Tuesday, September 7, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 36 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“Music is one of the rare things in life that can transport you.”
- Shelly Groves  
- on the study of music   
   
Bride surprised by an old, feathery friend
 
A wedding day is one that every couple will always remember, but for Becky Vanderplas and Dori Gudmundson a surprise visit from a special friend made a wonderful day even more amazing.
The story began almost half a year before their August 28 wedding. In the spring of 2010, local Fish and Wildlife officers responded to a report of a wounded bald eagle in a field along Highway 22, north of the Pass.
Fish and Wildlife Officer John Clarke found the injured bird and brought him back to Blairmore. The bird’s wing was injured and he could not fly. Clarke, looking to send the eagle to the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre in Coaldale so it might recover, recruited Vanderplas’ help to transport the bird.
Clarke says that he knew she was an avid bird person, and she thought it was great to have the bald eagle in her car for the trip to Coaldale. Feeling a bond with the bird, she turned him over to Colin Weir of the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre. It was learned that the eagle could be treated and would recover.
 
Clarke, who knew that the wedding was coming up, approached Weir with a sneaky idea –– to bring the eagle to the upcoming wedding where the bride and groom could release the bird into the wild.
“There were only a few of us who knew it was coming,” says Clarke. He says that Becky had been asking about the eagle in the weeks leading up the wedding because she wanted to be there when he was released, and Clarke fibbed to tell her that the eagle had already been set free.
On the wedding day, August 28, Weir showed up with the eagle after the marriage ceremony, which took place on a rural property in the Sentinel area.
“She was ecstatic,” says Clarke. The eagle came as a complete surprise to the bride, and guests at the wedding turned and stared as the huge, magnificent bird was carried up to her.
The newly married couple took the eagle together and released him from the top of a small hill. The eagle took to the air and soared off across a field before vanishing from sight, creating a lifetime memory for everyone involved.
The 200-plus guests at the wedding got together and put up money as a donation to the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre in Coaldale, to sponsor the cost of care of injured birds.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 36 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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