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Kalev Family

Nick emigrated to the Barons, later Eckville area,  Alberta, 1929. He excelled in calligraphy, conducted the local Estonian choir, and played trumpet in the local dance band. Nikolai (Nick) Kalev was born on October 19, 1905 and emigrated to Canada in 1929 as a 24 year-old. Nikolai's older brother, Peter, arrived in Canada in 1948. Their young sister, Martha, never did make the trip dying from pneumonia while trying to escape from Estonia to Sweden.

Upon arriving in Alberta Nick worked in Barons briefly before moving to the Medicine Valley to assist Martin Sestrap on his farm. Nikolai was well known around the community for his excellent penmanship, often being called upon to draft and write publicly displayed names. Aside from calligraphy, Nick played a variety of musical instruments. It was at a local dance hall where Nick met his future wife.

Hilja Raabis, daughter of Charlie and Olga Raabis, married Nick Kalev in 1933. Shortly after their marriage, they bought a quarter section of land. They had two children: Walter, born in 1935, and Edna, born in 1937. During the winters, Nick would at McTighe's Lumber Camps to earn additional funds. Nick died in 1951 while Hilja continued to work on the farm with the support of her two children.

Hilja spent many weekend singing and entertaining guests with her sister Mary. A talented duo, they were often invited to perform at local weddings, anniversaries and special events. She complimented her singing voice by writing songs and poetry. Hilja continued to live on the family farm until she was 91 years old. She passed away in August 2000.

Walter continued to farm the land after his parents passed away. Edna graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Education. She married Boyd Oborne and, together, they had two children named Daryl (1964) and Janice (1969). In 1964, Walter married Tiiu Koppel in Red Deer. They had three children: Brian (1968), Lori (1970) and Myrna (1973).

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