One of the hidden gems of Lacombe — the LA Vintage Machinery Club — continues to carry on the legacy of the community’s farming past.
Located on the north end of the Lacombe Research and Development Centre, the Club initially started as the Parkview Pullers with several members who wanted to preserve the farming machinery they, their parents and their grandparents used to settle and farm the land around Lacombe.
In 1985, the Club was rebranded as the LA Vintage Club and a focus was put on preserving antique farm equipment. The Club has since expanded their focus to farm vehicles, which would have been common on the farm in the early days of Alberta’s agricultural history.
With many of the people who were alive in the early decades of the 20th Century no longer being around, the Club is looking to attract a new younger base membership in order to continue honouring Lacombe’s History.
“We want people to come to our meetings that happen once a month,” Club Member Jared Nafzgier said, “You don’t have to know anything about anything but if you a little bored or want to get a involved with a community of guys — I extend our invitation to join us on the second Thursday of every month.
“It doesn’t matter if you want to learn about engines, if you want to practice some painting or you just want to get out of the house — it is a great opportunity to do that to do that.”
The Club operates throughout the year with it’s many members coming in to work and tinker with various machines, however the Club’s main event is a all-weekend Father’s Day event.
“It is Saturday, Sunday and this year we are extending it to some activities on Friday,” he said. “We invite people to come out and camp as early as Wednesday or Thursday. There are some young kids from six up to 16 and as long as they can prove they are competent and interested, we are trying to get them started on some machines.”
The weekend consists of many demonstrations including vintage threshing and saw milling, along with toy-making workshops and a flea market which Nafzgier hopes will gain steam again.
“The last few years due to circumstance, that has dropped off so I would like to see more interest from people interested in doing a miniature garage sale. We really promote people setting up small-sized craft tables,” he said.
Ultimately, the goal of the group is to preserve Albertan history.
“With some of my old-time friends, they are starting to be less of them every year so I am trying to get more of the young crowd in order for them to see how the old ways were,” he said. “There was a handful of members initially and we have grown to several dozen. Some of bigger shows are bringing several hundred people through the gates.
“You can come out and see where we have come from and have a good time. You get to see where grain comes from.”
He added the group always attempts to support the community of Lacombe through their projects.
“Lacombe is a great place and I invite anyone to come stay for the weekend. If they can’t bring a trailer, Lacombe has a really great hotel network. We try to support the community over that one week period,” he added.