Nothing Really Outstanding – Aileen Copithorne

Aileen Copithorne talks about the freedom experienced growing up in Cochrane. CHAPS Cochrane has a YouTube Channel with over 40 interesting stories of Cochrane. 

Aileen Davies grew up in Cochrane in the home that is now the Cochrane Historical Museum.

She has many stories of growing up in a small town.

She tells a story of biking with friend, Dorothy Reed when Mr O’Keefe, the Bank Manager once offered them ride to 12 Mile Coulee to watch the Stampede Fireworks. They left their bikes behind Andisons’ store. Not thinking that fireworks were after dark they didn’t get home until late. Both parents had searched river and creek areas looking for them. “Our parents were so glad to see us we didn’t get in too much trouble.”

“Dorothy and I had stick horses which we rode over the hill to the brickyard. We also had stilts made by uncle Jack. The family across the road had tall stilts and used to sit on roof of house across the street just to watch people.  Their name was  Kinsley.”

Aileen went to school in brick school that used to be where Holy Spirit currently sits. She remembers looking south one day to see the Brushy Ridge fire.  Students were glued to the windows and the smoke was horrendous.

“I was the lone graduate in my class of grade 12. It was very lonely in high school.” She had classmates in earlier grades but they did not stick it out to Grade 12.

“School was  very regimented. Our Principal had a hand bell to call us back to class. If you didn’t behave you got hit with the bell. We used to have to line up girls then boys and march into school.”

“Cochrane used to be divided into east side and west side. You didn’t have friends from the other side of town. You visited the other side if you had relatives but there was little mixing. Many homes in Cochrane had barns behind them for horses and carriages. Homes had large gardens.” Aileen remembers Auntie Annie feeding a lot of men when they got off the train with food from the garden and from local chickens.

She attended a very rigorous 3 year Nursing program at Calgary General. “The first year you felt basically a slave, we were paid $6.00 per month, had no days off, had to attend lectures from Doctors during our off time and had a 10 PM curfew.  Year 3 you were a Senior and had more freedom.” Occasionally she came home on the midnight train.  The uniform was black stockings, striped blue and white dress, with apron and bib with white hat. “The stockings were terrible.” 

Since the train used to stop in Cochrane it was used to get into Calgary.

Thomas Davies Home

Aileen married John Copithorne and moved to their family place that originally sat where Gleneagles Golf Course currently is.

Aileen tells a story about John’s dad when driving their first tractor. He ran it through a fence into McPherson’s. When asked about his accident he said he hollered “Whoa but the damn thing didn’t stop”.

Copithorne family diary
Claude Copithorne 1920 using binder to harvest grain on Cochrane Hill.
John and Aileen Copithorne.

Aileen says they were lucky to grow up in Cochrane in an uncomplicated time. 

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Royal Canadian Legion Collaboration

Dave Usherwood of the local Legion Branch has been in touch for the assistance of our members and followers. The Legion is planning on completing the Cenotaph. While planning is ongoing they are asking for assistance:

  1. Original Cochrane Bricks
  2. Photos of the pre – 1975 Memorial.

Opening of the Original Legion.

I will update this post after doing further research. Right now, we want to get this request out.

What is our Why?

We want to share our “Why” with you.  I prefer to have other peoples perspectives but I’ll share a couple of my own first.

  • 20 years ago,  a volunteer group of people concerned with saving the history of Cochrane started the Cochrane Historical & Archival Preservation Society. 
  • 5 years ago,  CHAPS opened the Cochrane Historical Museum. This scope of this one project amazes and motivates me. CHAPS saved a historic building, fund raised, co-ordinated with several levels of government , had it moved to a wonderful location and had the building restored as a Museum. Truly Inspiring.
  • A dedicated, core group of volunteers has been keeping CHAPS active for 20 years. We are in need of help. We need to expand our membership, our influence and our volunteers.

In the next year, I want to interview a number of our volunteers and get their perspective on being involved in CHAPS. Stay tuned.

I hope you are asking yourself how I can help. I have a few ideas that don’t cost a lot of your time or money.

  • share and comment on our social media posts with your friends. We want to share our core message of saving and educating about our history to be spread widely. We’re seeing a massive swing lately. Help us keep it going!
  • Like our pages. CHAPS Cochrane and Cochrane Historical Museum have pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Youtube. I’ll be adding social media icons to our webpage soon to help you find and like our feeds.
  • Become a member. It’s super inexpensive. $10.00 a year for an individual, $15.00 for a family. Here’s a link to our Member page.
  •  Attend one of our meetings. We are having more and more educational meetings. Stay tuned to our events webpage for updates. 
  • Donate to CHAPS to help us fund our projects. We have a Donate button on the top right side and bottom of our webpages. Our CHAPS Facebook page is running a fundraising campaign until the end of March. They have been hugely successful so far and we can always go over the top.
  • Lastly, most importantly, become a volunteer. We have a core group but they can’t do it forever. We can use your help however you want to become involved. A couple of my own ideas are:
    • Membership. Help us find new members and stay in touch with existing members.
    • Become a Director. Volunteer now and let your name stand at the September A.G.M. I did, scared me to death but I’m sure glad I did.
    • Research. Get in touch to hear the topics we’re planning.
    • Volunteer at the museum during the summer.
    • Attend or help with our summer time guided tours of Historic Cochrane.

5 years ago,  CHAPS opened the Cochrane Historical Museum. This scope of this one project amazes and motivates me. CHAPS saved a historic building, fund raised, co-ordinated with several levels of government , had it moved to a wonderful location and had the building restored as a Museum. Truly Inspiring.

We have to say thanks:

  • to everyone that came out to our Photo Archive opening. Both members who shared stories and 15 excited, interested guests.
  • the support of the local media who have helped us share our message.
  • local admins of Facebook pages who provide a means for us to share.
  • everyone that has shared our message on any of our social media feeds.
  • to our existing members and volunteers.

Those other perspectives I spoke of:

  • an editorial in the Cochrane Eagle about maintaining our Heritage.
  • an article on CochraneNow about our Photo Archive.
  • an article in the Cochrane Times about a new exhibit in the Cochrane Historical Museum

New ways to support CHAPS

CHAPS has always accepted donations to support the Museum, Historical Signs and other projects we have. All of our projects are listed under the Activities option on our website. We’ve just modernized that process.

Facebook and Paypal have offered their services at no cost to registered charities like CHAPS. We receive 100% of your donation.

This Facebook Fundraiser will run until the end of March. We’re already well on our way to our goal. Why not help us exceed it?

Thanks to everyone who has donated and shared our Fundraiser.

The second way to donate is to use the yellow Donate button you see on the right of this image or on the top right of this page. Clicking this button will take you to Paypal and you have the option of using a credit card or Paypal to make a donation.

Thank you to everyone who has already made a donation. If you prefer to send a cheque please see our contact page.

Merry Christmas 2018 from CHAPS Cochrane

CHAPS wishes everyone a joyful, peaceful, loving and Merry Christmas.

Our gift to you are some memories of Historic Cochrane from our new Youtube site.

Please Subscribe and Like our Youtube channel. Look for this button in Youtube.

We’d like to see you at our Christmas celebration at the Museum December 17th, 7:00 PM.

Congratulations to the Glenbow for tracking down some History.

   

This news from the Glenbow inspires me. We have so many photos in our archives with few or no details. I’m sure it’s within the collective memory of our members so we need to record it. This is one of our goals when we open our photo archives; to record peoples memories. Goto to our Activities page for more details on our Photo Archive event.

Here’s is the Glenbow story about recovering the people and circumstances from one of their photos. 

Jingle Dance Detectives

Thanks to our Fund Raiser Sponsors

We’d like to thank the generous local firms that sponsored our silent auction.  This years’ Fall Fund-Raiser was a success.

These individuals and firms contribute to the cultural fabric of our area and keep the history alive.

Sponsors
Arlene Hepburn
Boston Pizza
Canadian Tire
COBS Bread Bakery
Daves Dry Cleaning
Fountain Tire
Gayle Want
Global Pet Foods
Kas Beynon
Original Joe's Restaurant & Bar
Cochrane Panda Flowers
Safeway Cochrane
Save-On-Foods
Schooners on First
Sobeys Liquor Cochrane
Vinestone Wine Co.
Dianne Mclennon
Cathy Elder
Shannon Want

2018 Fall Fundraiser Success

About 90 members and friends of CHAPS attended the Annual Fall Fundraiser at the Royal Canadian Legion #15 for an evening of great food, entertainment, and chance to catchup with local friends and neighbors.  Live entertainment by Charlotte Burrell, 2 short films by Jade Lewis and silent auction were enjoyed by all.

  • by Bernice Klotz

Museum Visitors – 2018

Jade Lewis has been operating the Cochrane Historical Museum for the last several years.  View our hours here. https://chapscochrane.com/about/  Private viewing can also be arranged during off season months. Follow the above link for directions.

The number of visitors this year has remained constant. The number of visitors from outside of Canada was nearly 230 people. Not surprisingly 61 came from the US.  However, CHM had visitors from a total of 25 countries including Central & South America, Europe, and the Far East.

Presidents Message 2018

Looking Back

As we close out our 2017-2018 Year end, I want to take a moment to reflect on and celebrate the achievements CHAPS has made through the course of this past year. In thanking all of CHAPS volunteers and members for your enthusiasm, participation and support throughout this past year. I hope you all take pride in all that we have accomplished together for CHAPS and the Town of Cochrane. The 2017-2018 year end was a hallmark one for CHAPS and it would not have been possible without all of you.

CHAPS continually assists and participates in many local and regional events, such as Downtown Cochrane Walking Tours, the Family Fun Heritage Festival, The Cochrane Art Show and Inter-active meetings with the Bearspaw Historical Society.

Our returning summer student, Jade Lewis, produced another short impressive historical feature film entitled A Rainy Royal Visit”.

Jade exhibited more confidence, passion, enthusiasm and a proactive attitude in making The Cochrane Historical Museum even more successful this year.

An essential and important fun social event for many local residents are our biannual Spring and Fall fundraising dinners. Other successful sources of fundraising during the past year included the Alberta Gaming Casino, The Town of Cochrane, The Canada 150 Grant, The Cochrane Foundation, The Bow Rivers Edge Campground and The Cochrane Legion.

Special thanks to Mark Boothby and David Millican for using their imaginative use of social media, web projects and Facebook to bring CHAPS into the 21st Century. Museum websites provide facilities to global connectivity. Social media is an opportunity to “tell our story”, engage with supporters and get results. This social communication strategy will assist CHAPS in meetings its goals of community engagement and education, recruitment and fundraising.

 

Moving Forward

What kind of museum do we want for our future?

We need to create a museum where people want to come and actually get experience. This means we need to be innovative and imaginative to be different, innovation is the key to attracting new visitors and retaining current ones; the future of our “cultural built environment” – The Cochrane Historical Museum – will be driven by adaptability, flexibility and visitor engagement.

 

New methods of engaging volunteers and visitors mean a new set of skills for all of us involved in CHAPS. We must become skilled in developing a dialogic relationship with our community, our neighbours and a variety of stakeholders.

There is always a certain memorable magic to be found inside our house museum. At the very least the Cochrane Historical Museum tells a local story that might otherwise be forgotten.

Larry Want
President
Cochrane Historical & Archival Preservation Society
September 19th, 2018

How do you want to get involved in the Community?

Becoming a member of CHAPS is a great way to get involved in the Community. We are currently looking for members to become involved in:

  • Memberships
  • Fundraising
  • Nominating Committee

No matter the time you have available, we have a role for you. New members please complete this quick application.

We recently sent out membership renewals.  If you’ve not renewed please get in touch with Bernice at chaps@chapscochrane.com. You can also renew at the fall dinner November 17 at the Royal Canadian Legion.

Officer’s elected at our 2018 AGM.

Position                                 Name                   Email   


 Past President                    Gordon Davies        gordon@chapscochrane.com

President                              Larry Want                larry@chapscochrane.com

Vice President                     Tony Turner              tony@chapscochrane.com

Secretary                              Bernice Klotz            bernice@chapscochrane.com

Treasurer                             Donna Morris            donna@chapscochrane.com

Directors at Large:

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