(Aunt) Mabel Braaten
March 15, 1907 – June 20, 2001
Mabel Braaten was born in central Saskatchewan on the Ides of March, to Norwegian parents who had immigrated to Canada via North Dakota. True pioneers, her father arrived in the area in a horse drawn wagon in 1903 and her mother was on the first train to the area in 1904. Mabel was the 2nd of 4 children and shared the glory of being in the first Grade 12 graduating class for the area with her older brother. She went on to Normal School (Teacher’s College) and, when she rang the bell in the one-room school house for her first day of teaching, she was surprised to see 40 children file through the door. The year was 1925 and Mabel was the ripe age of 18.
She knew the harshness and hardships of the early days on the prairies. She was often responsible to supply wood for her school - during the cold winters she regularly taught her class as they huddled around the wood stove. Forty-three teaching years later, interrupted by a couple of years at a research lab in Toronto during WWII, she had taught more than 1,000 students, while managing to earn her Bachelor of Education degree as well as accomplishing a wide range of service-oriented community activities. Her creed was that children will learn more through love and kindness than punishment and negativity. A great innovator, she successfully tested the use of Cuisenaire Rods to teach basic arithmetic for the province and was selected to attend an International Seminar on Mathematics she said she felt quite at home being the only Grade 2 teacher among University Presidents, College Deans, Mathematic Professors, and other assorted PhD’s.
Mabel was awarded the Silver Jubilee Commemorative Medal in 1978 – an award given to commemorate the 25thanniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign – to citizens for outstanding service to Canada and its communities. At retirement the town honoured her with the naming of “Mabel Braaten Resource Centre”.
Mabel travelled extensively but never married. In her words “I never met a man I couldn't live without”. She had a comedic spirit and a zest for life. She loved and was loved by all her students and family members. She would always raise her glass with a toast to something special. We know that she would have liked to meet all of our fine customers. Therefore, on behalf of Aunt Mabel, we symbolically raise a glass and give you our special toast for gracing our restaurant.
Thank you for reading Mabel's Story.
.............. And the story continues …………..