Mossy Vale, of course, no longer exists and is part of Saskatchewan's history. In the days leading up to the reunion I was likely not the only one who tried not to get very excited about it, for fear the turnout would be small. After all, it was to do with something that happened a long time ago.
Sunday, July 17th--only a few days over the anniversary of the "Pioneer Picnic" of 1961 that heralded the end of Mossy Vale--arrived to hot and glorious sunshine. The little hall by the beach at Tobin was a perfect setting. To say the reunion exceeded expectations is an understatement. One hundred twenty people signed the guest register, coming from as far as Ontario and Vancouver Island. The many historical photographs that were gratefully received from far and wide, including from ever-dedicated teachers Coral Pickering, Illa May, and Ann Morris, provided a slideshow trip down memory lane that was very popular with everyone. No one remembered Mossy Vale School being quite that small!
Five very special women in attendance were honoured that afternoon--all daughters of homesteaders who settled the area: Mary (Wall) Boschman, Katie (Morris) Smith, Joyce (Oram) Adamson, Eunice (Nelson) Adamson, and Alice (McLeod) Northrup. Then there was the amazing experience of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our old neighbours once more. First Reno Hill School alumni, then we who once inhabited Mossy Vale, posing for photos that now remind us of how special the moment was.
The Mossy Vale history cairn and the Reno Hill "Cherish the Memories" School sign were magnificently in place--witnessed, photographed, touched, and appreciated by those who made the pilgrimage out to them at the end of the afternoon.
Group photos courtesy: H. Larsen, B. and C. Weighill
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Sunday, July 17th, Tobin Lake Resort Village community hall. Short program and cake at 3:00 pm. Come a little earlier if you'd like to get a little visiting in beforehand. It's the place to be for former residents of the two districts--a chance to visit with your former neighbours and later pay a visit to our special commemorative projects: the Mossy Vale history cairn and the Reno Hill School District sign.