Archive for Tara de Ryk

Morning fire strikes auto body shop

A boiler fire spread to the north wall of Legend Autobody and Paint on the morning of Nov. 24.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Quick action by firefighters helped to minimize the damage after a fire broke out in an auto body shop in Davidson on Friday morning.

Barry Millham, who owns and operates Legend Autobody and Paint, said the fire originated from the boiler in the north end of the building on Railway Street.

Employee Trevor Reich discovered the fire shortly before 8 a.m. and called Millham, who was still at home.

Millham said he drove straight to the shop and called 9-1-1 soon afterward.

They tried to fight the fire using a fire extinguisher, but before long the flames had spread to the north wall.

He said the fire department arrived within a few minutes, giving them “two thumbs up” for a prompt response.

While the fire hall is located only one block away, Millham said he was still impressed given the fact that firefighters still needed to travel there and suit up before attending to the fire.

“They were here in record time,” said Millham. “That was pretty awesome.”

Fire chief Clayton Schilling said they received the call at 8:08 a.m., with 10 members responding.

Firefighters removed siding from the north wall, allowing them to combat the hot spots and quickly extinguish the fire.

They remained on scene till roughly 9 a.m. There were no injuries.

The building suffered little in the way of structural damage, while most of the interior damage was smoke-related.

Power, heat and water were shut off on Friday morning, and Millham said he wasn’t sure how soon the shop would be able to open again.

“We haven’t had time to process anything,” he said. “We just have to deal with things as they come up.”

He said he was dealing with “a lot of unknowns — what we’re going to do while we get this fixed up, how quickly we can get rolling again.”

Millham has operated his business in town since 2004 and moved to the current location in 2007. The shop employs himself, his wife Janice and two other people.

Bronze-medal win ends prov. weekend on high note

Members of Davidson’s senior girls volleyball team celebrate during their semi-final game in provincial playoffs on Nov. 18.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — As they prepared for their final game Saturday, the pressure of playing in provincials was catching up with Davidson’s senior girls.

They’d travelled to Kenaston for the last of their pool games, ending with a 2-2 record.

They stayed there for their quarter-final game over Raymore, then lost in the semi-final to Île-a-la-Crosse, sending them back to Davidson to the bronze-medal game.

“They were excited and happy to be playing (for) the bronze, but they were tired,” said coach Sandra Baldwin.

But that changed when they stepped into the Davidson gym.

Music was booming, the room was full of energy, and the stands were packed with family and friends, ready to cheer them on.

“It was really powerful for the girls,” Baldwin recalled. “They were back in their gym playing their game.”

The Davidson girls defeated Birch Hills in two sets, winning the provincial bronze medal and ending the weekend on a high note.

SHSAA representative Shannon Stephenson and Affinity Credit Union’s Dixie Dean presented the girls with their medals in a heartwarming and emotional ceremony.

Davidson School was the host for the 2A senior girls provincial volleyball championships on Nov. 17 and 18, with Kenaston serving as the second gym.

The Muenster Cougars, coached by Joel Taphorn, defeated the Île-a-la-Crosse Huskies in two sets (25-7, 25-13) to win the gold medal.

For the full story, please see the Nov. 27 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Council picks fix for Craik’s water

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — The Town of Craik has taken one more step towards restoring drinking water for local residents.

Councillors have approved a water treatment method, based on the results of pilot projects carried out at the water plant this summer.

Engineers are working on a detailed design proposal, according to a written update provided to ratepayers, and the town expects to begin seeking tenders for the project in December.

Mayor David Ashdown told the Leader last week that the town is making good progress on the matter, despite some delays and challenges.

“It’s taking a bit longer than personally I had hoped,” he said. “It’s certainly important that we do things right.”

The mayor said he was encouraged by the positive results shown from the pilot projects.

Ashdown said he was hopeful that safe drinking water would be available in Craik in the summer of 2018.

Once the town’s water is found to meet provincial standards, a three-month test period will follow to ensure that the treatment system can maintain that level of quality. Only once that’s finished will the boil water advisory be lifted.

“A certain level of caution” is needed, the mayor said, adding, “Once the advisory is off, I’d like it to be staying off.”

Craik has been under a boil water advisory since August 17, 2010 for “failing to meet minimum disinfection levels.”

The town has faced ongoing issues with a water plant constructed in 2009 by Mainstream Water Solutions, a Regina firm that has since filed for bankruptcy.

The update to ratepayers, prepared by Ashdown, states that restoring Craik’s drinking water “has been and continues to be the first priority” for the mayor and council.

Craik began working with engineers from KGS Group in 2015 to find and compare solutions to its water woes.

Their efforts received a couple of financial boosts starting last fall, when ratepayers voted in favour of directing the insurance payout from the Eco-Centre fire, roughly $380,000, towards the water fund.

At the time, the town estimated that the advisory could be lifted as early as November 2017, though various delays have pushed that prediction back.

A federal-provincial grant of more than $1.42 million for Craik, through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, was announced in January 2017.

The additional funds opened up the possibility of finding a suitable ground water source for the town. An exploratory drilling program began early this year, but five test drills in various locations all came up negative.

As such Craik will continue drawing water from an intake at the Arm River dam east of town. Some modifications will be made to the intake to ensure “the cleanest water possible enters the treatment process.”

Mayor Ashdown said a reliable source of ground water would have been preferable, but ultimately wasn’t an option.

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Churches unite for Reformation service

Rev. Dr. Gordon Jensen, portraying Martin Luther, talks with guests at an ecumenical service on Nov. 19.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Was it ironic that Davidson’s churches gathered in the Catholic parish hall to mark 500 years of the Reformation?

Sonje Finnestad, a Lutheran minister who serves churches in Davidson and rural Loreburn, said she was inclined to see it differently.

“You could say irony,” she said, “or a sign of progress.”

An ecumenical service was held Nov. 19 at the Sacred Heart parish hall to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the schism that led to the formation of the Protestant church.

Finnestad said the service was designed as a unifying event, bringing Christians of all denominations together for a time of shared worship and reconciliation.

The event was organized by the Davidson Inter-Church Association, with all six local churches represented and taking part in the proceedings.

Rev. Dr. Gordon Jensen, a professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon, was the guest speaker.

After giving the sermon, he briefly stepped out and returned in costume as Martin Luther, the German theologian whose criticisms of the Catholic church helped to kick off the Reformation.

As far as Luther impressions go, one could say Jensen nailed it.

He answered questions and spoke about Luther’s life, his beliefs and his work as a theologian and reformer.

Jensen told the Leader he’s found that role-playing helps to hold the audience’s interest, more than if he had simply presented a lecture.

“I think it’s more engaging, especially with the ability to ask all kinds of questions,” he said.

Following the service, a medieval feast was served. Organizers provided both the bread and chicken drumsticks, while attendees were asked to bring either salad or dessert.

About 50 people attended, a healthy turnout considering that, as Finnestad noted, “I understand we’re competing with the eastern finals of the CFL.”

The liturgy was based on a common prayer service developed by Lutherans and Catholics for the 500th anniversary.

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Obituary: Holder, Pearl

Pearl (Aikins) Holder
Her life from 1916 — Nov. 13, 2017
101 years and 11 days

The remarkable life of Pearl (Aikins) Holder began on Nov. 2, 1916 on the family farm NE24 T29 R2 W3, five miles east of Kenaston, Sask. She attended Aikins School and wrote her Grade 8 entrance exam at Zid School.

Pearl worked for families in Kenaston, Regina and Saskatoon, helping maintain family life for those who employed her. She would often say, “Many people talk about the Dirty Thirties and all the hard times, I would say, those were some of the best years of my life. You can’t miss what you never had.”

Pearl married her sweetheart, Bladworth farmer Harold Holder, on Oct. 4, 1939 in a double ceremony with her sister Alice and Bill Hartman at the United Church Manse in Davidson, Sask. The couples returned to the family farm for a simple wedding supper with family and the threshing crew as wedding guests.

Pearl and Harold farmed the Holder and Aikins land for many years, living on 24-29-2 W3 where they raised their four sons Bill, Tom, and twins Ron and Don.

It was a necessity of farm life to perform a variety of daily chores. A large garden and hard work provided produce to preserve for the winter and share with other families. It was not unusual to preserve 100 quarts of corn, 20-gallon crocks of pickles, a barrel of sauerkraut as well as many quarts of beef, chicken and wild meat.

Pearl would never consider herself a seamstress or tailor, but she was gifted at both. Her skill at mending and darning was like viewing fine art. She would downplay her skill saying, “I don’t do anything finer than darning socks and shovelling sh–!”

Pearl was active in the Evangelical Ladies Aid church group; she curled with her family, boarded school teachers and was a member of the Kenaston Seniors. Visiting and enjoying the company of friends was a highlight in her life. Coming to town on a Saturday, friends were ensured a good story and a hearty laugh.

When her grandchildren came along, they were the light of her life. She taught them to be resourceful, kind, generous and to walk on the sunny side of the street. Pearl taught her grandchildren to live by her example that included independence, positive attitude and most of all humour. She took great interest and pride in the accomplishments of all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed watching all of them grow into kind, independent men and women. When the newest member of the family, two-and-a-half year old great-great-grandson Emmett would come and visit, Grandma loved to watch him explore.

After the death of her husband Harold she left her family home and moved to Wainwright, Alta., in 1973 where three of her sons were living. She became a caregiver and companion to Roy Oliphant. Over 44 years in Wainwright she bowled, loved to dance, played cards, went for coffee, walked miles and enjoyed the company of many, many friends.

She travelled with family and friends to China, England, Scotland, California, Hawaii, Alaska, Florida, Arizona and numerous parts of Canada. From Bladworth to Beijing, Pearl enjoyed all her travels.

She frequently returned home to Kenaston to visit family and friends. She was especially pleased and proud to attend the celebration of 100 years of continuous family farm award in 2007. Even though Pearl lost her husband Harold (1970), companion Roy (1984), son Tom (1990), grandson Ambrose (2007) and eldest son Bill (2014), she was at peace knowing that death was a part of life.

She was pre-deceased by parents Andrew Aikins (1941) and Georgia Anna (Burgess) Aikins Moore (1962), siblings Albert (1993), Alice (2000) and husband Bill Hartman (2000), Margaret (1920), Gordon (1987) and wife Vera, sister- and brother-in-law Mabel (Holder) (1977) and Harold Ames (1985).

Pearl had a natural way with people. She loved the company of people. Her quick wit was a feature of her personality that could not be missed. She enjoyed telling stories of people and events from the past with precise detail.

Pearl leaves her family with all the best memories: son Ron and Diane, son Don, daughter-in-law Jeanette; grandchildren Rob and Cathy, Johanna and Jamie Branigan, Tim and Vickie, Jason and Amber, Jenny, Josh, and Liza Pearl; great-grandchildren Amanda, Brett and Kristin, Shayne Branigan, Holly Branigan, Logan and Taylor, Jorden (Sarah), Brandon (Destiny) and great-great-grandson Emmett Allan; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Pearl was admired and will undoubtedly be remembered by all who knew her.

By Pearl’s request there will be no service in Wainwright. A celebration of her life will be held in Kenaston in the summer. Memorial donations may be made to the Kenaston Seniors Inc., Box 361, Kenaston, Sask., S0G 2N0.

Fun factory: Elementary drama club delights with “Willy Wonka” play

Tyce Farden, Reece Johnson, Finn Low and Rogan Pasher take off in the Great Glass Elevator.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — It was a world of pure imagination as Davidson’s elementary students presented their fall drama productionon Wednesday.

Close to 40 students in grades 3 through 6 made up the cast and crew of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

The play was based on the book by Roald Dahl, first published in 1964, and also incorporated songs and plot elements from the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder.

Upwards of 200 people attended the performance in the high school gymnasium on Wednesday night.

The play tells the story of five children who win a tour of the chocolate factory run by the mysterious and eccentric Willy Wonka.

Arlene Low, one of the play’s directors, said it was fun working with the kids and watching the play come together. Rehearsals began in early September.

With such a large cast, she said the greatest challenge was determining where each actor needed to be and making sure they were ready for their cues, adding, “It’s a small stage with lots of kids.”


For the full story, please see the Nov. 20 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.