Farmers, business owners, police, firefighters and more held a parade through the Swift Current Hutterite Colony to show the people there they are appreciated.
Co-organizer Scott Lamb said the idea started simply enough. He and Chance Kandrud wanted to do something to show residents of the colony that people are still standing by them.
Lamb made some calls on Thursday, July 30, and put the parade together in about half an hour. He and about 30 cars of people all paraded through the colony on Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Lamb said people loved the idea.
“To a lot of these companies, Hutterite colonies are a lot of business to them,” he said. “The response is actually truly amazing. I was quite overwhelmed with how well, how quickly it came together.”
Lamb said the the colony is only a half-mile from his property.
“To me, they’re just no different than any other neighbour, just they’re 70 of them. It’s a little town just up the road,” he said.
He recounted an incident where one of the Hutterites saved his house from burning down.
“George, the mechanic, was actually driving by my house one time and a vehicle was actually in front of my house on fire and no one was home,” Lamb said. “If it wasn’t for their actions that day … I would’ve lost the house.”
The Hutterian Safety Council previously said the province naming cases on colonies leads to discrimination against a visibly identifiable ethnic and religious minority.
Lamb said he’s also friends with people from other colonies as well. He said after seeing how Hutterites were being treated, he wanted to do something.
“It is easier to judge someone walking down the street because of the clothes they’re wearing,” Lamb said. “But I mean to single people out … it’s kind of sad.”
The parade itself was “awesome,” Lamb said.
“The biggest takeaway was probably the kids faces,” he said. “Just to see them smiling and jumping up and down and seeing the fire truck.”
Lamb said he has a simple message for people who haven’t dealt with Hutterites and see them out and about.
“Often Hutterite colonies are the first people to fill a food bank. They’re often the first people to a fire,” Lamb said. “We are definitely better with them around.”