The Parker Story Excerpt from Cherished Memories.
A compilation by Ardrossan Unifarm. (1972)
ISBN     0-919212-16-6

Pages 67-70

THE PARKER STORY - continued by Donna Parker

           Yes, there is still a Clyde Wilson on the old homestead, the soil is still being tilled, there are still horses romping in the field, but not in front of a heavy plough. This is the story of the generation who kept Clyde and Bella's dream alive, who worked so hard to keep the farm going and who have made it what it is today. This is the story of the Mearl Rogers Parker's, and the Clyde Wilson Parker's Jr.

          Things were not easy when Clyde took ill with arthritis. His illness worsened steadily and help was badly needed to keep the family and the farm together. Clyde could no longer do the work, certainly he could not expect Bella to take on such a load, and money was needed to educate the last of the family. The situation looked grim, and it was at this time that Mearl Rogers, second youngest of the family (born October 4, 1906) was taken out of school to help pick up the pieces. Roger was 17 at the time, and the farm proved to be quite a responsibility for such a young lad. Times were difficult and Roger worked very hard, discussing the day's work with his father every morning before he went out to begin. I have heard it told that once a very lovely colt was born, and since Clyde could not go to see the colt, they brought the colt to see him; right through the kitchen, living room and down the hall to Clyde's room. So you see, he kept in touch with the situations. Time passed and the 'hungry thirties' set in, a very difficult time indeed, especially for the farmers. Clyde's condition became worse, he had been confined to bed for many years now and nothing seemed to help. He passed away on Easter Sunday, 1935.
           Time ticked by, and on July 28, 1944, Roger's wit and charm won him a wife - Dorothy Steele Parker. Two years later, on July 26, 1946, their daughter Dorothy Donna was born.

           There were many happy times which have left many happy memories. When the Rev. Robert McLaren was one of the many student ministers at Ardrossan, he organized two youth groups: the C.G.I.T. and the Trail Rangers. After much persuasion, Mr. McLaren was able to get Dot to accept the leadership of the C.G.I.T. Lorne Storms had the boys' group 'The Trail Rangers', and the young folks together with their leaders had many happy days together, working, hiking, camping and just plain getting together.

The Roger Parker Family About 1970

          By this time, Clyde Wilson (Bill), (born on June 1st, 1932) and Wayne Widdis, (born December 26, 1927) were almost grown. They had been normal boys, getting into everything, but it had been fun watching them grow up, and now they were spoiling their baby sister, Donna, who loved every minute of it. In 1949, Wayne passed away very suddenly leaving a very sad family behind. Rev. Morse Johnson was the minister at that time, and the family shall always remember with thankful hearts his special messages for us.

           Roger and Dot were both active in the Ardrossan Community, Roger at different times being the president of the Ardrossan Community League, the Curling Club, the Home and School and worked hard to help get these community projects on their way. He was also the chairman of the Church Board when our new Church was erected. When the new Church had been paid for, a few years later, a ceremony was held during which Mrs. Mary Rice held the mortgage while Roger set fire to it. When it came to the Church and Community, Dot was right in there too - she worked with the Community League and was president, secretary, etc. of the Ardrossan United Workers.

           In 1951, Bella passed away, once again leaving a sad Parker family behind.

           On July 24, 1953, Bill married Connie Bell. They built a home right across from Roger and Dot's - much to Donna's delight, who loved to visit and spend nights at their place. Bill and Connie now have six beautiful children. Gwendolyn Ann (Lynn) born October 2, 1954, Clyde Wilson Dale (Dale) born March 19, 1956, Mearl Alexander (Mearl) born November 4, 1957, Dorothy Mary Janice (Jan) born May 26, 1959, Sharon Dianne (Dianne) born May 8, 1964 and Barton Robert (Barton) born June 23, 1968. Bill and Connie also lost a dear wee son at birth, Bradley Wayne, November 13, 1961. He is laid to rest with the rest of the family in the family plot at Fairmount Cemetery.

           In 1947, while Donna was just a wee baby, Roger decided to run for Councillor, was elected, and has remained on the council ever since. Roger currently heads the County Council (and his done so for the past 14 years) as Reeve. He sits on the School Committee and the Agricultural Committee. He is involved with the building and maintaining of the roads, schools and development of parkland. Roger is Chairman of the Norwood Auxiliary Hospital Board and has served as a member of the University Hospital Board. He is Chairman of the Edmonton Area Emergency Measures Organization, Vice-President of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, Past Chairman of the Edmonton Area Industrial Association, Chairman of the North Eastern Water Board, Member of the Strathcona-Leduc Water Board, Member of the Blue Cross Board, Past Chairman of the North Saskatchewan Pollution Control Board and a member of the Provincial Planning Advisory Board. It was partly through Roger that the dollar-for-dollar grant was established by County Council to help communities like Ardrossan get their start.

           Donna finished her education at Ardrossan and Camrose Lutheran College then took a job as secretary. After a few years of this, she felt restless and wanted to travel so decided to go to Europe. The trip was planned for three months and she knew when she returned she would feel much more settled. It did not work just like that, and the three month jaunt turned into over 2 years, during which time she toured Europe and lived and worked in London, England. It was during this time that she met her Fiancee, John Howard Batt from Erlestoke, Wiltshire, England. They are to be married on June 3rd, 1972, and will reside in England.

           After Roger became a councillor, he found as time went on it took much more of his time. Permanent help had to be hired on the farm. The homestead house is now being used for the help and is still a lovely home. For Roger and Dot, it was necessary to build a new home, which they did in 1963, on the exact spot where Hamilton Lackey had lived.

           Bill and Connie are doing an excellent job of operating the dairy farm which consists of 700 acres. The dairy supplies milk to the Edmonton Milk Shed. Bill and Connie, with the help of their family, also run a small feed lot in order to use the surplus feed.

           Bill and Connie are very busy people in every way. They are both involved in community activities, Bill being Past President of the Curling Club and working hard in the Community Centre. Connie teaches Sunday School and works with the United Church Women plus many more activities which involve her family such as hockey, curling, music lessons, 4H Club, ball games, etc.

           That brings the M. R. and C. W. Parker story up-to-date to 1972.

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Created 30 January 2000 by Don Smith 
Last Updated 30 January 2000