How long has the Gordondale Community Club been around in one form or another?
The Gordondale Ladies Community Association was started on July 8, 1959 by a group of ladies in the district for an $8 fee to become a not-for-profit society. On April 22, 1982, the name was changed to the Gordondale Community Club.
Who started it?
Selena E. Singer, coffeeshop owner; Roanna Campbell, licensed minister; and Lillian Ash, Barbara Ash, Eleanore Moxness, Tillie Farnsworth, and Rae Mackay.
How much difference is the club making to the community?
Unfortunately, our efforts to build a new hall for our community has experienced many delays and setbacks. Bad weather in the summer of 2019 has set our construction schedule back. Then we learned we had to upgrade both the electrical and gas connections for the new hall, which took extra time to complete. We ended up halting construction in the winter of 2020. We restarted construction in the past summer, but the contractor’s prior commitments and COVID-19 restrictions have combined to drag our pace slower than we had hoped for. We are confident that once our facility is ready, it will get its share of rental bookings, and we are hoping to be able to offer more options through our club as well.
The Gordondale Community Club is quite involved in the community. Can you share some of the events you normally host?
We host our famous Perogy Fest annually on the first Saturday of February. We also hold bingos, potluck suppers, halloween dances, monthly movie nights, paint nights, craft days, and annual Christmas baking exchange. We have hosted antique tractor pulls and picnics in the past. If we are aware of them, we also hold bridal showers for any brides or grooms from Gordondale.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected what the Gordondale Community Club is able to do in the community?
The pandemic has stopped all our meetings and events since March 2020. It also has an impact on the build of the new hall. Supplies we need are not readily available to purchase to get the job done, and prices have risen. The price of lumber has tripled since we started construction. It also limits the number of contractors we can have onsite so that also adds extra time.
I assume during regular years you have your set fundraisers. How did you manage this year?
Our Annual Perogy Fest in February is our big fundraiser. We will not be able to have it unless COVID-19 restrictions change before then. We also rely on donations from business and individuals. We have been fortunate to have had received donations from companies, although they said the pandemic has also affected their capacity to donate. Saddle Hills County also provides us with both an operating grant to help with the expenses yearly and capital grants.
Who normally makes the perogies for the Annual Perogy Fest?
We are open for anyone to come and make or learn to make perogies with us. There are about 10 of us that usually get together one day and make all the perogies for the fest. Who knows? Once our kitchen is ready, maybe we will make and sell perogies for a fundraiser. We are always asked at the Perogy Fest if we sell the leftovers.
What are some of the long-term goals for the community hall?
Our long-term goals are to provide a safe and secure place for people to gather for both social and educational purposes and to help people deal with isolation. Anyone can rent our hall for both personal and business uses as well. We are hoping to be able to supply a few more options to area residents once we have our commercial kitchen available to use. People will also be able to rent the kitchen for their own use. We would love to see something in the hall every week. If anyone has any courses or suggestions that they would like to see happen please feel free to reach out to anyone on the executive of the club. If we can make it happen, we would be happy to.
Does the Gordondale Community Club require membership?
Yes, anyone who is 16 years or older and resides in Alberta can pay the $1 yearly membership. We hold elections for the executive every two years. We usually have meetings every second month except for July and August. However, with COVID-19 all meetings have been cancelled.
Why do community clubs remain important?
We feel that the community club that runs our hall is the heartbeat of our community. Without the hall, we feel we would lose the sense of community. That is one of the reasons we decided to move forward to build the new hall. We love to be able to provide a place where people can come together.
How does the Gordondale Community Club honor its founders?
We have a plaque that hangs in the hall, which includes many of the homesteaders’ names. We have had family members purchase different pieces of furniture and have had plaques made for them. We have a picture of the first original log hall built by residents that was originally by where the mailboxes are now and not where the current hall sits. We have also made a commitment to upkeep the church that sits just north of the hall even though it is no longer used. Everyone just wants to keep it safe. Many of the area residents attended kindergarten in that church.
Do the area community clubs ever work together?
I think so. We always try to make sure that we do not have events on the same days or times as the other clubs if we are aware of them. We also try not to hold the same kinds of events as the other clubs. We have helped other clubs with their casino fundraisers and others have helped us as well. It is hard for all of us to get enough volunteers, so it helps to volunteer for each other.
- Location: 1/2 mile South of Highway 49 on Range Road 105
- Phone: (780) 864-1801
- E-mail: email@example.com
Please contact Sherrill Day at (780) 353-2484 to rent the Gordondale Community Club hall.