Museum Moments

Countdown to Crafts!

The doors open tomorrow at 10 AM for the Craft and Hobby show at the Gem of the West Museum. The entrance is at the side ramp door. Want to find some Christmas presents or something for yourself? Come check out the variety of Crafters here on Saturday.

November 11, 2022

Today, as we should every day, we remember those who volunteered, sacrificed, served, fought, and died, for our freedom. We thank you. We salute you. You made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We will never forget. We will remember you.

December 15, 2022

After a great year, the Gem of the West Museum Society board members unwound during its Christmas party on Friday, December 4, with some honoured guests. We had a great time fun game planned by Bonnie, and food from Sandra and Rachael from Kaba Catering. We also honoured Duncan Lloyd with an honorary lifetime membership for all his dedication to the museum and the indigenous exhibit. Our evening included a surprise visit from Santa, who handed out some presents.

January 9, 2023

February 2, 2023

It is that time of year again when the Gem of the West Museum Society hosts its Annual General Meeting open for anyone to attend. We will meet at the museum (1306 20th street) on Wednesday, March 1st, at 7 pm. The agenda will include elections, the year’s budget and a discussion about the memorial funds. Meetings typically last a couple of hours, and we would be happy to hear from members and the public with any feedback. If you are interested in attending and want an agenda, please feel free to reach out and we can send one to you by email.

March 3rd, 2023

We are happy to be hosting Story Time with the Coaldale Public Library. Join us again at the museum on Monday from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The Gem of the West Museum Art and Culture Committee will have games and songs after the story.  

March 10th, 2023

Remember, week two of Storytime at the Museum is Monday, March 13th, from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Sit and enjoy the story, and then the Museum’s Art and Culture Committee has another fun activity organized. Hope to see you here. 

March 20th, 2023 

We are sending out this reminder that today from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM is Storytime at the Museum with the Coaldale Public Library. The Gem of the West Museum’s Art and Culture Committee will also have another fun activity set up here. We Look forward to seeing you here.

March 27th, 2023

Another Monday and another Storytime at the Museum today from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Come join us at the museum with the Coaldale Public Library. The Gem of the West Museum’s Art and Culture Committee will also have another fun activity set up here. We Look forward to seeing you here.

June 23rd, 2023

The Museum is closed tomorrow (June 24th) for a private function. Sorry for any inconvenience.

June 30th, 2023

Happy Canada Day weekend! The Gem of the West Museum will be open Saturday July 1st for Canada Day so round up the family and come on out.

August 15th, 2023

The Gem of the West Museum is excited to participate in Tourism Lethbridge’s “Sip, Taste, Explore!” program, which just launched. Visit the many fantastic locations in southern Alberta; the more you see, the more points you can collect and redeem for prizes.  

For more information, go to

November 6th, 2023

The Gem of the West Museum is excited to participate in Tourism Lethbridge’s “Sip, Taste, Explore!” With Remembrance Day just around the corner, it’s important to take a moment to honour the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Their courage and selflessness will never be forgotten. As we approach this solemn occasion, let us remember and pay tribute to all those who served and continue to serve our country with honour and dignity. Stay tuned this week as we share the touching story of one of these courageous soldiers.

November 7th, 2023

John’s early life began in Alexanderhoff, Russia (Ukraine), on August 13, 1921, where he was born to David and Margaret Ewert. After the Bolshevik Revolution in October 1926, his family fled the Soviet Union and found themselves in Canada. The family lived in Risor, Ontario and Main Centre, Saskatchewan, before settling on an irrigation farm outside Coaldale in 1930.John had a busy and productive life. He worked hard on the family farm and attended the Readymade School for 11 years. Then, from 1941 to 1942, John studied at the Provincial Institute of Technology, learning how to become a mechanic. During this time, he decided to enlist, and on May 12, 1942, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. Despite having no flying experience, John was stationed at the Ancienne Lorrette Base in Quebec and assigned to ground duties because of his mechanical education.

November 8th, 2023

One year later, on August 11, 1943, just days before his 22nd birthday, he was aboard the #6471 Anson aircraft on a maritime training exercise when it crashed. It was just 14 kilometres from Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon, Quebec, yet it took four days to locate the crash site. Of the five airmen on the plane, two had severe injuries, while the other three died in the crash. John was one of those airmen who lost his life in that crash.

November 9th, 2023

The plane had an eventful journey with the RCAF, starting its service on January 9, 1941, as part of the #9 Air Observer School. During its tenure, it faced two incidents of overshooting the runway, causing minor damages. Later it moved to the #8 Air Observer School, where it flew for the last time. Unfortunately, it met with a tragic end on that flight due to overcast conditions. The pilot was instructed to pass below the weather, but they didn’t follow the instructions. They descended just before their estimated arrival time, and due to low visibility, they collided with a tree and crashed. The damage was beyond repair, and on December 15, 1943, they salvaged parts and scrapped the rest of the plane.

November 10th, 2023

Air Marshall L.S. Breadner contacted John’s family, and his remains began the journey home. John was given a proper military send-off, with his service held at the North Mennonite church and buried with military honours in the Coaldale Mennonite Cemetery (plot 2 Grave 4). The mile-long procession that followed the Air Force escort to the cemetery was a testament to his community’s respect and gratitude for him and his service to Canada.

November 11th, 2023

Not all soldiers lose their lives on the battlefields of foreign soil, but that does not diminish their bravery or service to Canada in any capacity. It is important to remember and honour the sacrifices made by all those who served their country, whether they died in combat or not. John’s story is a poignant reminder of the many ways people can serve and the ultimate sacrifice some are called upon to make. His contributions to Canada, on the family farm and the armed forces, will always be remembered and appreciated.

February 20th, 2024

Hey there! The Gem of the West Museum Society is hosting our annual general meeting on Wednesday, March 6. We’re extending an invitation to anyone who’s ever been curious about what goes on at the museum or interested in participating in some capacity. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about us and get involved. Hope to see you there!