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Bentley history book unveiled

Bentley’s history came alive with the unveiling of its new history book on Thursday.

Bentley – A Gateway Through Time results from seven years of research by members of the Bentley and District Historical Society.

“We started in 2005 with two tasks,” said volunteer Myrna Robinson, an original society member.

“We wanted to reprint the old history book back from 1982 and to publish a new history book.”

Once copies of the 650-page Bentley and District Early History went on sale, work on the new book began in earnest.

“When the first book was done, quite a few families didn’t have submissions. We wanted them in.”

The new history is two volumes, the first of 500 pages detailing family histories, the second of 700 pages speaking of sports, organizations, agriculture and newsmakers. The initial print run is 1,750 copies.

Funding came from provincial and federal grants, as well as local donations.

“Both of them have lots of pictures,” Robinson said, adding the book’s launch wouldn’t have been possible without fellow volunteer Cora Knutson.

“She’s been our foundation. She heard about the queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations so we decided to put it together with that.”

Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee comes with just days left in 2012.

“We’d hoped to do them together in September, but the book wasn’t ready yet.”

The book launch and jubilee were celebrated at an event in the Blindman Valley Ag Centre that included an auction of limited editions, horse-drawn sleigh rides and a royal visit.

“Not the queen, but a queen,” laughed Robinson.

Both history books are available through the Bentley Museum or by contacting a historical society board member.



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