It’s not too early to mark your calendar for the August long weekend: Aug. 1-4, 2014.
With 10 months to go, the Avola Reunion Committee is already brainstorming, making lists of contacts and gearing up for the best reunion yet.
2003 was the first time Bob and Colleen Jensen attempted a town reunion, but the McLure Fire wiped out their plans. Fortunately the food they had arranged for guests was available for Avola residents to cook on the Avola Community Hall propane stove while the electricity was cut off for several weeks.
2005 Avola Reunion brought the anticipated “Old-Timers” to town. People brought photos and items to display. Campers and tents, pancake breakfast at the Avola Community Hall and pot-luck dinner, street dancing and musicians improvised for a fine shindig. As usual, Avola folks pitch in a make fun things happen.
“It was the best time ever,” organizer Colleen Herns-Jensen remembers.
2008 Avola Reunion focused on the Avola Log School House with former students returning to things much the same as they had been, recalling friendships and pranks, teachers and family ties. “The reminiscing is just amazing,” Jensen describes. More “do-it-yourself” entertainment and displays of museum pieces brought people in. Sharing photos and asking “Do you know these people?” Newcomers heard old stories and better understood the history of this little town.
2014 marks 30 years since the Avola elementary school closed, so with a little effort to make contacts, hopefully people will come together who moved away in 1984 as young children. What a lot of catching up there will be to do!
The year 1914 seems to be a date associated with the very beginning of the rail road coming through, so, although there is no official moment when Avola became a town, it is 100 years since this settlement began to take shape.
Activities anticipated for the 2014 Avola Reunion include: music, displays, feasting, slide show, walking tour, Tiny Timber News (school newspaper) re-prints, scanning your photos into the computer, exploring near-by geo-caches, adding your loved ones to a memorial board, interviews featuring written and audio recording of individual’s stories. This will be a multi-generational event.
Bring your camper, tent, lawn chair, games, musical instruments, “show and tell.” Add your old photos to the collection.
If you would like to share your ideas, offer a helping hand, or need more information: phone Colleen: 1-778-220-7271, Bob: 250-678-2320 or Eleanor: 250-678-5305 and watch for an Avola Reunion Facebook page…or Google “Avola Reunion” which will keep you informed. Meanwhile, tell everyone; former residents, teachers, workers, relatives, descendants, the more the merrier!