Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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It was indeed a thrill for all the members of the committee who arranged for the 50th anniversary of Church Union, when former and present residents of the Brookdale, Oberon, Ingelow and Gordon districts gathered to take part in the church service held in the auditorium of the Brookdale School June 8, 1975 filling it to capacity. They were welcomed at the door by Mrs. L. McLeod and Mr.

K. Mitchell.

The service was preluded by organ-piano music played by Mrs. Kathleen Swanson and Mrs. Susan Drayson.

Flowers had been placed at the front of the auditorium by Mr. and Mrs. Ross Harrison of Haney, British Columbia in memory of her parents, Mrs. and Mrs. H. Swanson, pioneers of the Brookdale district, and by Mrs. Freda Chudley and family in memory of Mr. Cleave Chudley who was for many years a faithful and untiring member of the Brookdale Church.

Rev. Roberts was assisted in the service by Rev. Wilton Fraser and Rev. Gordon Fulford, the other members of the larger parish clergy.

Mrs. Jean Jardine gave the address of welcome and said in part, "We are doing two things today.

We are celebrating 50 years of Union and we are expressing a word of appreciation to members of former congregations in the Brookdale charge. The most important thing we have to celebrate is our very existence as an active congregation. We have so many members from earlier times to thank for this fact, not only for their labours but for the attitudes instilled in younger members as they grew up in the church also we learned the wise old saying "United we stand" and it has been verified here.

Welcome to the current members who are here to join in our Christian fellowship. Welcome to all others who are here simply because they love us enough to want to share a happy and triumphant time with us. We hope you find spiritual refreshment through our worship together, physical refreshment as you share a lunch with us after the service and just pure joy in Christian Fellowship." In attendance were the Junior Choir directed by Mrs. Susan Drayson and Owen Roberts as accompanist, and the Senior Choir under the leadership of Mrs. D.R. Mitchell with Mrs. Kathleen Swanson as accompanist. The Senior Choir included members who had sung in the choirs at Oberon, Ingelow and Gordon. The choirs sang "The Great Parade" - the hymn written for the 50th anniversary of Union. Eugene Dennis played the trumpet interlude and the congregation joined in the chorus. Everyone heartily sang "The Church''s One Foundation" - the hymn of Union and other familiar hymns.

The Senior Choir sang the anthem "Let Us All Praise God and Sing" and the Junior Choir sang "Runnin"''.

Mr. e. Swanson, chairman of the Church Board, acted as M.e. tor a part of the service. He welcomed all who had come and called on Mr. Bill Jones who asked Rev. and Mrs. Fraser to come forward. Mrs. L. McLeod pinned a corsage on Mrs.

Fraser and Mr. Oscar Swanson presented Mr. and Mrs. Fraser with a gift on their retirement after several years of pleasant association with the congregation.

Mr. Clifford Hunter asked the Brookdale Church to accept a bequest made by his late uncle, Mr. Frank Hunter, in memory of his parents, Mr.

and Mrs. J. Hunter and of his wife Edith.

Mr. Swanson asked people to visit the church and to note the anniversary sign painted by Mrs.

D.R. Mitchell on the outside of the church.

Many beautiful letters were received from former members unable to attend. One from Mrs.

Helen Drayson who had been a member of the Gordon Church said in part. "I have many happy memories when I look back on those happy days.

During the depression people were so helpful and so very understanding and we all pitched in to help each other. I thank God for my beautiful memories, also for my health and strength which He has seen fit to bestow on me, and for the old friends of past years which money cannot buy. I can honestly look back and say I felt rich, even during the depression for their friendship when we all worked so closely together." Rev. Roberts wove this quotation into her sermon, the text being from Paul''s letters to the Ephesians "Rooted and grounded in love." Those receiving the offering were Mr. Merv Drayson, Mr. Barry Mikkelsen, Mr. Donald Craig, and Mr. Ronald Simpson, representing the districts of Gordon, Oberon, Ingelow and Brookdale respectively. At the close of the service Mrs. Susan Drayson sang "Bless this House" accompanied by Mrs. Vera Hockin.

A social hour followed the church service. A golden anniversary cake, baked and decorated by Mrs. Rose Jones, formed the centrepiece for the tea table, flanked by golden candlesticks and bowls of pansies.

Everyone seemed to have a good time visiting and renewing acquaintances, looking over the display of pictures of former days and reading the many letters from former members and residents. It was, in all, a wonderful day of fellowship. So many had come back for the celebration - people from British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Texas and from all over Manitoba.

Comments such as, "Just so good to see and talk to people we have not seen in years", "I would not have missed it for the world" were heard.

Mrs. McIntyre and Mrs. F. Swanson were in charge of the guest book which was signed by some 220 people. Pamphlets containing the histories of the churches, prepared by the committee, were given to all who attended.

The birthday cake centrepiece was given to the residents of the Osborne Home, Neepawa that they might have a part in the celebration.

The lunch committee was made up of the unit leaders, with Mrs. Marie MacDonald as convenor.

Many willing helpers made sure everyone received refreshments.

The committee in charge of arrangements included - Rev. Carol Roberts, Mrs. D.H. Mitchell, Mrs. D. Craig, Mrs. Moffatt, Mrs. E. Drayson and Mrs. A. McKee.


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