The final Cochrane Ideas event before the summer break is perfect for long-time residents who want to reminisce or the tens of thousands of newcomers who want to learn more about Cochrane's roots.

On Friday, June 10, esteemed Cochrane oldtimers Dave Beattie, Dick Broatch, Betty Bryant, Gordon Davies, and Ted Westerson are telling stories from way back when Cochrane was just a village of a few hundred people.

All five are Cochranites who were all born, raised, and have spent their lives in our community. They will share their rich life experiences of having grown up in Cochrane in the 1940s and 1950s.

In 1941, there were 298 people in the village, and that jumped to 530 in just 10 years. It wasn't until 1971 that it officially become a town with a population of 1,046.

As you can imagine, life here was quite different, and so will the stories being told by each speaker. The panel is made up of people from every walk of life, from cowboys to educators.

Cochrane Ideas' Leslie Davies says after the panelists share their stories, they'll also be the opportunity for others to share their stories about how things used to be, ask questions and socialize.

"There might be enough interest in this to bring in a lot of people, those old-time Cochrane people as well as newcomers to Cochrane, and by newcomers, I'm talking about people with 10, 20, 30 years in Cochrane. They might consider themselves old-timers, but compared to these people on the panel, they're not, and we feel like there's going to be a good crowd."

Davies is one of those newcomers, arriving here in the early 60s.

The event has been moved to the Frank Wills Memorial Hall. 405 1 St. E. to accommodate a larger gathering. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the discussions start at 7 p.m.

It's free to attend, although donations are welcomed to help cover the cost of hall rental. She says if you can't chip in, no worries, just come and enjoy what will surely be a memorable evening

Since late 2000, Cochrane Ideas has offered truly enlightening sessions featuring speakers and vibrant discussion on a broad range of topics. 

You can learn more about this nonprofit group here.