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Topic: The Women of Aspenland
Article: Shirley Hoyle Cripps
Date Posted: September 15/2012
Main District: Wetaskiwin
Decades: 1930's to 2010's

Shirley was born on September 11th, 1935 to Joseph Hoyle and Mildred (Davis) Hoyle on a farm that is now Dorchester's Golf Course. After attending several area schools, she completed grade twelve at Red Deer Composite High School, going on to the University of Alberta in Edmonton to obtain her teaching certificate. Starting in 1954, she taught at Pleasant Prairie, Lakedell, and then Winfield School.

She married Lorne Cripps on October 4th, 1958. The following year they bought a farm five miles east of Winfield. Here, they began with mixed farming but settled on raising a herd of pure bred Charolais cattle. This prompted Shirley to petition for the Charolais breed to be accepted by the Edmonton Farm & Ranch Beef Breed Show. The movement opened the door for other new breeds.

In 1963, the couple began their family of three daughters: Christine, Rosanne and Maxine. Sadly they lost Maxine in 1973 at the age of seven.

Shirley has been actively involved with many community groups in the Winfield area, where she was instrumental in the building of the new hall and arena as well as being a 4-H Leader. On a provincial level, she has held office with a range of agricultural and recreational organizations.

In 1979, Shirley was elected to the Legislative Assembly representing the constituency of Drayton Valley, which extended as far east as Falun. Being appointed to cabinet in 1986 as Associate Minister of Agriculture was the highlight of her political career.

After leaving politics in 1989, Shirley made it her mission to tell the story of the 1947 discovery of oil in Leduc. To this end, she served as President and Executive Member of the Leduc / Devon Historical Society and the Canadian Petroleum Discovery Interpretive Centre finally became a reality. Her work has resulted in one of the best oil museums in the world.

Since 2005, Shirley has written five documents, based on motions passed at municipal and provincial meetings and at provincial conferences supporting fair access and equalized returns for charities working Casino events.

Serving as President of the Federation of Alberta Bingo Associations for ten years, Shirley continues to help community organizations to raise funds for their projects. She is currently President of Bingo Alberta. Today her volunteer work continues. However, her family and the farm where she and Lorne have lived for over fifty years are the focus of Shirley's contentment.

Information compiled in 2010.


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