Montgomery Place 70th Anniversary – 1946-2016
Tears and hugs, smiles and laughter … the gathering to celebrate 70 years of Montgomery Place was an emotional weekend for many. Beginning Friday night, September 16, 2006 with a Family Dance at St. Dominic School, the event carried on Saturday morning, September 17, with an Alumni Meet-and-Greet at Montgomery School. The Opening Ceremony later Saturday at the cairn in Montgomery Park kicked off afternoon activities in Montgomery Park, at both schools and at St. David’s Trinity United Church. Entertainment throughout the day Saturday was capped off with fireworks at dusk. The Sunday morning church service on September 18 brought more chuckles and groans as Montgomery photos through the years were shared.
“Our family had an awesome weekend visiting with friends and family, going down memory lane” said one Calgary ex-pat. “It was a sentimental journey back in time to relive our childhood days. We all have fond memories of our Montgomery days and the lifelong friendships that were made,” remarked another who had made the trip from Michigan. One 90+ year old original resident booked herself out of the hospital to attend the Opening Ceremony. “Nothing was getting in my way of celebrating this community,” she claimed.
Sincere thanks to all of you who helped make the Montgomery Place 70th Anniversary weekend memorable. To students, staff and parents at Montgomery School and St. Dominic School – thank you. To the folks of St. David’s Trinity United Church – thank you. Church folks brewed over 200 cups of coffee and served almost 400 cookies on Saturday. Following the special heritage service on Sunday, everyone shared an anniversary cake, more coffee and visiting. Thank you to the Scouts who flipped 180 hamburgers, 120 hotdogs, fried up the best onions ever and sold over 200 drinks – then turned over the proceeds to the community. Neighbourhood volunteers who set up chairs and took them down, made sure the technical stuff worked, gave us a fireworks show, who baked goodies and served coffee, who brought out their vintage cars, who gave wagon rides and organized activities for kids, who called and invited veterans and original residents, who showed fashions through the decades, who shared heritage family photos, who came out and supported the activities – give yourselves a pat on the back.
We extend sincere appreciation to our sponsors: Community Initiatives Fund, City of Saskatoon, and original residents Doreen Braithwaite and Ruby Sleath. Ruby, who now lives in Cut Knife, celebrated her 100th birthday in 2015.
We were thankful to have a number of dignitaries join us at the Opening Ceremonies: Sheri Benson – MP Saskatoon West; Danielle Chartier – MLA Saskatoon Riversdale; Don Atchison – Mayor of Saskatoon; and Pat Lorje – Ward 2 Councillor. A special thank you goes to Dr. Jim Miller, Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and Irène LeGatt of Parks Canada who came in support of our recent designation as a National Historic Site. Barb Biddle brought heartfelt greetings from the MPCA and veteran Robbie Harder spoke with 90-year-old charm on behalf of the first families to settle Montgomery Place in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
It was a weekend to make new Montgomery memories and to remember Montgomery Place memories from the past. Special thanks to the original residents, many in their nineties, who came to enjoy our Montgomery Place celebration of 70 years of community. To those of you who travelled many miles to be here, thank you.
There is something here that is special to Montgomery Place … a feeling that time does not erase and distance does not dissolve. We were founded in a time of gratitude for peace and sacrifice. Somehow, that gratitude has permeated this place. We remain thankful for the blessings of living and growing in Montgomery Place.