The Martensville Historical Centre is preparing to celebrate two major milestones for our community. This year marks 50 years since Martensville became a town and 10 years since becoming a city. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the group of four is planning for an event that will take place on September 7th in Kinsmen Park, coinciding with the Martensville A&W Valley Street Stock 100.
This celebration is something that the Martensville Historical Centre would like to see everyone from the community take part in. “We are planning it, but we would love to see other people from the community get involved. We want this to be a community event and have schools, businesses and service groups participate. When are we going to have two milestone years like this again, so we want to celebrate it and what better way to celebrate than to get everyone involved and being a part of it,” Martensville Historical Centre representative Terri Hetterly said.
Martensville became a town in 1969, three years after being established as a village. Prior to becoming a town, Martensville was a part of the Rural Municipality of Warman, which was later combined with the RM of Cory and the RM of Park – becoming the RM of Corman Park. Once becoming a town, Martensville was no longer a part of the RM. At the time Bill Fehr was Mayor and Martensville grew from being a village with an Overseer and a three person Council to having a Mayor with a six member council. “Once we became a town, we grew and saw more opportunities coming to the community, such as gas, sewer and water,” Hetterly added.
In 2009, Martensville was seeing massive growth and had hit a population of 5000 residents. At this time, City Council discussed the possibility of becoming a city. Hetterly, who was on Council at that time, remembers the conversations that took place. “Council felt as though it was a better opportunity to sit at the table with other cities because we were growing so quickly. We wanted to hear what others were doing and decided to go with the expansion rather than trying to catch up later because it happened ahead of us. The community was growing whether we wanted it to or not.” After becoming a city, Martensville became more appealing to franchises and other business opportunities.
The September 7th celebration will highlight these dates and will provide those attending with a chance to learn more about their home community. The Civic Centre, which houses the Martensville Library as well as the Martensville Historical Centre, will be open to the public during the celebration. “The Civic Centre was an elementary school in the community for many years and we would like to try to have some members that taught here to help give us some history and give people a chance to see what it looks like now and how things have changed over the years,” Hetterly stated.
Additionally, there will be a Day in the Park, which will include a wide variety of options for the public to take part in. It is still early in the planning stages, but the group is hard at work to ensure the event has something for everyone. With plans to include music from ‘69 and ‘09, as well as games and information about monumental world events, the Historical Centre is encouraging the public to dress the part and have fun with it. For the celebration, they will also be flying the Town of Martensville and City of Martensville flags. There are also plans to have previous Mayors and members of Council on hand so they can provide information about the history of Martensville. And of course, what kind of celebration would it be without cake!
The Martensville Beautification Committee will also have a table displaying local art and other groups are invited to participate in their own way as well. Businesses are encouraged to take part and celebrate 1969 and 2009 in their own way.
Leading up to the event, the Historical Centre plans to develop a Facebook page, which will include updates and information about Martensville’s history. The group is also working on creating a database with historical information that members of the public can come in and view. The celebration won’t end on September 7th, as the group has plans to continue celebrating for the remainder of the year.
“Come out and take part in what is sure to be a great event! We encourage everyone to get involved in whatever way they want to,” said Hetterly.
Photo caption: The group of community members that was involved in Martensville becoming a town in 1969. Back Row L to R: Abe Neufeld, Art Letkeman, Walter Enns, Herman Seimens, Gordon Unrau. Front Row: Larry Brisbois and Bill Fehr. (Submitted by the Martensville Historical Centre)