Vonda is 100 and still here!
The Canada Day weekend of 2007, Vonda celebrated its 100th birthday. The centennial party was a lot of fun and well attended. There were fireworks, a parade, heritage displays and demonstrations, music and dancing, good food, a park full of campers, and, most of all, lots of family and friends!
Thanks to all of the sponsors who helped make the celebration possible!
We will have a photo gallery of centennial photos coming soon.
Below is a little entertaining insight into how the more things change, the more they stay the same - a little overview of Vonda then and now, written up by a couple of our longstanding citizens.
Today's Vonda is, naturally, quite different from the Vonda of 100 years ago. 100 years ago you could find the following on and around Main Street: implement dealer, real estate, insurance, hardware, grocery store, bakery, butcher shop, livery stables, lumber yard, hotel, café, chruch, fire engine, barber, vet, bank, elevators, school, post office. 1909 saw the telephone office and 1919 power. RCMP in 1928, the rink in 1948, natural gas 1968-1977, and, the current water treatment plant in 1979.
We are still well served in our town. We still have our churches, Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic - 65 years old - and St. Philippe de Neri Roman Catholic - 100 years old. Our Post Office keeps our mail flowing smoothly. Our Library, in the Town Office, has over 4000 books and 280 patrons. The RCMP are still on duty to provide us with law enforcement and protection - not usually too challenging a task in Vonda. Music lessons are available for all ages. We are able to send our children to a Fransaskois school with a very low student-teacher ratio. Our community has a newly expanded rink lobby from which we can comfortably enjoy our fries and "rink burger" while watching a hockey game or figure skating routine, or after enjoying our own vigorous skate. The Vonda Housing Authority provides rental homes for seniors. We still have a fire truck, now motor driven not horse drawn, as well as a rescue unit and a very ably trained volunteer fire department, complimented by a dedicated group of First Responders. Our town is run smoothly by our Mayer, councilors and administrator, working out of our Town Office, across the street from the R.M. of Grant office. The train whistle still blows, its sound reflecting changes in the weather, as the CN trains roll through town.
Our profile today is as active as always - we have many of the same businesses, some are new and some are gone due to "progress". The livery barn has been replaced with a garage and we have gas for our vehicles instead of hay for our horses. The telephone office has been replaced with a SaskTel trailer (who else misses those 10 long rings?). Highline Mgf., SprayTech Systems and Buffer Valley Industries are manufacturing plants that provide employment for many local residents. We can purchase gas and a wide array of hardware and groceries at the Vonda Co-op, awarded the title of "Most convenient convenience store in Canada" by CBC Radio's Saturday afternoon program DNTO, Definitely Not The Opera, in 2006. On Main Street, we can enjoy a meal at Sig's Place or at the Vonda Hotel. Vanderstelt's Fire Protective Services has just become a presence on Main Street. We also have a variety of home based businesses - Avon, Party Lite, Watkins, Odds & Ends. We can purchase delicious home-made perogies and cabbage rolls. We can have our hair cut, have our nails done, get our ears pierced, have a massage, a facial, a reflexology treatment or a chiropractic treatment, or get a tan, all at The Foot Path. There is Procyshyn Machines for various welding repairs, the car wash to keep "Betsy" clean and, hopefully in the near future, a mechanic to keep "Betsy" running. You can also buy insurance for your vehicles, home or farm at Hometown Insurance.
Many of our residence are still dedicated to maintaining a vibrant community. The Golden Age Club provides entertainment for all ages. The Lions Club is always accepting new members as is our Parks and Rec Board. Our Town Park has recently received some landscaping and structural renovations.
As you can see, even though some names have changed, we still have a similar profile to the Vonda of 1907. We have lost some businesses over the years, and gained others, but our community is very much alive and well.
We look forward, with great anticipation, to the celebration of many centenials to come.