It’ a girl! The celebrated first baby of the New Year arrived right on time, January 1, 2013. Her name is Illyana, and she is Barriere’s newest young resident.
Happy parents, Jamie Raelff and Peter Hunt, are full of pride and shy smiles due to all the attention their little girl has been receiving. Most recently, retired Barriere businessman Dave Baines presented the little newcomer with a cheque that had the amount calculated out to match the baby’s weight in loonies.
Baines told Illyana’s parents that a number of years ago he was touched by the action of a wealthy businessman he met in Edmonton who had wanted to share his fortune with someone for a good cause. The businessman had decided to give the first baby of a New Year its weight in gold, to be spent by the baby’s parents for the future benefit of the child.
Baines said he was inspired by this, and decided he also wanted to help a child achieve a successful future.
As a result, for more than 10 years, Baines annually presents the area’s New Years baby (from McLure to Little Fort) with the child’s birth weight in loonies. For Illyana, with a birth weight of seven pounds and five ounces, this amounted to $333.50.
Baby Illyana’s parents say they both share in the care of the their new little girl. Peter is obviously happy to be Illyana’s dad, and remarked on how seldom she cries. “When she wouldn’t go back to sleep after a night feeding I was wondering why she was fussing; so we gave her another bottle, and when she’d had enough she just fell asleep, and we did to,” said Peter.
Jamie, already seems to be comfortable and relaxed in the role of new mom to Illyana. The role suits her well as she cuddles the newborn and whispers to her softly, “You are the first New Year’s baby of 2013.”