Lucylle (Hemeyer) Holsworth
Life and Work
Lucylle Holsworth, nee Hemeyer, was born August 13, 1923 on the family farm four miles north of Erskine. Her parents had come to Alberta in 1894 and 1901 respectively, and were married in 1904. They lived on the homestead for 44 years. One of Lucylle's earliest memories is of the community coming to a barn dance to celebrate her father's building of a big red barn. She also remembers climbing to the top of the windmill when she was little, but "wanted to see the world." She attended the Behrens School, which has since been moved to Ol' McDonald's Campground on Buffalo Lake. At home, she and her sisters worked outside, milking cows, working fields, and looking after animals, as well as inside. She did a lot of crocheting, knitting, and sewing, and remembers, "All my clothes were home-made."
At eighteen, she moved to Ponoka and worked at the creamery, where she trained and worked as an egg grader, office manager, cream tester, and was licensed to buy chickens and turkeys. She was later transferred to Coronation, then Rocky Mountain House, and, finally to Alix, in 1947, the year the Arena opened. There she met her husband to be, John Holsworth. John's brother and sister-in-law, Eston and Edith, had bought the Community Store in Alix from Charlie Wong, the cousin of Jimmy Wong, in 1945. When John came out of the air force in June, 1946, he joined Eston in a partnership, which lasted until the store was sold to Orest Repka in 1973. In 1947, John and Eston remodelled the store, doubling its size and adding a second apartment above it.
John and Lucylle were married December 26, 1947. The minister had 3 services every Sunday and the only other day the store was closed was Boxing Day. Lucylle had a cedar chest with sheets, pillows, pillow cases, and quilts all her own work for their first home together. Lucylle and John had two children, Marilyn (Fitzgerald) and John, known as Jack, deceased. Now, in 2016, thee are two grandsons, two grand daughters and 5 great grandchildren. Living above the store, the Holsworths at first had no water and had to get it from Lymbery's Garage, which was closed on Sundays.John and Eston dug a well in the store basement, carrying the digging upstairs by hand. This well served the Holsworths and five other nearby apartments until the happy day in 1951 when running water came to Alix.
John and Lucylle were active in the community, helping to establish the Curling Rink, Lakeside Manor, and Haunted Lakes Golf Course. In those days before today's government grants, people did a great deal of volunteer work AND lent money to finance the projects. Maintenance was also done by volunteers. Lucylle says that her husband carried his hammer and other tools wherever he went. The Holsworths were involved in the United Church where Lucylle taught Sunday School for several years. Lucylle articipated in several Service Organizations as President of AAA Ladies'Group, Alix Home & School Association, Alix Swimming Club, and Alix Skating Club; Treasurer of the Ladies' Curling Club and Ladies Aid; member of the Rebekahs for 62 years, where she was Noble Grand 8 times and DDP of the Rebekah Assembly of Alberta.
Lucylle was also a committee member of FCSS, Lakeside Manor Committee, Senior Bus Committee, Alix Hall Board, Ladies' Curling Club Draw Committee, Tees 50 Plus Club, Clive Legion, and Erskine Seniors. John passed away in 1997. Lucylle was able to keep him at home until two weeks before this.She still lives in their house, sometimes known as "the Marryat house", where she still goes out for a daily walk. (2016)
Comment from a friend, "She's like a second mother to me." Beatrice Bartko