Hazel Jane Straker, the daughter of Walter and Mary Fee, was born April 19, 1911, on the family farm near Wishart, Saskatchewan. She received her grades one through 11 education mainly at the Perryville country school. On January 25, 1933, she married Norman Straker of Wishart. They have five children: Walter (December 1933), Bernard (December 1935), Bernice (December 1937), Kathleen (1944) and Darlene (1948). Her early employment was as a farm wife and mother of five children.
After the Strakers moved to North Weyburn in 1959, she was employed at Western Christian College as laundress (1959-60), as assistant cook (1960-65, 1966-69), as cafeteria manager (1965-66), and caretaker-supervisor of the student centre and manager of the canteen (1969-77).
In addition, she has spent many summer months cleaning and painting dormitories and classrooms. In the course of her years at the student centre, Hazel Straker was also part-time assistant in the cafeteria for three years.
A faithful Christian all her adult life, Hazel Straker was secretary for the first vacation Bible school conducted at Perryville (1933), was children's Bible class teacher at both Perryville and Weyburn, and ladies' Bible class teacher at Weyburn. Since 1979, she has been a Bible correspondence course instructor with many overseas students, mostly from Ethiopia. She has also been sewing convenor for the Weyburn church during the past 10 years.
Furthermore, Hazel Straker's interest in community affairs has been extensive. She was secretary for the Round Hill School (1940-41), organized the 4-H clubs at Wishart and Punnichy and was their leader for eight years (1951-59). For her work with the 4-H clubs, she was awarded a Service Certificate.
For six years, Hazel was a director of the Touchwood Agriculture Society, and in Weyburn, she has been an active member of the local Horticultural Society for 15 years. From the latter society, she has received a trophy and has won many prizes for her flowers and vegetables.
Another Weyburn society has also honoured Hazel Straker. She has received an appreciation badge from the Extended Care Home Auxiliary for her work there since 1984.
For 30 years, she has been a faithful member of the Women's Service Club. She has served as a vice-president of the central organization and as president of its local organization.
Hazel Straker has pursued her quilt making hobby with tireless interest. By this time, she has made 65 beautiful quilts for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and more than 100 altogether. She still keeps on!
Personal note: Hazel's 18 years of association with the students at Western Christian College have been a notable blessing in her life. "I felt that I was of assistance in encouraging these young people to adopt Christian principles as a way of life and to have a stronger faith in God," she said.