One of the oldest congregations in the community was the Anglican, and the church was among the first of Hanna's early structures.
Although regular church services began in the town in 1914, services had been held in the outlying areas, notably Netherby, since 1910, firstly by the Rev. M.W. Holdon from Castor, and later by the Rev. H.E. Scallon from his Epiphany Mission at Byemoor.
The Archbishop of Canterbury's Western Canada Fund had financed a venture known as the Railway Mission based at Regina, and headed by the Rev. the Hon. E.R. Lindsay, brother of the Earl of Crawford. Priests were stationed at various centres and the Goose Lake Line was served by the Rev. R.E. Young from his base at Youngstown. Representation was made from Hanna for the town to be included in the itinerary, and on Sunday, May 10, 1914, the first Anglican services were held in the town. Holy Communion at 8 a.m., and Matins at 11 a.m. were both held in the School House, while Evensong was held in the Theater, with a congregation of 45. The following week a Sunday School was started in the Herald Hall.
A mission House was obtained and all services from the end of April were then held there until the building of All Saint's Church towards the end of the year.
The church was opened for services on Advent Sunday, November 29, 1914, and a Service of Dedication held the following Friday evening, December 4, with Cyprian, Bishop of Calgary officiating.
By the summer of 1916, the congregation of Hanna was asking the Bishop for a clergyman of its own, and in October was rewarded by the appointment of the Rev. James Williams as Priest in Charge. Unfortunately, owing to domestic troubles, Rev. Williams turned to England in July 1917, bringing a halt to services in Hanna until March 1919, with the exception of four special services (including the Peace Thanksgiving) conducted by the Rev. M. Beardshaw.
The Epiphany Mission, which had been organized in 1913 by the Rev. H.E. Scallon, was based at Byemoor, and from March 1919 took Hanna under its wing. Regular services were held by Mr. (late Rev.) H.L. Nobbs, Lay Reader, with Rev. Scallon coming monthly to celebrate Holy Communion. The Rev. Scallon, with his thick "navy" beard, was a familiar sight around the country side, either riding his horse, or driving his ponies and buggy. He was tremendously devoted to his duty and let no weather stop him if it was humanly possible for him to hold a service that had been arranged. It is told of him arriving to take one service, after driving through cold blizzard-like conditions, with so much ice in his beard that it had not all melted even at the end of the service. There may still be some people around who remember him as he "looked after" his flock in Hanna, where he was based permanently from January 1924 until May 1928. He made a flying visit to the district from England in the fall of 1935 for the dedication of the Mission House at Byemoor as the Church of St. Paul.
Space is far too short to cover the history of the Church fully. The Anglican parish continues to thrive serving the community in Hanna and district.
During this long service to the community the following outside areas have been the recipients of services by the Rectors based in Hanna: Dowling Lake, Delia, Craigmyle, Dundee, Netherby, Richdale, Lonebutte, Sheerness, Pollockville, Sunnynook, Majestic, Endiang and Cessford.
Text courtesy of The Hanna Herald
Air Cadet Squadron, 1948