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Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Don Christiansen, Memories of Glendale West Ward
My first recollection of the Glendale West Ward was when we met in the Masonic Lodge/Temple on south Brand St. during the time of WWII. I was in primary and remember that sister Olive Marshall would pick me and others up on Wednesday afternoons and drive us to Primary. She was very kind to do that. I remember that one of my Primary teachers was Noreen Callister, a wonderful teacher. There were other fine teachers who were a help to me. All of our Ward meetings were held in the Masonic Lodge, and sometimes on Sunday morning we had to do a little cleaning up from the Saturday night activities of the lodge members. When I was a teacher I helped prepare the sacrament and remember that the water was put into miniature clear glass cups about the size of the paper cups we use today.
Don't ask me how we cleaned them but that is what we used. We had to then carry the prepared trays, cups full of water, down stairs to our meeting room. I do remember that one of the boys slipped once and the cups came out and it was like breaking a lot of light bulbs mixed with water. A very big mess. There was another problem that we had to deal with at the "Lodge". On the street level it housed the Show Shop movie theater (don't hold me for the name but that is my memory) but it was for sure a movie theater. Well, when we teachers were making our way to the meeting room we had to pass the balcony of the theater and we could catch a glance of the movie. On occasion, some of the boys somehow ended up in the balcony instead of sacrament meeting. I don't remember anything else about that.
Our ward had young men in the military during the war and recall that one of them, a marine, was home on leave and was asked to speak. He had been in the fighting on one of the Island owned by Japan. I was young but still remember him speaking and recounting some experiences which were beyond anything most of us had ever even imagined, and they were gripping. That left a lasting impression on many of us.
As I remember, our ward was eventually asked to move to the East Ward building for our services. which was a step up. Our bishopric soon began to talk about a building fund so that we could have our own building in a more convenient location. At that time the ward was asked to furnish a fairly large percentage of the building cost, so there were continuous fund drives and assessments which began in the mid 1940's I believe. When it was time to start construction of our new ward building, we, the members of the ward, were also asked to help build it.. There were evening assignments and Saturday get-togethers. There would be a member who was competent to take charge each time and the members were given assignments on each occasion. I think there were about 20 or 25 workers on these occasions. I do remember wheelbarrowing loads of freshly mixed cement to where they would be poured into foundation structures, etc.. I was always a bit worried about not controlling the wheelbarrow and having it tip over. So, it was a relief to reach the place where it was to be poured. You remember the West Ward Tower. We teenage boys were asked to climb up the scaffolding of the tower to where the cement was being poured and pound on the wood with mallets so that the vibration would decrees the air pockets and help the cement to move down the framework. We had lots of interesting experiences.
As I have grown older I have come to realize that we “West Warders” were very blessed to have been members of that ward. We had great leaders and associated with wonderful members. I am fearful in mentioning specific names, but Wilford Edling and Reed Callister are among the many exceptional leaders & members who blessed my life. I am thankful for all of them.