Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 2, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
20 THE LETHBRIDGE HERAtO Monday, April 2, 1973- Werner's 'with it9 wife keeps busy in Leth bridge By MAUREEN JAMIESON Herald Famtly Editor While the new leader of the Alberta Social Credit party is in Edmonton fighting for rec- ognition in the political arena he entered only a few months ago, his wife stays home in Leth- bridge and keeps busy. Teaching kindergarten in the mornings, caring for her home and two teenage sons. A little knitting, crocheting, gar- dening and reading. Keeping track of the cocker spaniels. "But we always get together at says charming, bright eyed Teem Sdnnddl whose husband Werner won Socred leadership In February. "He can come here, or go up there, because we think being together as a family Is very important." "We haven't really whether to move to Edmonton, she said in an interview. "But we'll probably have to." "We're pretty up in the air at the moment." Split family flying "makes it very busy, weekends fast." Hometown wedding Teena Friesen and Werner Schmidt grew up in the same small town; but contrary to popular opinion, were not child- hood sweethearts in Coaldale. They first became friendly when she was teaching in Mc- Nally and he in Lethbridge, and were married in their hometown in 1956. Mr. Schmidt has been inter- ested in politics for at least 18 years, according to his wife, but was not actively involved until he became a candidate in the 1971 provincial election. Then, he was soundly beaten by Labor Minister Bert Hobol for an Edmonton seat. Mr. Schmidt's career pre- sents an impressive picture of an ambitious man. The former hardware salesman has cut a wide swath in the field of edu- cation, rising rapidjy from teacher to principal, superinten- dent, chief executive officer of the Alberta School Trustees As- sociation and the position he held at the time of his election, vice-president of Lethbridge Community College. Life of studying Teena Schmidt and friends her two sons started school, the wife of the new leader of the Alberta Social Credit party returned to university. A former teacher, Mrs. Schmidt graduated in 1970 after majoring in early childhood education. She now works mornings at a lethbridga kindergarten. "1 love it, I really love she said, but with one regret. Because of in- creased demands on her time, Mrs. Schmidt resign her teaching position at end of this term. Success did not come easily. "He spent most of his life studying so he hasn't had much time until recently" to become politically active, said Mrs. Schmidt. "He's always been a very busy man and always a hard worker at whatever job he was doing. "Last provincial election, he really got involved. Until then, he was interested, but didn't really have time." Mrs. Schmidt said she loves to travel. "I go with Werner whenever possible, like for the opening the legislature, but I nave a family and I don't go as often as I'd like to." One new and very important item on her busy agenda is ans- wering the scores of letters, cards and telegrams sent by well-wishers. "We were overwhelmed by the amount of letters and greet- ings we she said. "And we're still getting cards and letters." These are all carefully stored away in her large scrapbook, with a picture of "the victor" of the Socred leadership race on the first page. All press clippings _ good and bad will go in the book she said. "I've never been that involved in public Mis. Schmidt ad- mitted. "I'm interested hi poli- tics. I wouldn't be in running but in supporting my husband very definitely. Because of her husband's po- sition, she has automatically become honorary president of the ladies' auxiliary to the So- cial Credit Party. Visiting auxiliaries "Doris Oliver, who is provin- cial president of the ladies' auxiliary, and I have been doing some travelling to visit some of the auxiliaries, and we'll probably be doing more of she said. The Schmidts have not yet planned ahead for the summer recess of the legislature, s li e said. "I think Werner will be doing a lot of "But I hope somewhere, sometime, we can manage to go off and a holiday where nobody knows us." Often described as "religious" and "with the Schmidts be- longs to the Mennonite Breth- ren and try to attend church on Sunday, wherever they happen to be. There are three divisions of the church, Mrs. Schmidt ex- plained the Old Mennonite, Mennonite Conference and Men- nonite Brethren. The brethren is the least stringent of the three, and al- though Mrs. Schmidt neither drinks nor smokes, she does in- dulge in discreet makeup and her dress sense shows she is fully aware of the latest fashion trends. "Mennonites are very similar to the Baptist church, really." she said, explaining that both are evangelical sects. Cultural ties "They're sort of a cultural group, originally from Germany and Holland. I guess they tend to congregate, too. Coaldale has a lot of them, and they have cultural and ethnic ties. "We go to church in Lelh- bridge and Edmonton over wo happen to be. We were 'ip in the Peace River country for five years" where there was no Mennonite church, "but when we were in Spirit River, we went to the United Church and we fitted right Toe SchimdVs two sons, Alko, 14, and Dwayne. 13 at- tend Hamilton Junior High ii Lctbbndgc.