celebrated the 100th anniversary of
confederation in 1967, communities across Canada
joined in the celebration. From
the smallest village to the largest city,
activities and permanent "monuments"
were built that remain as concrete memories of
that year. The federal and
provincial governments set aside huge amounts of
money to encourage events and
construction of facilities. Fifty years later,
Onoway's Centennial Project has
stood the test of time as a well-used community
asset – just what the federal
Centennial Commission had envisioned when they
set aside $25 million
(approximately $1 for every person in Canada)
for this celebration.
At a public meeting
(attended by 32 people) in early 1967,
the suggestion was made that a new hall be built
and in March the work began.
Mayor Charles Seeley and MLA Wm. Patterson
officially laid the cornerstone. By
August it was ready for the first event (the
wedding of Elaine Liske and Roy
Gitzel). On December 1, MLA Dr. Hugh Horner cut
the ribbon and declared the
Onoway Community Centre open.
Funds had been
raised by selling "blocks". The Onoway
branch of the Elks played a major role in
fundraising and paying off the debt.
Laying the Cornerstone
The Old Community Centre, built in
New Community Centre with centennial
One of Onoway's
centennial events was a beard-growing
contest, with the winners announced at the
official opening of the Community
Hall. Prizes were given for the worst beard,
best full beard, best trimmed
beard, best style and most unique beard.
Centennial Souvenirs (including
the ubiquitous ashtray)
Beard Growing Contest
Onoway's long time
reporter, Mable Zerke, covered the Centennial
Project from its ideation to the final ceremony,
taking photos that were
incorporated into a two-page spread in the Lac
Ste. Anne News on December 13,
1967. You can check out the newspaper and Mrs.
Zerke's photos in the archives
at the Onoway Museum.