Raymond Ag Society History

The Raymond and District Agricultural Society formed in 1908. The objective of the new society was to stimulate the interest of the area residents in all aspects of agriculture including recognising in a variety of ways, those who have made agriculture successful. For the first few years the new society was a success with literally everyone entering something in the annual fair which was held in late August or early September. Membership fees were one dollar per year. Due to the presence of the 1st world war interest was put on hold. The society struggled through the depression years and again during World War II. The society was off and running again in the late 40’s however by 1955 enthusiasm had died down once again. There was almost a 20 year lull before interest was again renewed.

In 1973 word began to circulate that the government was offering a $50,000 grant to any Agricultural Society for the construction of, or renovations to, their existing recreation facilities. At this time the town was badly in need of artificial ice for the arena. This grant opportunity was too good to pass up. The application was made in February of that year by 72 citizens for permission to form an Agriculture Society. This application was quickly granted and on February 21 the first meeting of the Raymond and District Agricultural Society was held.  Dick Kinsey was named Chairman, Andy Grbavac as Vice Chairman, Bert Hall as Director and town representative and Norma Pack as Secretary. Annual fees were set at one dollar and a fund raising banquet and dance were planned. The society’s charter was presented at that time by a representative of the Alberta Government.

The group applied for the funding for the purpose of installing artificial ice in the arena. After meeting with various officials and securing the funding work was begun on the arena. Bids were secured for the construction work and work began in April 1973.

Through the combined efforts of the town crew, the Ag Soc members and the Lions Club members, the arena was ready for its official opening on June 29, 1974. After the arena was complete it was home to many events including Agricultural Clinics, Horse shows and even 2 Stampedes. The main reason for the arena was for hockey and skating.

By 1975 the society had disbanded again for lack of interest but it had performed a very necessary service to the town.

In 1987 the Raymond Town Administrator, Brad Watson received word from Alberta Agriculture to the effect that if the Raymond Ag. Soc. Wanted to keep their charter they would have to become an active Society. On September 17, 1987 a meeting was held for the purpose of re-organising the Raymond and District Agricultural Society. Representatives from the Alberta Government were present along with 16 residents of Raymond and area. They were informed early in the meeting that this was possibly the last time the town would have an opportunity of forming an agricultural society where they could depend on government grants for support. By the end of the meeting Paul Mann had been elected Chairman, Lew Lee  – Vice Chairman, Dawn Sugimoto – Secretary and JoAnn Tividar – Treasurer. Important early objectives were set that night including initial planning for fall fairs, agricultural workshops and for future development of an agricultural museum.

Because they were able to form under the 1973 charter the new board was able to start off with its proposed activities. They sponsored their first Christmas craft sale in December 1987 and the first agricultural work shop in May 1988. The society held its first auction and netted $2500.00. Enthusiasm ran high among organisers as they planned their first fall fair in years. The theme chosen for the fair was “Then and Now; Pioneers in Agriculture”

Events began to move quickly when on June 22, 1988 the Programs building from the Raymond home (Care Centre now) was made available to anyone who would move it off the property. The new society was eligible for an Alberta Lotteries grant of $15,000 so it was decided to obtain the building. With fast footwork of Ceasar Coppieters, Alan Heggie and Jim Hironaka the wheels were literally put in motion. The building was moved to its new site in Victoria Park (since renamed Ray Knight Memorial Park). In August 1988 the first fall fair in many years was held attracting more than 700 entries.

The RDAS continued to hold fund raising activities to generate money necessary for carrying out renovations to the new building. In 1989 Ceasar Coppieters was elected Chairman, Roy Tinney – Vice Chairman, Jim Walters – Vice Chairman and Mary Heggie Secretary/Treasurer. Under this groups supervision renovations were begun on the building. Walls were removed, bathrooms added, and in 1992 a new addition was added bringing the building up to approximately 4000 square feet. An outside deck 12X68 feet was also added.

The society continues today to serve the area with donations to worthy causes. Fall fairs and the Christmas Craft and Bake sale continue. We are hoping to increase the awareness in our Society with some new ventures in the future.

List of Directors by year they served

2018 –

Bob Stewart President –  403 330 3984, stewartnbobnpam@gmail.com

Weldon Thomson – First Vice President – 403 752 3821, wvthomson@gmail.com

Will Popowich –  Second Vice President – 403 894 8990, willandbev@gmail.com

Cherilyn Jorgensen – Treasurer –  403 752 3779, cdjorgen@telusplanet.net

Bev Popowich –  Secretary – 403 308 2117, willandbev@gmail.com

Carol Johnson Director – 403 752 3670, nelsca@telus.net

Pam Stewart – Director 403 894 0446, pam57.stewart@gmail.com

Donna Coppieters – Director 403 752 4957

Diane Heninger – Director – 403 752 4353, hdianedunn@yahoo.ca

Laurence Heninger – Director – 403 752 4353, hdianedunn@yahoo.ca

Dale Jorgensen – Director –  403 752 3779, cdjorgen@telusplanet.net

Ken Heggie – Town Rep –  403 752 4544, kheggie@raymond.ca

Christy Block – Director –  403 315 5164, christyd86@hotmail.com

Cathy Needham – Director –  403 315 1446, cneedham.lc@gmail.com

Karin Champion – Director –  403 862 7952, karinchampion@yahoo.ca

President Bob Stewart 403-330-3984
Vice President Nels Johnson 403-752-3670
Secretary Tobi Lyons
Treasurer Pam Stewart
Director Carol Johnson 403-752-3670
Rental of Buildings
Director Suzanne Duncan
Christmas Craft Sale
Director Lance Stewart
Building repair
And Maintenance
Director Doug Duncan
Director Alan Heggie
Director Robert Heggie
Director Duke Helgerson
Director Calvin Olfert
Director Brian Prince
Director Terry Prince
Director Dustin Ralph
Council Rep

2011 – 2013
Chair – Bob Stewart
V-Chair – Nels Johnson
Secretary – Kendra Hall
Treasurer – Pam Stewart
Past Chair – Alan Heggie
Director – Mary Heggie
Director – Carol Johnson
Director – Doug Duncan
Director – Suzanne Duncan
Director – Lorna Dennis
Director – Andrew Stewart
Director – Lance Stewart
Director – Robert Heggie
Director – Duke Helgerson
Director – Gary Segbour
Director – John Halverson

2008 – 2010
Chair – Allan Heggie
V-Chair – Gordon Hunter
Secretary – Mary Heggie
Treasurer – Pam Stewart
Director – Nels Johnson
Director – Carol Johnson
Director – Bob Stewart

Chair – Alan Heggie
V-Chair – Ken Williams
V-Chair – John Halvorson
Secretary – Kendra Hall
Treasurer – Sherry Heggie

2005 – 2006
Chair – Roy Tinney
V-Chair – Alan Heggie
V-Chair – Jim Olson
Secretary – Kathy Needham
Secretary – Donna Coppieters

1995 – 2004
Chair – Alan Heggie
V-Chair – Roy Tinney
V-Chair – Gary Segboer
V-Chair – Jim Olson
V-Chair – Ray Adams
V-Chair – Justin Tolley
V-Chair – Alan Pack
V-Chair – Tony Prosk
Secretary – Sherry Heggie
Secretary – Kathy Needham
Treasurer – Norma Pack

Chair – Mary Heggie
V-Chair – Alan Pack
V-Chair – Susan Wilde
Secretary – Marilyn Brown
Treasurer – Norma Pack

1989 – 1991
Chair – Ceasar Coppieters
V-Chair – Roy Tinney
V-Chair – Dean Heggie
Secretary – Norma Pack
Treasurer – Mary Heggie
Director – Alan Heggie
Director – Sylvia Coppieters
Director – Rina Motyka
Director – Jim Hironaka
Director – Tom Tinney
Director – Georga Heggie
Director – Gordon Coppieters
Director – Nancy Coppieters
Director – Robert Grbavac
Director – Gary Segboer
Director – Myrna Segboer

1992 – 1993
Chair – Mary Heggie
V-Chair – Ceasar Coppieters
V-Chair – Gary Segboer
Secretary – Marilyn Brown
Treasurer – Norma Pack

1988 – 1989
Chair – Paul Mann
V-Chair – Lew Lee
V-Chair – Phill Still
Secretary – Mary Heggie
Treasurer – Joanne Tivadar
Director – Don Heggie
Director – Alan Heggie
Director – Jim Hironaka
Director – Jim Walters
Director – Eva Lee
Director – Sylvia Coppieters
Director – Marilyn Still

1987 – 1988
Chair – Paul Mann
V-Chair – Lew Lee
Secretary – Dawn Sugimoto
Treasurer – JoAnne Tivadar
Director – Ceasar Coppieters
Director – Don Heggie
Director – Alan Heggie
Director – Phill Still
Director – Jim Hironaka
Director – Jim Walters

1975 – 1987

1974 -1975
Chair – Bert Hall
V-Chair – Allan Heggie
V-Chair – Rouleen Lloyd
Secretary / Treasurer – Evan Jensen

1973 – 1974
Chair – Dick Kinsey
V-Chair – Andy Grbavas
Secretary – Norma Pack
Director – Bert Hall (town rep)