Archive for Tara de Ryk

“There’s a lot of broken hearts”: Family, friends mourn Hanley teen

Family and friends of Drew Kolbeck (in inset) joined his funeral procession on dirtbikes and quads following the service on Sept. 28.

By Joel van der Veen

HANLEY — The life of the party. An adventurer. A true friend.

In the days since Drew Kolbeck’s death, countless family and friends have shared their memories of the Hanley teen. 

Some of these came in the form of posts to his Facebook page.

“I’ll miss your crazy dance moves at parties and your laugh that came right from the belly,” reads one.

“There was never a time when there wasn’t a smile on your face,” says another. “I hope you’re tearing it up where you are now.”

One simply reads: “Missing your smile, Drew.”

Speaking to the Leader last week, Drew’s mother Tanya Kolbeck said the stories have helped to sustain her and her family, in the wake of Drew’s death. They also give her hope despite her grief, she added.

“Maybe he could inspire people to be kind and always help each other out,” she said. “It was just natural for him to help people.”

Drew Kolbeck, 18, died as the result of a single vehicle rollover north of Hanley in the early morning hours of Sept. 22.

He was the middle child of Jeff and Tanya Kolbeck of Hanley. He has two brothers — Drayden, 15, and Dustin, who turns 20 this month.

Roughly 1,000 people attended Drew’s funeral service on Sept. 28 at the Hanley Community Hall.

The gathering included many students and staff from Hanley Composite School, as well as young people and others from throughout the area, as far as Craik, Davidson and Allan.

A procession of friends and relatives on dirtbikes and quads followed the hearse from the Hanley hall following the service.

Almost two weeks after his passing, friends are still sharing their memories online and sending text messages to Drew’s phone.

“I think there’s a lot of broken hearts out there,” said his mom. “He just touched people . . . He never had a mean bone in his body.”

This content is for 12 month online subscription members only.
Log In Register

AGT commits $225K to Davidson rink

The Davidson Communiplex as seen on Google Street View.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — After more than two decades, Davidson’s rink is beginning a new season with a new name — and a long-term influx of cash.

AGT Food and Ingredients — headed by Davidson native Murad Al-Katib — has reached a sponsorship agreement with the town.

The company will contribute $15,000 annually towards the rink for the next 15 years, for a total of $225,000.

As part of the agreement, AGT has secured naming rights to the Davidson Communiplex, which will now become known as the AGT Centre.

Al-Katib announced the deal Wednesday in Davidson during a customer appreciation dinner held in the Sacred Heart Parish Hall, with roughly 85 people in attendance.

He confirmed the news in a Twitter post that night, which read in part, “Be proud of your hometown. A big part of who you are.”

Al-Katib is the president and CEO of AGT Foods, which distributes lentils, chickpeas and other crops to more than 120 countries internationally.

Speaking to the Leader on Friday, Al-Katib said the company has previously contributed to facilities in other towns, including Rosetown, Wilkie and Eston.

“Davidson’s a very important community for us, not only in terms of business,” he said. “It’s my hometown.”

While arenas and sports facilities often serve as community hubs, small towns often struggle to cover the costs of operating and maintaining their rinks.

Al-Katib said he believes it’s important and valuable to ensure such facilities can remain viable.

“That’s pretty exciting for us,” he said. “We want to be a part of that.”

He also said he’s pleased to see the growth happening in Davidson, as evidenced by larger classes at the school and the continued popularity of minor sports here.

This content is for 12 month online subscription members only.
Log In Register

Elbow draws together for Culture Days

Strongfield’s Sarah Leikam performs a traditional Ukrainian dance at the Elbow arena during the village’s Culture Days weekend on Sept. 30.

By Joel van der Veen

ELBOW — Since last weekend’s Culture Days events in Elbow, two people have agreed to join the Line 19 choir and three more have signed up to learn pickleball.

Not only that, but local musicians, inspired by the camaraderie of the Friday-night singalong, are planning to host monthly jam sessions.

By that measure, Culture Days was a great success, and one that continues to grow.

“This started as a dream,” said organizer Anne Wilson. “It’s just been wonderful. I can hardly talk about it, it chokes me up.”

Elbow was the site of three days of Culture Days events, from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, drawing upwards of 700 people.

The family-friendly weekend is hosted by the Elbow and District Museum and organized by a local committee, with support from various people, organizations and businesses.

Culture Days events are held the same weekend across Saskatchewan and the rest of the country.

“It’s just an opportunity for people all across Canada to get together and celebrate culture,” Wilson said.

Wilson explained that the museum board applied for funding from SaskCulture and Saskatchewan Lotteries the preceding fall to host this year’s events, which are presented free of charge.

As organizer, Wilson said her vision this year was a celebration of Canada on its 150th birthday, with a focus on music.

“Culture isn’t just your roots, it’s a feeling created by like-minded individuals,” explained Wilson. “We’ve got a wonderful community . . . We’re situated in an amazing place with lots to do.”

As such, the events were planned with participation in mind, allowing attendees to play an active role.

Wilson worked with an organizing committee, who in turn enlisted volunteers from throughout the area, including Loreburn, Strongfield, Mistusinne, Central Butte, Hanley and Davidson.

This content is for 12 month online subscription members only.
Log In Register

Second gymkhana buckle for Oliver

Tylar Oliver and her horse Josey receive the high-point buckle in junior B girls gymkhana from Saskatchewan Riding Clubs Association president Kirsten Roy.

By Joel van der Veen

MOOSE JAW — Tylar Oliver has some more hardware to add to the collection after competing in provincial riding club finals last month.

Oliver, a Grade 10 student in Davidson, won the high-point Gymkhana buckle in the junior B girls division at the Saskatchewan Riding Clubs Association (SRCA) provincial finals in Moose Jaw.

She and her horse Josey, a chestnut mare, competed in three events — barrel racing, pole bending and the quadrangle race.

Oliver said she’s been riding as long as she can remember, adding, “My dad started me when we moved here, when I was 2.”

She has been riding Josey for the last three years.

Though the mare was new to some competitive events like barrel racing, Oliver said, “She already had that speed mindset in her.”

This was Oliver’s second gymkhana buckle. In 2014, she was the high-point champion in the junior C girls division. She was also voted the SRCA’s provincial queen that year, taking home a trophy saddle.

Nine riders and horses from the Davidson Riding Club competed in this year’s SRCA provincial finals, held Sept. 22 to 24 in Moose Jaw.

Besides Tylar, two other club members picked up high-point buckles over the weekend.

Valerie Brown, riding Penny, received the high-point buckle for her results in the Pioneer Western Performance events.

Meanwhile, Brenda Clarke and Drifter earned the high-point buckle in the senior ladies Gymkhana division, after placing first in three separate events.

This content is for 12 month online subscription members only.
Log In Register

Obituary: O’Brien, Patrick

O’Brien, Patrick
March 19, 1930 — Sept. 27, 2017

Pat passed away peacefully in Moose Jaw with his family by his side.

Pat was born at Elbow on the family farm in the Harley District. He lived there his entire life, farming and raising cattle. He loved his animals, family and friends. He enjoyed playing cards with everyone.

Pat was predeceased by his parents, Lanora and Charles O’Brien; one brother Thomas; and one sister Ivy; two brothers-in-law Fred and Les Stevens; and one sister-in-law Florence.

He is survived by his sister Kay (Eric) of Maple Creek and his brother Donald (Sandra) of Elbow. Also, many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

A private family interment will take place at a later date.

He will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Donald, Sandra and all family members.

Obituary: Pederson, Elaine

Elaine Pederson (Hansen)
1944 — 2017

She was a 60-yard dash runner, figure skater, nurse, curler, gardener, reader and traveller. She was a small-town girl — helpful and involved, always trying to make things better for everyone and finding every opportunity to learn something new. She grew up in Rouleau, Sask., and knew she wanted to be a nurse from the time she was a little girl. She moved to Saskatoon in 1962 to attend the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan where she earned her degree and RN designation, met lifelong friends, and in spite of a girlhood pledge to never marry a farmer, caught the eye of an Agro who was in her English, Chemistry and Biology classes.

After convocation and getting married, Elaine worked as a public health nurse for the Victorian Order of Nurses, driving to her patients’ homes to administer medications, making sure they were safe and well, and being a friendly and professional face at the door, providing a human connection that was at the heart of the kind of nursing she always wanted to do. They moved to the farm northeast of Hawarden in 1969, built a home and were part of the community for over 40 years.

Elaine was stylish, practical and no-nonsense. She had a strong sense of fairness and justice, which she practised in her 18 years as a member and then Chair of the Saskatchewan Social Services Appeal Board, and as a mother — her daughters were always to be kind, treat everyone equally, speak out against wrongs, and step up in defense of others.

Elaine was predeceased by her parents Marvin and Olive Hansen, and will live on through her family: David, her husband of 50 years, cared for her every day with love, tenderness, good humour, and grace. She was deeply loved and will be remembered by her daughters Susan, Sandy, and Jen, her sons-in-law James and Doug, her grandchildren, John and Lucy, and Owyn, Milo and Dawson, and her younger brothers Gordon and Alan, sisters-in-law Fran and Kathy, and their families.

Our family is deeply grateful to those who cared for her after a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia. From the home care nurses who drove to the farm every day, to the Saskatchewan Abilities Council for providing essential equipment, to Jamie Pfeifer, who moved mountains to keep Mom and Dad together at Parkville Manor and helped navigate the long-term care system, to the Direct Client Funding program, and to Parkridge Centre East 2, who provided close and compassionate care for all of us in her last days. Most of all, we thank Dale Natowcappo, who came twice daily to care for Elaine seven days a week for nearly four years. She has been a strong, sweet, and steady force in our lives and it is because of her that Elaine and David were able to live together at home for as long as they did.

A service to celebrate Elaine’s life was held at Park Funeral Home on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Donations in her memory can be made to Alzheimer Society Saskatchewan (, Saskatchewan Abilities Council (, and The Lighthouse Supported Living (

To share memories and condolences, visit “Obituaries-Guestbook.” Arrangements are entrusted to Derryl Hildebrandt, Park Funeral Home (306-244-2103).