Sandy Van Bussel, right, has made a very generous donation to the Hanna Municipal Library, in the memory of her mother Mary Bye. Left is library board chair, Evange Lamson. ECA Review/Submitted
Sandy Van Bussel presented a generous donation on behalf of her late mother, Mary Bye to the Hanna Municipal Library on Sat. May 14 at the Willow Creek Bistro in Hanna, Ab.
Others attending the low key event included Hon. Kevin Sorenson, M.P., Mayor Chris Warwick, Special Areas Board Chair Jordon Christianson and Marigold Library System Michelle Toombs.
Bussel gave a narrative about the donation and her mother.
Mary Bye, a British war bride, arrived in Hanna to join her husband, Austin Bye, in September 1946.
Carrying their six month old daughter, Laraine, in her arms, imagine Mary’s shock when she sized up the small, dusty town of Hanna. So happy to be reunited with the love of her life, Mary took on the daily challenges of an agricultural community. She had never experienced snow and she had to learn how to cook.
It wasn’t long until she met other war brides and monthly ‘sewing club’ gatherings were organized. These ladies were able to laugh and cry and support each other in their new country. This club lasted for more that forty years.
Two more daughters, Sandy and Bonnie, completed the ‘Bye’ family.
Life in Hanna was certainly different from her city life in England. As a child, Mary buried herself in books.
She continued her love of the written word into her adult life. Her love of reading was instilled in her three daughters. Their weekly trips to the Hanna Municipal Library, to choose the maximum quota of books, were eagerly anticipated.
Mary believed that the library was more than a place to borrow books. She volunteered her services in many ways. She often entertained groups with 20 minute recitations that she had learned as a child and with her beautiful reading voice, she read storied to the young people of the Hanna area.
Mary was a talented songstress as well and she sang well in to her eighties.
It is important to support the library because of its positive, far reaching impact in the community. Reading and acquiring the love of the written word contributes to a lifetime of learning. For these reasons this endowment has been made to the Hanna Municipal Library in honour of my mother, Mary Bye.