Prince Albert Voice
Gwen Hardy Munro hales from Holbein, Saskatchewan. She’s the daughter of Jeff and Terry Hardy, wife to Mark and their blended family of three girls, a son and five grandchildren whom Gwen and Mark dote upon. As a Métis woman, Gwen has aspired to put her best foot forward, always. She leads a traditional lifestyle which enables her to live a very holistic way of living that allows her to find balance spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. She has found a way to live life that is meaningful to her and if she inspires someone else, she is further inspired to continue to do her best.
Some of us don’t often have a second chance to rectify an action we look back on with regret. It becomes a bittersweet life lesson that encourages us to take more risk and to take a chance on ourselves when other opportunities arise. When Rhonda Roberts was sixteen, she was a new mother who had to choose between her child and her education. She chose her child. As her family grew, she had four children and herself to feed. She realized minimum wage jobs wouldn’t allow her family to achieve the level of success they had the potential for and Rhonda decided she would do something about it. She learned about Dumont Technical Institute’s Adult Basic Education program, applied and was accepted.
I have five healthy children who range in age from 31 years to almost seven months old. There are enough years between each of the children it sometimes feels like I am a mother for the first time all over again. And with each of them having such distinct and differing personalities it’s no wonder each of the children feel like I’m experiencing motherhood for the very first time – I’m a new mom! What isn’t new is the response I receive upon people meeting each of my children. Each person looks, comments on how beautiful and precious the baby is and then proceeds to give unsolicited advice on how the baby’s quality of life will improve so long as I just do this:
When the new downtown Prince Albert City Police station opened I was intrigued, but not for the obvious reasons. It should have been the uniforms, the renovations on the building or even the new precinct opening after being in the same location my whole life that held my interest… but none of that caught my eye the way the handmade cookies did. In another lifetime, I once was on the precipice of being a baker who had delusions of being the next world renowned bakery chef who made awe-inspiring creations from butter, flour, sugar and eggs. Instead I was sidelined by hand and joint pain that dashed the dream but never stifled the appreciation of those who do create amazing art that is meant to be eaten. So when I saw those cookies, I knew I wanted to know more. The creator of those artful delicacies is Christel Hill (her nick-name is ‘Stell’, thus the name Sweet Stell’s Cakes and More). She recently opened her bakery in the 900 block of Central Avenue, next to Fresh Air Experience.
This morning I had time on my hands, which is rare. I’d finished earlier than expected at an appointment so the extra time afforded me the opportunity to sit enjoy my surroundings. With a mug of tea in hand, I found myself sitting in the parking lot of the local VV Boutique (Value Village) in a large city not far from Prince Albert. In the doctor’s office I’d been reading an article in an old Canadian Living magazine about what makes a person Canadian. There were three women who wrote about themselves. One described how she wore a colorful headscarf over her hair, sort of like a turban, every day. Originally from Somalia, she is Canadian. Another lady, originally from Australia, described how her parents came to Canada to get their education. When they moved elsewhere and gained dual citizenship, she felt it was necessary, at eight years of age, to let everyone know she was Canadian. And her loyalty to Canada remained with her, as she returned home the first chance she had. The third woman described how she is Islamic but doesn’t look it. So for her, she finds it easy to blend in as a Canadian and no one labels her despite her religious beliefs.