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Len Thompson was my great-grandpa. He died before I was born, so I never got to meet him, but he certainly has shaped my life in immeasurable ways.
My dad (Rick) and I recently made a road trip to Saskatchewan for the Yorkton Parkland Outdoor Show & Expo. On our way back, we made a point to spend a couple of days in the Abernethy area. Abernethy is where Len Thompson created his very first spoons and started the company in 1929. Although the factory re-located to Lacombe in 1958, Rick was born in the area and spent a couple weeks there each summer. A history buff, he made a great tour guide.
We of course began our adventure by cruising past the “Home of Len Thompson” sign.
After turning on main street, we spotted a few cars parked outside of the Abernethy town hall. Seizing this opportunity, Dad wanted to pop in to show me the portrait of Len that hangs in the basement. The painting (pictured below) is by Ernie Bretti (painted in ’83). Ernie was Len's brother Seymour's son in law.
Expecting a private party, we were surprised that we had arrived an hour before the Abernethy Dinner Theatre started! They had four spots left for the evening’s show so we were invited to stay. We enjoyed a truly wonderful dinner and were entertained by local actors performing "Goodbye, Piccadilly". The director of the show, Linda Bray gave us the warmest welcome… She made us feel right at home!
We were also lucky to enjoy a private two hour tour of the Abernethy Museum. A special thank you to Bob Dougherty for taking the time to show us around. There is a display in the museum devoted to Len Thompson including a few of his original spoons, packages and more. Bob even generously gave me a Len Thompson shirt from the gift shop! If any fans are ever in the area, I encourage you to have a visit. To learn more about the museum please click here.
We spent nearly two full days driving around the area to explore where Len and my extended family members made their homes. This included a couple lovely visits with Aunty Kay (former Len Thompson president, Cecil Pallister’s sister) who still resides in Balcarres, SK. She's in her mid-90's and is still sharp as a tack!
Here are a few more photos of the trip. Saskatchewan is a beautiful place full of beautiful people. I hope to be back again.
Post by: Jessica Pallister-Dew