Falher landmark recognized in ATCO Electric’s 75th Anniversary calendar

The Town of Falher is literally buzzing with pride these days, thanks to its distinction of having the “World’s Largest Bee.”
The community, which has been home to the well-known icon since 1990 when it was erected by builder/designer Richard Ethier, made photographic history last year when it was selected by ATCO Electric as one of the top 12 provincial landmarks in the company’s commemorative 75th Anniversary Calendar.
“Residents really seem to take comfort in the fact that it (the calendar) recognizes Falher’s local landmark and the broad area which ATCO Electric provides service to,” said Trenton Graves, senior serviceman for the Falher area.
News of the official release of the commemorative calendar was revealed on Dec. 13 of last year when ATCO Electric District Supervisor Larry Tutt from Peace River presented Town Administrator Gerard Nicolet with a framed print of the same photo being used in the calendar.
Tutt said the “World’s Largest Bee,” which is the feature photo for the month of March in the limited edition calendar, is one small way for ATCO Electric to effectively portray its highly diverse service area.
“Each community has its own unique identity and we feel our company’s identity is unique, too.”
“This is our way of saying thanks to the communities which have been part of our history,” he said.
Additional landmarks in the calendar include: the Bison Statues in Fort McMurray, Big Horn Sheep in Grande Cache, Twelve-Foot Davis in Peace River, the Pysanka Easter Egg in Vegreville, Mushrooms in Vilna, the Bear & Swan in Swan Hills, the World’s Largest T-Rex in Drumheller, the Mallard Duck in Andrew, the Oil Lamp in Donalda and the Winter Games Statue in Grande Prairie.
Nicolet, who says the town didn’t learn about the exciting news until last November’s AUMA (Alberta Urban Municipalities Association) Conference in Edmonton when the pleasant news was revealed, noted that the depiction of their municipal landmark within the calendar is a significant feather in the cap of the entire community.
“Council was most pleased to see that we were selected as one of the main attractions in Alberta. They are extremely proud to be a part of this celebration of ATCO Electric’s 75th Anniversary,” he explained.
The town administrator said the calendar is a fitting way to help promote the vibrant and rich historical background which makes up Falher and the outlying regions, adding the framed print is currently on display in the main municipal administrative office.
Graves, meanwhile, says residents who are anxious to get their hands on a calendar can do so by stopping in at the Falher Town Office or at ATCO’s Falher office.
Approximately 350 of the free calendars have been handed out to date.
ATCO Electric’s historical and electrifying climb to the top of the power delivery ladder began in 1927 at Vegreville when 300 customers started receiving services from the company, known at the time as Canadian Utilities.
The name of the company remained the same for 45 years (until 1972) when a corporate reorganization resulted in the consolidation of electric operations under the auspices of Alberta Power Limited, which officially became part of the ATCO group in 1981 and adopted the ATCO name in 1998.
ATCO Electric began serving the Falher area in 1945 and has experienced a number of changes since then, one of which was the deregulation of electricity which transformed the business giant from a power generator to a delivery company.
“Delivering power is our core business,” Tutt explained.
“That’s what we’ve been doing for the past seven decades and what we’ll go on doing.”