town Alberta. One of the towns we most enjoyed visiting so far was Cardston. The land on which Cardston was founded was originally inhabited by the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) people of Kainai. It was not considered part of Blackfoot Territory by the Government of Canada in the Treaty 7 agreement of 1877. This town is just 30 minutes from the majestic Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and is the only town that intersects both the Cowboy Trail and Canada's historic Mormon Trail.
We arrived in Cardston in the early afternoon and after checking into the South Country Inn we did a bit of exploring. Right across the road was a fountain dedicated to Fay Wray. Fay was born in Cardston in 1907 and is best remembered for starring as Ann Darrow in the 1933 film “King Kong”.
Heading up the road we came to the George Woolf and Seabiscuit monument. Woolf was born in 1910 on a ranch in Cardston, to horse people - his mother had been a trick rider in a circus and his father rode in rodeos. George rode Seabiscuit to an epic victory against War Admiral in the 1938 Pimlico Special in Baltimore.
The next morning Sue and I were given a tour of the town by the Rotary Club of Cardston president, Jim Henline. Jim showed us a number of Rotary projects around town including the playground and spray park and the Lee Creek Walk Path. Other activities the club are planning throughout the year are the Music and Speech Festival and the Duck Race fundraiser. Finally, Jim took us to the visitor centre at the Cardston Alberta Temple, Cardston's most recognized landmark. It was constructed by Mormon pioneers. Built in 1923, it was the first temple constructed by the Latter-Day Saints Church outside of the United States.
After the club meeting Sue and I said goodbye to our new Rotary friends and head north up the 22 back to Cochrane. One thing we’ve seen on these visits is the impact Rotary has had in these communities and it echo’s the two motto’s of this organization “Service Above Self” and “People of Action”.
© 2021 Martin Parnell