Mannville, Alberta – Preserving the past is important for semi-retired angus farmers, Jim Kitt and his wife Eileen.
“Personally, we’re fans of history, and it’s been a wonderful experience to be involved in preserving it,” Eileen says.
One of the many heritage sites they take great pride in is their town’s 100-year-old Alberta Government Telephones Exchange Building. The one-storey building is still operational with 1,240 original working switchboards. But the exterior brick needed restorations.
So, when Jim came across an ad in the Alberta Farmer for the Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities (CFGC) Program, he quickly nominated The Mannville Historical Board.
“When I found out they won, it was the talk of the town…. news travelled pretty quick around here,” says Jim.
“We were overwhelmed, excited, proud and thrilled, as we were in the process of fundraising for the restoration,” says Eileen, who’s a member of the board.
The board used the $2,500 to give the exterior of the building a “facelift,” in the hopes of continuing its use as a museum and tourist information booth for years to come.
“We were ever so grateful for the monetary assistance and very happy that Bayer was able to donate this money,” says Eileen, adding that all community organizations, big or small, would greatly benefit from a CFGC grant.