Parishioners in the News
One of our parishioners George DiBartolo won in the Edmonton Sun Bingo lately.
(George is on the right in this picture)
The Edmonton Sun Story
Ron Favell may be the luckiest Edmonton Sun Bingo
One of the five final winners for this year’s
bingo contest, Favell locked his wife’s bingo card — worth $2,000 — in his
Mercedes and lost his keys. Favell was moments away from his self-imposed
deadline to smash the window of his “impregnable” sports car when his
cellphone rang and a man told him that he had found the keys with Favell’s
phone number. “He said, ‘Here’s your keys, sir,’ ” recalled
Favell, who said the man was homeless. Favell handed the man a $20 bill,
and the man replied, “God bless you.” Since the card was his wife’s,
Favell was extra panicked and knew he had to find a way down to the Sun
office. “If I don’t get there, I’m a dead man,” Favell thought.
Another player, George DiBartolo, has been playing
for seven years and didn’t believe it when his wife said she had the winning
ticket. “I didn’t check any of them,” he said. “There’s no sense
getting excited about it.” The couple just paid for roof repairs and the
bingo winnings will help with the retiling.
The Edmonton Sun Bingo contest gave $10,000 away
per week for five weeks. Players who didn’t win the jackpot can drop off their
expired cards at Mac’s convenience stores until April 14 to win a special
closes book on soldier's life
am | By Ryan
| St. Albert Gazette
final resting place gets marked 93 years later
Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011
worker with a charitable group called the Last Post Fund marks the name of Pte.
Norman Fielders on the Fielders' family memorial at the Poplar Lake cemetery
near the Edmonton Garrison. Fielders died more than 90 years ago from an ailment
acquired during the First World War but his final resting place was only
identified last year and his name added to his family's memorial marker earlier
engraving is just a little deeper than the others on the rose-coloured memorial.
The carving is a little more precise and the newly-exposed rock has 90 years
less weathering than the other markings. Despite the differences, the new
memorial is for a man who died around the same time as the rest of his family
and it closes the history on his life. Earlier this month, with the help of a
national charity, a local historian and with the consent of his descendants, the
name of Pte. Norman Fielders was engraved into the Fielders’ family memorial
at the Poplar Lake cemetery near the Edmonton Garrison. The engraving comes more
than 90 years after Fielders’ death.
served in the First World War, fighting in French trenches in 1916. He survived
the battlefield, but still died from the war. The conditions in the trenches
caused his kidneys to fail and Fielders died in 1918 at home in Canada, before
the last shots were fired, before peace was declared.
Poplar Lake cemetery was his final resting place, but that fact was lost to
history until last year when it was discovered by John Matthews, a local
historian and volunteer with the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd, who has
been working on restoring the cemetery. The small plot of land, just south of
195 Avenue near the Edmonton Garrison is home to 18 graves. Over many years the
cemetery fell into disrepair. Matthews has been leading a volunteer effort over
the last several years to clean up the site.
The Fielders’ memorial is a roughly seven-foot tall cylindrical monument with four panels, three of which carried the names of Fielders’ father, mother and brother. His brother and father both died in 1911 and his mother died in 1918 not long after Fielders’ return to Canada. Last year, when Matthews found clear evidence that Norman Fielders had been buried there he realized immediately that his name should be added to the memorial. “It seems obvious, because there was a spare panel to the monument,” he said. “That is why I look on it as being final closure.” Given Fielders’ military service, Matthews got in touch with the Last Post Fund, a national charity that helps veterans’ families with funeral expenses and also works to deal with unmarked graves.
Jane Belec, a counsellor with the fund, said Matthews contacted her about
Fielders and she immediately felt they could help. “If we know that a veteran
is buried and his grave is unmarked for more than five years we don’t ask any
questions we just mark them,” she said. A huge number of soldiers’ graves
were left unmarked for a wide variety of reasons, Belec said. “Often war
veterans died indigent and drunk and alone and estranged from their families,”
she said. In other cases the family might have been financially strapped. “It
could be any number of reasons why they were not marked,” she said.
this case, when Fielders died, only a few of his siblings would have been around
and they might not have had resources, Matthews said.Belec said her organization
has run into cemeteries with dozens of unmarked graves and are working on them
as they have funds and resources. “As we go on there are bigger and bigger
projects for us to do,” she said.
Dot Keichinger is one of the family members Matthews has been in contact with about the project. She said she has no idea why her great uncle’s grave was never marked. She said his death has been harder for her to track, when working on family genealogy, and the information on him has been limited. “I presume there was an obituary, but I have never seen it,” she said. Keichinger and several other family members visited the memorial last Friday. She said it is a relief to see the cemetery has been restored and cleaned up. She began writing letters to the Anglican Church in the late 1980s to try and have the site restored. She said at that time it was an absolute disaster. “The whole thing was basically covered with trees and there was a broken down barbed wire fence around it and there was old furniture and garbage thrown everywhere in there.” She said even though they are distant ancestors they are still important. “It is my ancestors, my great grandparents are buried there and my great uncles and I wouldn’t like to see any cemetery like that,” she said. “Those people, they are Alberta.”
who has been researching the cemetery for several years now, said he will
continue trying to figure out who was buried there and do his best to mark their
final resting spots. “I would not say that the research phase is over by any
means,” he said.
More information about the site can be found at www.goodshepanglican.org/PoplarLake.htm and more information about the Last Post Fund can be found at www.lastpostfund.ca
Wednesday, Nov 10, 2010 01:05 pm | By Ryan Tumilty | St. Albert Gazette
He served Canada in the First World War, but until very recently his final resting place remained unknown. Pte. Norman Fielders enlisted in July 1915 and served in France from September to December 1916. In the trenches, he developed what today would be called kidney failure. After months trying to recuperate he was discharged and sent home to Canada before dying in October 1918. More than 90 years later his final resting place is waiting to be engraved. As part of an ongoing research and restoration project at a Sturgeon County cemetery, his name should soon be added to a granite monument alongside his mother, father and brother. The monument stands in the middle of the Poplar Lake Cemetery, which had been a neglected graveyard that has now been restored as part of a volunteer effort from the Anglican Church of Good Shepherd.
Church member and local historian John Matthews has headed up this effort, combing through censuses, military records and other documents trying to discover who inhabited the 18 graves the church originally identified through ground-penetrating radar.
The Fielders’ family memorial is a rose-coloured pillar with a string of ivy etched around the top. It’s by far the largest and well maintained of the monuments at the site. It is divided into four segments with the names of John Fielders, the patriarch of the family, his son John McDonald (both father and son died in 1911) and Elizabeth Fielders who died in 1918. There remains one blank segment and, provided there is no objection from the Fielders’ surviving relatives, Matthews intends to add Norman Fielders. Researching exactly who was put to rest at Poplar Lake has not been easy. There were no official records and only five gravestones. Matthews has identified 14 of the interred through piecing small pieces of information together until he had the whole puzzle.
In Fielders’ case, however, it was listed clear as day. The service was Oct. 30, 1918, performed by Edmonton’s bishop the day after Fielders passed away. It was written alongside all the other burials, weddings and baptisms in the register of All Saints Parish. Matthews says he didn’t know the answer would be there when he started looking through the register, but he turned the page and it was staring him in the face. “I was just going through there on principle,” he says. “That was maybe the high point in all of the research we have done.”
Veterans’ Affairs Canada officially lists 619,636 men and women who served in the First World War; 66,655 of them died. Fielders did return to Canada, but with an ailment he developed on the battlefield that took his life before the war was over. “He was a war casualty as much as anyone who died from a bullet to the head,” says Matthews. The kidney failure he developed was then called trench nephritis, a consequence of the damp, cold and unsanitary conditions of the trenches. Fielders’ medical reports, which Matthews obtained as part of his military file, show he spent months in an English hospital, where he lost weight, was exhausted walking short distances and couldn’t sleep through the night.
After media coverage of the project last year, Matthews got a few other leads from the public and has managed to piece together more of the information about those buried at Poplar Lake. He has identified another of the graves as that of William Latimer, a young boy killed in a horrible accident. The church has also received permission to re-open the cemetery and has pre-sold four burial plots among hundreds that will eventually be available.
More information on the cemetery and the project can be found at www.goodshepanglican.org/PoplarLake.htm.
The following article was in the Oct. 6, 2010 Edition of the Edmonton Examiner
Haley Peacock, 19, receives a Trinity Guildhall award from instructor Jacquelyn Bland-Lawrence (my underlines) last week.
Just because you're really, really good at something, doesn't mean you have to make it your career. Local drama student extraordinaire Haley Peacock was honoured last week with the highest award given by London, England's Trinity Guildhall. Haley received the highest performance marks in Canada, the U.S., West Indies and Bahamas for excellence in speech and drama. But the 19-year-old is in her first year of studies at the University of Alberta – in sciences. "I was going to go into the arts, and at the last moment I decided that I would take all my sciences," Haley says. "It was a hard choice, trying to decide between the two. But I think I like this more as a hobby than a job." Despite the accolades – Haley also won the prestigious award in 2006 – she didn't want to leave behind her dream of one day working in a medical field. Her mom, Susan Peacock, says Haley has always been torn between medicine and the arts.
"I remember in Grade 4, she came home with a picture of what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she was in this white coat and there was a patient on the table and she's cutting someone open," Susan recalls. "I said, 'What is this?' She said, 'Oh, I'm a singing neurosurgeon.' So I said, 'You think you'd like to sing in surgery?' And she said, 'No, I'm going to be a singer and a neurosurgeon on the side.' "I didn't tell her that it might be a little hard to have two full-time careers like that, I just let her keep going." Haley has been taking drama classes since childhood from Jacquelyn Bland-Lawrence, who entered her in the distinguished competition.
Examiners from the Trinity Guildhall come to cities in over 50 countries to judge contestants on 30-minute performances that incorporate speech and acting. For Haley, the years of practice and memorization have been well worth it. "It looks amazing on a resume. To spend so much time doing something and to actually get a prestigious award for it, it's noticeable to people," she says. "And it helps me so much in school. It's a confidence booster … it has taken me so far."
Haley will continue honing her performing arts skills, even through her years in university. There's no sense in giving up something you love.
"Without it, I'd be kind of said," she says. "I think I would still need it in my life."
Al Lake got his picture in both Edmonton newspapers during the week of May 2, 2010
as he took part in the 100th Anniversary of the Canadian Navy celebrations.
(He is second from the right in the top picture and second from the left in the bottom picture)
November 11, 2009 - Edmonton Journal
86-and-a-half-year-old" Navy veteran Al Lake greets students
Tuesday during a Remembrance Day ceremony at Delton Elementary school.
October 29, 2009 - Edmonton Journal
George Custance, right, and other members of the Colour Party wait to march during the launch of the Greater Edmonton Poppy Fund campaign at Kingsway Legion in Edmonton, AB, on Oct. 29, 2009.
August 13, 2009 - St. Albert Gazette (By Ryan Tumilty Staff Writer)
RESTORING THE PAST
Volunteer John Matthews is heading up the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd's efforts to restore the Poplar Lake Cemetery. Matthews, who is holding some of his research, has been working to try and identify whose remains occupy 18 graves identified by ground penetrating radar.
Secrets in the ground
After 80 years a rural prairie cemetery is being re-opened and long neglected graves are being restored and remembered
In an isolated field on the
southern edge of the Edmonton Garrison, among prairie grasses and poplar trees
stands a lone monument to a family long since passed. Standing about seven feet
tall, the granite monument has stood through harsh Alberta winters and short
summers for nearly a century. The smooth rose-coloured pillar flares
outwards at the top, with a ring of permanently etched ivy and memorials to
three members of the Fielders family.
After decades of neglect and ill-fated maintenance efforts, the Fielders' memorial is the only constant in the small Poplar Lake cemetery. Situated on the corner of 82 Street and 195 Avenue, the site is nearing the end of a three-year restoration project that will see it open to new burials for the first time in 80 years.
The pillar on the Fielders' memorial is divided into four panels - three panels mark the lives of a mother, father and son who lived just two quarter-sections south of the old cemetery, while the fourth was left blank. John Fielders, the father died at 52 in June 1911 six months after his son John McDonald Fielders who died at 22 in January 1911. Elizabeth Fielders survived until 1918, but having lost her son and husband and with another son fighting in France the last years of her life were likely very difficult and her memorial reads that way; "Safely anchored in the harbour of eternal rest." The fourth spot was likely reserved though never taken by the other son, who survived the war, but died within months of returning home.
The Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd has been working on the cemetery since 2006, slowly trying to restore it and trace the history of the people who were buried there. John Matthews, a member of the church, said when he was asked to help out he saw only one workable solution. "It has been a maintenance problem for the diocese for a very long time," he said. "I concluded the only way we could do a proper job on it, on a long term basis, was to put it back into operation as a cemetery."
The first burial at the cemetery took place in 1898 and at the time there was also a log cabin church, the Christ Church of Poplar Lake. The church hobbled along for 20 years before closing, re-opening and then closing permanently in 1926. Around 1941 it burned to the ground.
As part of the restoration project, volunteers brought in a ground penetrating radar system that discovered 18 probable graves. Poplar Lake was once a stop on a rail line between Edmonton and St. Albert. It had a school a short distance from the church and a handful of families had homesteads nearby. In researching the lives, deaths and burials, Matthews said he has formed an idea of what Poplar Lake looked like. "Gradually a picture starts to form. I can really start to form a picture of the community around here." He said turn of the century Canada saw many communities spring up on the vast open land, but not all survived. "Every railway stop there was a potential to set up a mission and sometimes they remained and the community grew and others didn't."
The radar survey found 16 graves in an east-west alignment in line with Christian tradition and two oriented north-south. It also discovered that under the Fielders' memorial, the cemetery's one immovable object, there are no graves at all. Matthews said he believes it may have been put up well after the father and son died and was meant to serve as a memorial for the entire family. He believes in addition to the large memorial there would have been more simple headstones for each member of the family, but nothing can be said for certain. "I would think they are buried here, somewhere."
After identifying the probable graves, each one was marked with a pair of black triangles marking the head and foot.
The markers are numbered from one to 18 and Matthews doubts he will ever be able to say precisely who is buried where. He has a rough sketch the Royal Canadian Air Force drew during some previous attempt to restore the cemetery, but it has no scale and doesn't come close to filling the gaps.
In addition to the Fielders' memorial only two other headstones have been left intact, though out of place. One is for Stella May Stoutenburg and her infant son Howard Carson Latimer, who died just two days before his mother. The other is for Rose Eleanor Swan, remembered as the beloved wife of Rev. Richard Michael Swan who was in charge of Christ Church and several others when his wife died. Matthew's research indicates Stoutenburg, whose married name was Latimer, may not even be buried at Poplar Lake, but in Ontario. He is also desperate for more information about Swan because the reverend was a key figure in keeping the church going. The headstones are out of place because at some point during a previous restoration effort, they were removed so the overgrowth could be cut back, but were not returned to their rightful place. "I don't know if they failed to mark where they took them from or if it just got left," said Matthews. He said the cemetery has been besieged by good intentions over the years. "One of the reasons that we had this mess was that people were trying to fix the mess, but it never quite got followed through." Either during the move or at some other point in the 80 years they have been in the ground several other headstones were damaged. One reads simply "Latimer" with no first name or any dates. The RCAF map Matthews found indicates there were several Latimers, but is scant on details. "As it stands now I have three people with just Latimer and no name or date and I would like to clear that up."
One headstone is even more
cryptic with just an age below a jagged crack where more details once
where. "Aged 38 or 39 years. This has been an anomaly for a very long
time to me. In all the surveys they have done with the dioceses and the
genealogical society, we have never given a name to that one."
Having exhausted all the resources he can think of, Matthews is now turning to the public, hoping descendants, amateur historians or genealogy buffs might be able to give names to the remaining graves.
He expects to hear soon that the cemetery has been given provincial approval to reopen and can start new burials.
The two-acre plot has a lot of open space. Matthews said Poplar Lake is going to maintain its character even as it accepts new burials. "It will come with what you would expect from a rural cemetery. It is not your beautifully manicured lot that you see in the city like a golf course or something."
The original 18 burials will be separated from the new plots and those that have been identified will have new headstones marking their place. Matthews believes over the long term more graves might be identified and more of the answers revealed, but most importantly the cemetery will be maintained.
"I think we are on to something that is going to keep going."
More information on the restoration can be found at http://www.goodshepanglican.org/
Return to Web Directory Page