Unlike his predecessors in this job, John Smith McKay was born in Canada. After marrying Alice Walls, the family moved from Chatham NB, to Calgary where six sons were born ( one died as an infant). After a stint of farming near Strathmore, John took on the job of ditchrider at Cheadle where their daughter was born. Due to the untimely death of Fred Staves, John was transferred to the ditchrider position in Chestermere. Friends in the Strathmore district sent them off with a little poem,
“Oh my! Oh my! we hate to see them go
Oh my! Oh my! for we will miss them so.
It will be with kindest memories
We think of them so dear
While they are bathing in Chestermere.”
Read more about the McKay family here.