On the afternoon of Monday, September 4, 2023, twenty-eight members and spouses of the Carrot River Valley (Melfort & District) chapter of the Superannuated Teachers of Saskatchewan (STS) gathered at the Melfort Museum for a reunion barbeque to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of both the provincial STS and the chapter. The museum was chosen as the venue for two reasons: to support fundraising by the museum board, and because of the Rothwell S.D. 318 country school.
The provincial organization was originally formed in October of 1973 with the primary purpose of improving pensions for former colleagues who, at the time, were receiving very small pensions. However, it was in April, 1973, a full six months earlier, that a group of twelve superannuates from Melfort, Prairie River and Porcupine Plain began meeting in Melfort, making it one of the founding chapters of the STS.
The more than one hundred twenty-five members of our chapter are spread across four provinces from British Columbia to Manitoba. Members returned for the event from as far away as Lloydminster and Saskatoon.
Registration for our reunion barbeque began at 3 pm on this smoky chilly day. People were free to explore the many buildings at the museum before the bell rang out to draw them back to the gazebo for a brief program at 4:30 involving chapter president, Karen Jordan; museum curator, Gail Marie Anderson; provincial vice-president, Sue Amundrud and 50th anniversary committee representative, Valerie Hopkinson. Grace Ellis said grace so our meal could begin after pictures. Everyone then gathered at the old Rothwell S.D. 318 country school for pictures, laughter, and reminiscing about their days in the one room school. The chapter wishes to thank the Melfort Museum Board and volunteers for opening the museum on their day off and for the wonderful meal.
The following morning, an even larger group gathered at the Melfort Golf and Country Club for our annual ‘To Hell with the Bell’ breakfast buffet where we welcome new retirees to the next chapter of life and to the chapter. Our breakfast is always held on the first day the students return to school. This year we welcomed in person four new retirees and a new member who transferred into our chapter. Two other new retirees were unable to attend. Gathering together for our events and meetings has always been a time for old friends and colleagues to not only do the business of the chapter (which includes advocacy for members, children, teachers, seniors, and local causes), but also a time of fellowship. The chapter has also acted ‘in service to others’ through community outreach activities. We have maintained our relationship with the provincial organization hosting provincial recreation events, attending provincial general meetings, and have had members who have been on the provincial executive and members declared Honourary Lifetime Members of the STS over the years. Here’s hoping that the next fifty years of the STS and the Carrot River Valley (Melfort & District) chapter are as good and as productive as the first fifty have been!!