Dick Hunt's Blog

February 15, 2011

OSA Centential – Letter to Horizons

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 11:32 am

It was with great interest that I received and read the issue of Horizons today.  I would indeed like to contribute to the OSA Story for the Centennial year publication.
I graduated in the Two Year program in the spring of 1938 at the age of 17. I am now in my 91st year and quite active. I  live in my own suite in a Seniors community east of Vancouver.  My Wife Ruth of 66 years is in a care home very close to where I live, having been a victim of Alzheimer’s for the past 13 years. I see her every day, we still have a lively romance, she always knows me and we visit and walk together in great harmony.
One of my great interests is writing stories, based on my own life born in a Ranch house, in Agriculture, in the RCAF for four years, back in Ranching in Alberta for ten years, then in Ordained Ministry for fifty four years after studies in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. During the years I have ministered chiefly in Rural Parishes in three Provinces and so have maintained a close association with Farm and Ranch people.
I owe to a large degree my abilities in writing, ministering and building relationships my time in OSA.  Mr. Benn in English and Civics, the Literary nights, the debates and being drawn out in social life at the Friday night dances. All the various studies have contributed to my character building and understanding of human needs. Elwood Stringham who was at OSA at the time I was there and whose daughter is a professor in Trinity Western University in the Fraser Valley is in a care home in Surrey B.C. and quite well and sharp. I am not sure which other friends of my days there are still alive on earth.
The Faculty and Staff were marvelous. I have mentioned Mr. Benn.  Ed Philips was Dean of the Men’s Residence and taught Animal Husbandry and Butchering among other subjects.  I had the privilege of being his assistant in butchering for the School each Saturday during my second year.  Mr.  Holeton was the Carpentry teacher.  Hugh McPhail – Field Husbandry, Mr. Yaught – Chemistry and Soils,  Mt. Kemp – Horticulture and Botany, James Murray, Prncipal,  Mr Fisher was the just retired Registrar and in his speech he told us of his time in the Yukon Gold Rush as a camp flunky when he was sent out to pick wild berries.  He thought he was hearing someone else ahead of him and it turned out to be a Grizzly Bear.  Her said, “I turned and went one way and the bear went the other way”.  The new Registrar was Mr.  Craighton.  Mr. Malyon taught Dairying and Phys. Ed. We also studied Irrigation and Land Surveying, Blacksmithing and Farm Mechanics The Curriculum was very broad.
Speaking of memory,  I started using Apple Computers 17 years ago when we were approaching our fiftieth Anniversary.  Our family asked me to write a Family History about what it was like to live in Alberta from 1920 onward to 1994 ( our recent years in B.C.) which I did.  It finally stretched to 140 pages, close typed letter size.  I had ten copies printed and put together with coils, for the immediate family.  Since that time I have written over 400 stories and still continue to write as the memories roll into my head, several a week. I am not on any prescription medication and nor is my wife.  We discovered a most excellent supplier of Natural Nutritional Supplements 32 years ago and our general health is  excellent.  One I use is called “Mental Acuity”.  Every visit to my GP reveals that I have the Blood Pressure of a very healthy 21 one year old male.  The name of the Company  is  SHAKLEE.  It just doesn’t work with Alzheimer’s.  This company is now in seven countries including China,Taiwan and Japan.
My elder brother Wilfred graduated in 1932 in the two year program.  My sister Ruth attended OSA in the fall term of 1934 and was so homesick for the Ranch she didn’t return after New years.  She did however make lifelong friends there. My youngest brother David  graduated in the two  in one program as did his wife to be Connie Herr.
I have been able to attend a good number of annual Reunion programs at O.S.A. and have happily renewed friendships down the years.  I have also had the privilege of helping with the Sunday services for a number of years and rejoice to know that many of the students have maintained a close relationship with their moral and spiritual foundations. Among many others, Jim Hainsworth was for me a staunch example of integrity and Faith. Many of my friends of those days have departed this life but have left behind records of great rural citizenry and service.

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