Fort Saskatchewan’s Walter Long volunteers for 50 consecutive track meets
Fifty years is a long time, especially if you measure it in track meets and your name is Walter Long.
Friday, May 11, marked Long’s 50th track meet at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic School in Fort Saskatchewan. Long taught at the school for 32 years and organized its annual track and field day until his retirement in 2001. Since then he has volunteered weekly at the school, including at each year’s track and field day.
“I used to love track when I was in school,” Long says. “I still love seeing the intensity on the faces of the competitors.”
Long has served as the head timer for the past 17 years. He co-ordinates a crew of track timers comprised of parent volunteers, many of whom are former students whose children now attend the school. As well, Long has maintained the school’s track meet records since 1970 and knows by name almost all the record holders.
This year will probably not be Long’s last year of volunteering at Our Lady of the Angels, but it will likely be his last track meet there. The school has been designated a K–4 school next year and, consequently, will not have a track meet. Long says he will likely volunteer at the new middle school’s track meet next year but confesses to some sadness at the change.
“It won’t quite be the same. It won’t be home anymore.” ❚
Garry Kumpf is a former teacher at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic School and currently works as a substitute teacher with Elk Island Catholic Schools.