A BIT OF HISTORY (last updated 11.1.22). Further updates are upcoming.
The DUGGAN family was prominent in Edmonton around the turn of the century. J. J. Duggan was the proprietor of a farm machinery business and served as Strathcona’s mayor in 1902 and again from 1908 to 1910. In the early 1920s, D.M. Duggan was mayor of Edmonton. Mayor Duggan was a strong supporter of Edmonton’s new Community League movement. In 1921, he supported the formation of the EFCL (Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues) – seeing the organization as a clearinghouse for the opinions of the leagues on matters such as taxation. In later years, he was president of the Garneau Community League. Participation at Duggan Community League was very high from the start. After the first membership drive, 74% of the total households in Duggan were members of the league! As a result of discussions with alderman Fallow, Purves and Ward, the league was granted use of the rink and gymnasium at D.S. MacKenzie Junior High School. In 1974, work began on a $150,000 community center at 3728-106 St. NW. With the help of numerous bingos and casinos and a $ 42,000 grant from the Alberta government, the center was completed in 1975. Various renovations have been carried out ever since. The high level of participation at Duggan has allowed it to offer a wide range of programs over the years. These programs are decided upon by the regular carrying out of needs surveys. The Duggan hockey council, for example, distributed a questionnaire in 1982; it asked 59 questions about the league’s hockey programs and got a substantial response from parents. According to the survey results, the most important objective of the hockey council should be the “promotion of good sportsmanship, integrity, and goodwill.” Recent offerings of Duggan Community League, advertised via its longstanding DUGGAN DETAILS (now on our website), have included courses in affective parenting, contemporary women’s issues, and three-dimensional art. There has also been family swim, figure skating, kung fu, tae-kwon-do, scouts, Guides/Sparks/Brownies, playschool programs, coach appreciation nights, talent shows, winter carnivals, basketball, soccer, social dance, bridge, woodcarving, church groups, and countless other activities. The league’s major fundraisers have historically been bingos, casinos, and revenues from hall rentals. In October 1980, Duggan Community League was deeply saddened by the death of one of the league’s leading members, Roger Soderstrom, who lost in life in an automobile accident. Back then, the Duggan Details reflected on Roger’s volunteer work in the community and the city at large, stating:
“Roger’s voluntary activities also reflected his commitment to issues affecting peoples’ lives. Some of his commitments included: member of St-John’s Evangelist (Anglican) church; an early member of U.R.G.E….; a member of Heritage Canada….Roger had many great qualities; organizational ability, concern for his fellow man; the ability to really listen to people and accept other opinions….We, in the Duggan community, will suffer the loss of Roger as a leader, co-worker, neighbor, and, for many, a friend. We feel our lives have been enriched by knowing Roger.”
Today, Duggan celebrates the memory of Roger Soderstrom by having dedicated the west wing of the Community League Centre in his name.
Over the years, many hundreds of volunteers have donated their time and energy because of their love of community, so we invite you to come and visit your community League center and celebrate the power of community!
Past Presidents: Jim Perry (71-72/ 72-73), Art Boettcher (73-74), Doug Witting (74-75/ 75-76), Steve Kyllo (76-77), Eldon Evenson (77-78), Roger Soderstrom (78-79/ 79-80), Harold Sager (80-81/ 81-82/ 82-83), Elmer Allen (83-84/ 84-85), Keith Currie (85-86/ 86-87/ 87-88), Graham Cheeseman (88-89/ 89-90), Fred Reid (91-92), John Little (92-93), Dale Cawsey (93-94), Barry Brazier (94-95), Laurier Landry (95-96/ 96-97), Dave Newman (97-98)….”