| Feb 08, 2007


Feature Article - February 8, 2007

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Feature Article - February 8, 2007

Glenda Bence

If there was a single individual who was identified with the hamlet of Kaladar, it was Glenda Bence. Glenda, who died on February 3rd of cancer at the age of 68, after a six-month illness, was well known for her business abilities. She has been central to the local Kaladar Community Club ever since she married Robert Bence and moved to Kaladar in 1959 and she was a partner for years in the family-run Bence Motors.

Even though Kaladar is a tiny community, it has a community hall, a youth centre, tennis courts and a summer camp. It’s fair to say this would not be the case had it not been for the dynamo that was Glenda Bence.

The Kaladar Community Club used to run out of people’s homes, but when the United Church building came up for sale in the 1960s, Glenda convinced club members to purchase it, which they did for $1. After renovating the hall, the community club had a location for dinners, euchre parties, variety nights, plays, and other events.

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As the mother of six children, Glenda was always interested in events for children, and in helping young families in less stable circumstances than her own. Her daughter Laurie recalls that Glenda has organised a program for children in the summers for the past 30 years, and ran both the Girl Guides and the Brownies troupes.

In the early ’70s the local school was being closed down, and Glenda again convinced the Community Club to let her approach the school board about purchasing the building and the surrounding land. The church was sold, the school purchased, and a grant was secured to renovate the school. Other renovations have followed, including one in 1990, and just a few years ago the Kaladar Youth Centre was established in the basement of the community centre.

“She was the most amazing mother and grandmother,” her daughter in-law Tanya Bence said from her home in Kaladar earlier this week, “She went well beyond the story book grandmother. She taught my five-year-old more than I could ever teach.”

Glenda Bence looked at all of the children of the local community as her own. Through the Scamp Camp, which has been running for three weeks each summer, and the Youth Centre for older children, she made sure that children and youth have had somewhere to go and something to do throughout the year.

“She always wanted to help the kids,” recalled daughter Laurie, “She made sure none of them were excluded, and that money was never an issue.”

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