Thursday, 09 March 2017 08:00

100th anniversary of policing celebrated in the Crowsnest Pass

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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A quilt has been made by some local women in the Crowsnest Pass called the ‘Rag Bags’ in honour of both Canada’s 150th anniversary this year and the 100th anniversary of the Alberta Provincial Police. A quilt has been made by some local women in the Crowsnest Pass called the ‘Rag Bags’ in honour of both Canada’s 150th anniversary this year and the 100th anniversary of the Alberta Provincial Police. Photo by Stephanie Labbe

The Crowsnest Historical Society and the Crowsnest Museum celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Alberta Provincial Police (APP), March 1.

People attended a 100th anniversary event at the Senior’s Drop In Centre in Coleman to celebrate the APP and to get a tour of the APP Barracks building and the progress with its restoration.
It was a full house for the event with four special guests who addressed the crowd.
The old APP Barracks building has been under restoration and will be used as a small museum piece with exhibits throughout. It will help tell the story of the APP and prohibition and the tragic shooting of Constable Lawson.
Tony Hamori, chief superintendent of the southern district for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, brought greetings from the RCMP.
“Nothing worth having is ever easy and a lot of hard work has gone into this project,” he said. “I’m sure it’s going to bring a lot of tourists and people who are curious about the history of that particular building and what happened with respect to Constable Lawson for a long time to come.” 
Organizers hope the APP Baracks restoration project can be completed in time for a grand opening the weekend of Canada Day this year.
This project began in 2010 and organizers believe it would be a great addition to Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations this summer if it can be completed in time.
The interior restoration portion of the project is estimated to cost $206,000. The federal government has given a $103,000 grant under as part of funding for Canada’s 150th anniversary and a $102,000 Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) grant was also received.
It will cost another $130,000 to restore the exterior of the building and the project has received an Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF) grant of $49,000.
“This dedicated group of volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure that the colourful history of Crowsnest Pass is shared and remembered,” said Foothills MP John Barlow at the anniversary event.
He congratulated those in attendance who are part of the APP restoration project, sharing his gratitude and wishing them continued success.
“The work of the Crowsnest Pass Heritage Initiative has done excellent work to preserve and promote this history and encourage tourists to visit the Pass, stay here, explore and enjoy your hospitality,” added Barlow.
“This work is becoming a critical link in increasing the vitality of the Crowsnest Pass and surrounding region. It is why we are very proud to announce the Canada 150 grant as part of this project to support the restoration of this building and to add another piece to the collection of buildings and artifacts, preserved by the Crowsnest Heritage Initiative.”
Sean Moir, collection manager at the Royal Alberta Museum, was the guest speaker for the event talking about the history of the APP. Moir wrote his master’s thesis on the subject.
The APP was Alberta’s Police Force from 1917 to 1932 and was mostly responsible for enforcing prohibition in the early days of its mandate.
Moir showed a slideshow of photographs of the guns and the uniforms of the RCMP over the years to give people an idea of how much change there has been in a century.
Also announced at the event was the sale of raffle tickets for a Canada 150th and APP 100th quilt.
The quilt was made by a group of women in the Crowsnest Pass called ‘The Rag Bags.’ This quilt will be raffled off and all funds raised will go towards the project. Raffle tickets should be available for sale by mid March.

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