Anita (Peters) Hansen
Life and Work
Helping out neighbors in need was Anita Hansen's mission ever since she settled in Markerville in the 1940s with her husband, Mac. As a member of the Good Neighbours Club, she helped arrange weddings, visited the sick and elderly and looked after people's homes when they were away. She wrote the Markerville news for The Innisfail Province for 36 years and enjoyed organizing and participating in bridge and curling tournaments. She is remembered for teaching many newcomers to Markerville the importance of neighbourliness.
"It was the first Sunday after we settled in Markerville that I met Anita. We were hurrying to church when we came upon a stalled car. A man tinkered under the open hood, while an attractive lady with white hair and sparkling blue eyes smiled from a front seat. We asked if we should call a tow truck.
"No," the lady replied. "One of our neighbours will be along. They'll lend a hand." Later that evening we learned these folks were our new neighbours, Anita Hansen and her son, Raymond. No one else had come along that morning; consequently, Anita, then in her 79th year, had endured a very long walk.
As an apology, I baked a pan of cookies and took them to Anita's door. It was like carrying coals to Newcastle because Anita was a superior cook. After listening to my feeble excuses, she said, "In Markerville, we've always put our neighbours first. Newcomers don't seem to understand this."
I have heard of Anita's good neighbour policy many times since then. In the 60 years she lived in Markerville, not once did she refuse to clean the hall and church, bake and serve at community events, wash dishes and take the tea towels home to launder.
She was a nursemaid to the sick, a caring heart for the mourning, a cook at threshing time, and a Sunday school helper, her only payment a 'thank you.'
'Neighbours need to keep in touch with one another,' she insisted, as she performed her 36 year-old ritual of writing the Markerville news for the Innisfail Province. From Anita, newcomers discovered what made this cozy little community so special -- neighbourliness is paramount. Leaving a neighbour in distress just isn't done in Anita's home-town."
- Annette Gray
Memories of Anita Hansen by Lois Nielsen
I met Anita, Mac and family in 1965, at my wedding to Harold Nielsen. Mac was making a toast. He said he would toast us again in 25 years.
I said, "Harold will be over 80. You had better make it 10 years."
Ten years to the day we had our house full. Anita and Mac didn't forget, and we had a wonderful evening.
Anita always wrote up the news for Markerville and district and was very good at it. After I retired, Anita decided to quit writing the news. We gave her a party. Nancy Dent took the news, but she didn't seem to like it, so she quit. For a while we had no news, then Anita decided to take it again, and she has been at it ever since. It's a hard job, always trying to find enough news to put in a paper.
I always admired Anita for having the patience to visit people. She never missed going to see Regina Johannson every Wednesday, and anyone in the hospital, also people in Red Deer.
Anita always has people in for Mac's and Raymond's birthdays. Harold and I had some good times at their place. We had a bridge club with 16 people meeting once a month at each others' houses. Mac and Anita, Cliff and Lindia Gremm, Little Jo and Lily Johannson, Beauford and Esther Baker, Lily and Emil Hehr, Bruce and Goodie Smith, Harold and Lois Nielsen, Eldo and Florence Flake.
Mac is a very good bridge player. We also bowled with them. Mac was always at the top of the winners.