The community of Horsefly gathered for its annual old-fashioned Christmas dinner on Saturday, Dec. 12.
This time around the community broke from its usual potluck format and enjoyed a traditional dinner prepared by a dedicated group of volunteers.
“I’ve been here since June 2012,” said Kathy Kleine who helped co-ordinate the event. “I was hearing complaints from people about having to cook for the dinner and after the fall fair I decided I’d see if we could do it a little differently.”
Abby Wilson, who is the hot lunch co-ordinator at the school, was the dinner’s head chef with help from Nadine Duitschaever and Wilma Kowalski.
Wilson and crew cooked eight turkeys, seven hams, 100 pounds of potatoes and carrots and made enough stuffing to feed 200 people.
“They started cooking turkeys early Saturday, just after midnight, and had the rest cooking by 9 a.m.,” Kleine said, noting a crew of carvers arrived at 2 p.m. to carve the turkeys.
In addition to the kitchen crew, seven students arrived to do the dishes.
Children from the community performed with song, piano and violin offerings.
A choir consisting of four women from the community and members of the Horsefly Cariboo Christian Church sang carols.
When it was time for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive the women’s choir inspired everyone to join in singing Jingle Bells and the Clauses proceeded to hand out candy bags to 73 children, Kleine said.
From there everyone went out into the night and walked across the road to the school grounds where members of the Horsefly Volunteer Fire Department had lit a bonfire and were serving hot chocolate, coffee and cookies.
There were horse and hay wagon rides taking eight to 10 people at a time and they took anyone who wanted to go on a nice ride.
It was a fantastic night and made possible by the generosity of businesses and people in the community, Kleine said.
In the end the leftover food, enough to feed about 60 people, went home with some of the guests and over to the community church to share with the needy.
Kleine said she retired with her husband to Horsefly from the Lower Mainland.
She’d had a major vehicle accident in 2008 that left her in a coma for a period of time.
“I told my husband to get me somewhere I could live a normal life,” she recalled.
“We were staying in a motel in Williams Lake and someone asked us if we had ever heard of Horsefly.”