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Authority record

Pratt, Edmond, Father, O.M.I.

  • Person
  • 1890 - 1970

Joseph Edmond Pratt was born in St. Vincent de Paul, Quebec in 1890. He studied in Ottawa at Sacré-Coeur Juniorat and continued his studies at St. Joseph’s, Edmonton in 1917. In May 1918 at St. Joachim in Edmonton, Edmond Pratt was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Father Pratt taught at the St. Jean Juniorat in Edmonton, AB (1918-1919), then served as a missionary in Fort Resolution, NWT (1919-1920) and was a teacher again at St. Jean Juniorat (1920-1922). He worked as a missionary in North Battleford, SK (1922), Saddle Lake, AB (1922-1929), Onion Lake, SK (1929-1930) and Le Goff, Cold Lake, AB (1930-1934). Father Pratt was principal of Onion Lake’s residential school, St.Anthony’s, (1934-1938) and Hobbema’s residential school (1938-1939). He was treasurer of the Blue Quills residential school in St. Paul, AB (1939-1941) and returned to North Battleford (1941-1942). From 1942-1970 he was priest at Rivière-qui-Barre also known as St. Alexander Mission. During this time he also was the chaplain of the jail in Fort Saskatchewan. Father Pratt died in 1970 and is buried at the oblate cemetery in St. Albert, AB.

St. Albert Historical Society

  • 2003.01
  • Corporate body
  • 1969 -

In 1969, Father Colin Levangie, OMI recruited volunteers to update the displays at Musée Lacombe Museum which was established in 1929. One of the volunteers, Arlene Borgstede, directed two committees; one on the care of collections and the other on display work. The committee which cared for the collections was responsible for cataloguing and finding the provenance of artifacts which had no inventory. The ownership of the artifacts belonged to either the Oblates of Mary Immaculate or the Archdiocese of Edmonton. By 1971, the Father Lacombe Museum Board was formed to help administer the museum and the artifacts. At this point, Musée Lacombe Museum changed its name to Father Lacombe Museum. The Museum Board was incorporated in 1972 as the St. Albert Historical Society (SAHS) with Arlene Borgstede as president. The society was interested in managing, collecting and preserving materials related to the history of St. Albert as well as administering the Father Lacombe Museum and increasing public awareness of St. Albert’s history. In 1975, SAHS hired a permanent Heritage Officer to coordinate museum work, conduct tours and answer reference requests.
SAHS was also responsible for the establishment of the Albert Lacombe Historical Foundation (ALHF) in 1977. The ALHF formed in response to the Oblates’ plans to demolish Vital Grandin Centre, also known as the Bishop’s Residence. ALHF’s purpose was to sponsor, establish and administer a historical complex including Father Lacombe Chapel and Vital Grandin Centre on St. Albert’s Mission Hill. In 1978, SAHS conducted a historical buildings inventory. Once the province designated Vital Grandin Centre a provincial historic site, the ALHF disbanded. From 1977 to 1983, SAHS administered the Father Lacombe Museum during the summer months under the auspices of Provincial Historic Sites. SAHS was responsible for hiring staff, managing programs, receiving money to administer the chapel and paying for operations.
In 1980, SAHS undertook a project to restore the bells on Mission hill. Father Émile Tardiff, OMI believed that the bells were cracked so he rested the bells in a stone frame in 1957. Later, it was discovered that the bells were out of tune and not cracked and as a project for Alberta’s 75th anniversary, the bells were restored into a campanile. This restoration took place with the assistance of Canadian Pacific Railway and the federal government.
SAHS was extensively involved in the planning and development of St. Albert Place, the city’s civic, cultural and administrative complex. In 1983 the Musée Héritage Museum was opened. SAHS gave Musée its small collection of artifacts and Musée had to treat those artifacts as loans. Care of the artifacts and exhibits became the responsibility of the new museum under the City of St. Albert.
In 1988, SAHS organized a Homecoming to have a reunion for significant and founding families and individuals of the community. With the homecoming, SAHS undertook a project called Founder’s Walk. They laid out a shale walkway and plaques as well as planted trees to honour significant and founding families and peoples for St. Albert. The shale walkway was not maintained and, in 2006, the society initiated a project to make a new Founder’s Walk. The City of St. Albert, SAHS and a number of stakeholders and funding contributors were involved in the project. The new Founder’s Walk was completed in 2011 for St. Albert’s 150th anniversary and resulted in historical panels, landscaping and a walkway to honour St. Albert’s history.
SAHS was also involved in publications and much of their collection developed around their publishing activities. Their publications include St. Albert: A Pictorial History (1978), Black Robe’s Vision: A History of St. Albert and District (1985), and A Week in the Life of St. Albert (1990). SAHS also created videos regarding St. Albert’s History. In 2001, Then, Now and Forever was produced.
In 2011, the society undertook a Buffalo Hunt project to honour the buffalo hunt as a heritage activity that was crucial to the first settlers of St. Albert. According to the society, agriculture was not sufficient for the community to survive and the hunt was integral to the fecundicity of the community. The Buffalo Hunt project resulted in a statue erected on south-east corner of Sir Winston Churchill and Perron St.
SAHS was renamed St. Albert Heritage Society from 1998 to 2005, but returned to its original incorporated name in 2005. The aims of SAHS are currently to encourage an appreciation of the history of St. Albert by preserving and promoting the history of St. Albert and area.

Atkinson, Seibert family

  • Family
  • 1906 - 1967

Luisa Vollmer was born in St. Jacobs, Ontario in 1865 and Jeremiah Seibert was born at Heifelberg, Ontario in 1857. Luisa Vollmer and Jeremiah Seibert married and farmed at Port Huron on the Lake Huron coast in Ontario. They had six children including Fred, Herbert, Florence, Lulu, Marguerite and Percival. In 1917, the family moved to St. Albert and had purchased land beside the Atkinson brother’s homestead where they farmed.

Thomas Atkinson came to Edmonton from Liverpool, England with his two brothers, Jim and Ted in 1907. The brothers found work in Edmonton laying foundations for the swimming pool of Edmonton’s first Y.M.C.A. and working on the sewer system. Later that year, the brothers made their first homestead west of Edmonton near Wabamun Lake. On the homestead, Thomas Atkinson had a sawmill for which he required an Engineers certificate from the Department of Public Works. In 1911, his other brother Jack came to Canada and moved to the homestead. The brothers supplied lumber for cottages built along Seba Beach. In 1913, the brothers’ sister Mary came to Canada and lived at her brothers’ homestead.

The one brother Jim as well as Mary’s future husband, Perley Cull from Seba Beach, served in WWI. The other brothers were exempt from the war on account of their importance in food production. In 1917, the brothers moved their homestead to St. Albert. They purchased the land from Arthur Sifton who was premier of Alberta. In 1920, Mary Atkinson and Perley Cull were married. Much later, in 1945, Jack Atkinson married Eunice Holmes.

On December 18, 1919, Thomas Atkinson married Florence Seibert, daughter of Jeremiah and Luisa Seibert. Florence Seibert had been working as a secretary for the Government of Alberta until she married Thomas Atkinson and consequently, she supported the farm and her husband’s work and family. Thomas Atkinson and Florence Seibert had two daughters, Helen who was born in 1921 and Gladys who was born in 1926. Helen Atkinson married Wilfred Naundorf in 1945 and the couple had three daughters. Gladys married Keith Gibson in 1946 and they had five children. In 1952, the Atkinson brothers’ farm was sold to H.R. Milner.
Thomas and Florence Atkinson moved to Edmonton after the farm was sold and Thomas Atkinson died in 1969. Florence Atkinson died in 1972. Earlier, Jeremiah Seibert died in 1955 and Luisa Seibert died in 1947.

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