HISTORY IN THE MAKING - Dr. Howard Fredeen

Local man honoured for his commitment to recording history

Dr. Howard Fredeen receives Outstanding Achievement Award

  • Nov. 3, 2016 8:00 p.m.

BY KALISHA MENDONSA

Lacombe Express

Local historian Dr. Howard Fredeen was recently honoured with an Outstanding Achievement Award for his dedication to preserving, documenting and sharing the history of Lacombe.

Fredeen was awarded this honour in Calgary during the 2016 Alberta Historical Resources Foundation Heritage Awards ceremony after being nominated by MLA Ron Orr.

In his application letter, Orr wrote, “Dr. Fredeen has devoted his life to serving others and providing historical confirmation of Lacombe and the surrounding area. He has enriched the lives of many through his vast knowledge of facts of Lacombe’s history. His dedication, hard work and commitment are admirable. He has made significant contributions in Lacombe that make him worthy of this prestigious award.”

Orr said Fredeen is a valued member of Lacombe and he described Fredeen as someone who cherishes and takes care of Lacombe’s history.

Fredeen said the best thing about recording the City’s history has always been the people he’s met along the way.

“When you come right down to it, a historian doesn’t create history they merely report it. That is the case with me. It’s the people who have told me their stories and memories that should get the credit for anything I’ve ever written.”

During the first of five historical lectures at the Lacombe Memorial Centre, Fredeen delighted the crowd with the recounting of some of Lacombe and area’s earliest pioneer stories.

He spoke with passion and said he’s always taken a great interest in researching and documenting history something he wishes more people would take up now.

“You don’t retain oral history if you don’t share it,” he said.

“It’s going on all around us. It’s an important thing to be able to talk about it not just put it down on a typewriter or something.

Fredeen has a lifetime of achievements including a Public Service of Canada Merit Award, Lacombe Citizen of the Year Award, and a fellowship in the Agricultural Institute of Canada.

Prior to his work as a historian, he was an accomplished scientist, known for representing the Agriculture Canada Board abroad, and his production of over 300 scientific and technical papers.

As well, Fredeen has made significant contributions through his work at the Lacombe Research Station in animal breeding and genetic research.

His work with human genetic research earned him the honour of the Genetics Society of Canada Award for Excellence, as well as the American Board of Human Development’s National Health Development Award.

Fredeen has dedicated much of his life to gathering, questioning, exploring and documenting the world around him. His many honours have done nothing to change his humble character and genuine appreciation of information.

“Personally, I was always interested in history. In doing research, the important thing to remember is to explore all of the research about the particular event in history you’re looking into. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself re-creating the wheel, and that’s not research.

“If you’re going to do research, you’ve got to think it and live it and make sure you explore all the nooks and crannies that are available. One will never explore them all they’re not all visible. I think my background as a scientist and recording the past history of the subject I was studying was probably a great help in detailing the history of Lacombe,” he said.

He added his thanks to the many, many people he’s spent time talking with over the years to uncover and record Lacombe’s history.

Fredeen has penned two official historical books about Lacombe and area: Lacombe: the First Century (1982) and Lacombe: County, City, Community (2015).

Sylvia Gillespie, another local historian, praised Fredeen for his varied accomplishments and for his will to continue to share the history and knowledge he has.

Gillespie worked with Fredeen in parts of his most recent book and was wowed by his ability to retain all of the facts of Lacombe’s history even at the age of 93.

“Dr. Fredeen truly does know the whole history of Lacombe. He’s got a phenomenal memory and he worked incredibly hard on writing that book. He’s unbelievable. I think he inspires people (to continue recording and sharing history), but if you listen to him, he’s still ready to go on and share more,” she<span class="

Just Posted

Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

Lacombe Generals to host 2019 Allan Cup

The Allan Cup was last hosted in Alberta in 2013 in Red Deer

Rogers Hometown Hockey lands in Lacombe Feb. 3rd and 4th

The weekend will feature broadcast hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone, meet-and-greets with NHL alumni and activities for the whole family

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

WATCH: Innisfail’s Berkley the bear celebrates first birthday

Discovery Wildlife Park’s newest Kodiak is excited for life this winter

UPDATE/WATCH: Jason Klaus and Josh Frank guilty in triple murder

Crown argues for 75 years to life in prison, sentencing on Jan. 22nd

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Three-car pile-up on Northstar Drive and 58th Street

No injuries reported at Thursday afternoon incident

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Most Read