When Sofia Kennedy arrived on January 16, 2012; her parents and six siblings were delighted to welcome her. At the time they were not aware that she was also the first baby to be born into 2012 within the area, and were surprised to learn she is our New Year’s baby. For the unique status awarded her so early in her young life Sofia received a gift from retired Barriere businessman and local resident Dave Baines, who has presented the first New Years baby in the McLure to Little Fort area with a monetary present for over 20 years.
”I feel great every time I do this presentation,” said Baines, “I have a great fondness for babies, and I am pleased to make a contribution that will benefit the child at some future time. I was inspired by a Canadian businessman a long time ago, who worked hard to become prosperous, and decided to give the New Year’s baby its weight in gold in his home town for many years. He wanted to help a child achieve a successful future, and I am doing this for the same reason.”
At birth, Sofia weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces; and Baines has presented her weight in loonies, worth $357. Baines says he leaves the parents to decide how to best use the money.
The Kennedy family say they moved to Barriere in November of 2011 from McKay, which is near Edson, Alberta. Parents Ian and Dianna, with their six children, Alanna, 18, Jessica, 15, Kurt, 12, 11-year-old twins Sean and Michael, and nine-year-old Clarissa came to visit Barriere in August of last year. They had decided to move, but did not want to change their lifestyle from being in a small settlement to a city. They liked the Barriere area right away, and felt the community fit well into their future plans.
“Ian had been employed in different lines of work, but he had hoped to study at some time to become a minister because the word of God had always been so important to him,” said Dianna, “It eventually was possible for him to follow the call of the Lord; he was able to study and he has found his first Pastorate in Barriere [Bethany Baptist Church].”
The Kennedys are glad they moved to Barriere, they are impressed with the friendliness of the people and enjoy getting to know the area.
Dianna home schools their children, who all share chores in the home; and she says she finds that little Sofia is not upsetting the household routine very much, “She is a good baby, and we all love her very much”.