Archives celebrating 50th birthday with open house on June 12

From a summons for Canada’s first court trial to include women jurors to letters from Boris Karloff’s wife, Olive de Winton, you never know what will turn up in the Red Deer and District Archives.

From a summons for Canada’s first court trial to include women jurors to letters from Boris Karloff’s wife, Olive de Winton, you never know what will turn up in the Red Deer and District Archives.

“Every day, you find something new and amazing. It’s a wonderful place to work,” said archivist Selena Percy.

On Thursday, June 12, Central Albertans will be officially invited to discover this treasure trove — the local archives is celebrating its 50th birthday by hosting a community open house from 1 to 7 p.m.

Besides partaking of some cake and refreshments, visitors can hear Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer speak at 4:15 p.m., and take a tour of the archives, located at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.

Some interesting files will be opened, promised Percy, who believes people might be surprised by some of the records and photographs that turn up.

For instance, there’s the aforementioned court summons from the early 1920s — Percy believes many area residents don’t realize the first Canadian trial to include female jurors was held in Red Deer.

There are also documents and photos pertaining to English-born de Wilton, who grew up here before leaving to pursue an acting career, eventually becoming the common-law wife of Frankenstein actor Karloff.

De Wilton acted in Eastern Canada, the U.S. and England, before returning to live in Montreal, where she wrote for the National Film Board in the early 1950s. She retired to Lacombe, where she died in 1968.

Percy said the archives also has weighty papers linked to Alix resident Irene Parlby.

The early London-born feminist settled in this area with her family in 1896.

She helped found the first women’s local of the United Farmers of Alberta in 1913. She was elected to the Alberta legislature in 1921 and held the Lacombe riding for 14 years. Parlby, who became the first woman cabinet minister in Alberta, was also one of the Famous Five.

Through a court battle known as the Persons Case, the Famous Five established that women were “qualified Persons” under the Canadian Constitution and, therefore, entitled to sit in the federal Senate.

Percy said the Red Deer and District Archives was started in 1964 to collect records for the City of Red Deer, but also began collecting documents about the general community.

This includes hundreds of thousands of newspaper stories, including decades-old Advocate articles on microfilm.

Over the years, the five local archivists have helped many individuals search for the histories of their homes, businesses or families.

Members of community groups have sought historic tidbits about their organizations. Students and academic researchers have called to check facts — as have various filmmakers and members of local, national and international media, who needed background information for stories.

“We help whoever comes in,” said Percy, who hopes more people will discover this local asset through the open house.

For more information about the event at 4525 47A Ave., call 403-309-8403.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Tsunami warning for B.C.’s coast is cancelled after Alaska quake

VANCOUVER — A tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia was cancelled… Continue reading

Sewage spill shuts beaches along California’s Central Coast

MONTEREY, Calif. — Nearly 5 million gallons of sewage spilled into the… Continue reading

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

TORONTO — A Toronto producer who worked on “The Shape of Water”… Continue reading

US, others launch new tool to punish chemical weapons users

PARIS — The United States and 28 other countries are launching a… Continue reading

Fewer than half of Canadians hold optimistic, open view of the world: poll

OTTAWA — Canada’s reputation as a nation with an open and optimistic… Continue reading

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

RDC chosen to host 2019 men’s volleyball national championship

Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to… Continue reading

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month