Archive for Bladworth

A safe arrival on Highway 11

EMS co-ordinator Adrian Schmiedge poses with Owen Tannahill and his mom Lacey, days after he helped deliver the child in the back of an ambulance.

By Joel van der Veen

BLADWORTH — It was a special delivery Lacey and Chase Tannahill won’t soon forget.

The couple welcomed their newborn son Owen around 5 p.m. on Sept. 5, weighing 7 lbs. 8 oz., measuring 20.5 inches long.

He arrived while his mother was laying on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance, stopped on the side of Highway 11 just north of Bladworth.

The Tannahills were en route from Liberty to Saskatoon to deliver their child, but pulled over once they realized the birth was imminent.

A 9-1-1 call summoned the ambulance from Davidson, and within a minute of climbing aboard, Lacey had given birth.

“It came fast, very, very fast,” said Lacey. “Once the ambulance got there, I settled down quite a bit . . . I was a lot calmer once I got in there.”

“We knew it’d be fairly quick,” said Chase. “We didn’t know it’d be as quick as it was.”

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Stubble fire followed by combine fire

A combine caught fire on a section of land northwest of Davidson on Aug. 19.

By Joel van der Veen

BLADWORTH — Two fires on the same section of land made for a busy Saturday for local firefighters and nearby farmers.

The Davidson Volunteer Fire Department was called around noon on Aug. 19 to a stubble fire on a field northwest of Davidson along the Allan Road.

After that fire was extinguished, they returned to the same section six hours later to respond to a combine fire, about a mile west.

“This was actually two completely separate fires,” deputy fire chief Don Willner told the Leader.

In both cases, he said, area farmers responded with their tractors, discers and water trucks, helping to keep the fires from spreading.

“The discers did most of the work,” said Willner. “They knocked it down faster than we did.”

Given the dry, windy conditions, Willner said their help was crucial in preventing the fire from crossing the Allan Road into the adjacent pasture land, “which would have been extremely difficult to contain.”

The first call came in at 12:10 p.m., with Rescue 481, Engine 482 and Tanker 481 responding.

Willner said the smoke was visible from town as the firefighters headed out.

Upon arrival, they found the farmer using a 4WD tractor with a discer around the perimeter to limit the spread.

Neighbours brought two or three additional tractors and discers, while water trucks were also brought to the site, including a truck from the Clear Spring colony.

Willner said firefighters were on the scene for roughly two hours.

The second call came in around 6:30 p.m., reporting a combine fire located about a mile west of the first blaze.

After realizing the machine was on fire, Willner said, the combine operator began driving back towards the direction of the first fire, hoping to limit the damage and spread.

With the combine, a Case IH Model 7120, already believed to be a total loss, the firefighters focused on extinguishing the fire on the ground.

“We concentrated on the fire itself,” said Willner. “We didn’t want it to reach around where it had already burned.”

Again, firefighters were on the scene for around two hours.

The affected barley field had already been harvested, so no crops were lost in either blaze.

Willner said the cause of both fires was undetermined, though it may have been as simple as a blade making a spark after striking a rock.

The Hodgins family, who own the affected land, later expressed their thanks to firefighters and their neighbours in a Facebook post.

Obituary: Seifert, Albert

Seifert, Albert Bruno
April 22, 1950 — July 15, 2017

Albert Seifert, much loved son, brother, uncle and great-uncle, was called away to be with his mother Luise on July 15 at the age of 67 years. He was born in Germany in 1950, family moving to Canada to a farm near Bladworth, Sask., in 1953.

Albert, usually always called Abe, graduated school in 1968. He lived on the farm with mom, who passed away in 2005, and dad till he passed. In winter he worked in the north country on seismic for 16 years. He never quit working.

He is survived by his dad, Bruno, sister Heimke (Dan) Campbell, brother George (Melody) and their respective families.

He was predeceased by his mother Anna Luise.

A celebration of his life was held at the Bladworth Elks Hall on August 11, 2017 at 2 p.m., with interment at Bladworth Cemetery. Lunch and fellowship followed at the Bladworth Hall.

For those so wishing, memorial donations in memory of Albert may be directed to the Bladworth Elks, Bladworth Cemetery Fund, Davidson Health Trust Fund or a charity of choice.

Arrangements were in care of Hanson’s Funeral Home of Davidson.

Bladworth girl, 14, on road to recovery

Jessica Townsend, 14, is recovering in Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital after suffering seizures caused by an arteriovenuous malformation (AVM) on the left side of her brain.

By Joel van der Veen

BLADWORTH — With days left till the end of school, Brenda Townsend and her girls were making their summer plans.

For Canada Day, they were going to ride together in the parade in Elbow, having already helped Anne Willner construct her float.

After that, the Townsends had some Saskatchewan road trips in mind.

“The girls and I were going to see more of the province,” Brenda said last week.

But those plans shifted to the back burner in late June after her oldest daughter, Jessica, suffered a brain aneurysm.

As of last week, Jessica remained in the pediatric unit at Royal University Hospital (RUH) in Saskatoon, where she is recovering from surgery and undergoing treatment and therapy.

Though recovery remains a long way off, Brenda said her daughter is making progress and showing daily improvement.

“Her spirit is there,” she said Thursday. “It’s long days, but it’s still good.”

Jessica, 14, is going into Grade 10 this fall at Davidson School, along with her twin sister Breanne.

They have two younger twin sisters, Marissa and Topanga, going into Grade 7. (Brenda also has two older sons — Alek Howell, 24, and Nicolas, 27.)

On the morning of Wednesday, June 21, Brenda went to wake Jessica up for school at their home in Bladworth. Though her eyes were open, Jessica couldn’t speak, move or get out of bed. She had suffered a seizure in her sleep.

“At first we didn’t really know what happened,” said Brenda. “I called her dad and he came over right away.”

After Jessica’s father Craig arrived, they called 9-1-1. Davidson EMS quickly arrived to transport her to Davidson Health Centre, where she was stabilized but remained unresponsive.

Paramedics rushed Jessica to RUH, where a CT scan revealed an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) on the left side of her brain. The abnormality, present from birth, was causing internal bleeding.

After she suffered another seizure, the doctors prepared her for immediate surgery to relieve the pressure in her brain.

They placed Jessica in an induced coma, leaving her under for nine days. (The process also included removing Jessica’s skullcap, which is being kept in cold storage.)

Further surgery will be required to treat the AVM, and right now doctors are monitoring her response to treatment and therapy.

Jessica slowly woke from the coma at the start of the month, and on July 2 she was moved to the pediatric unit.

When she awoke, she could smile and hold items in her left hand, but spoke very little. There was no movement whatsoever on her right side.

Since then, she has made steady progress, with the help of a team of specialists that includes two physiotherapists and an occupational therapist.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to solicit donations for the Townsends. To contribute, visit

For the full story, please see the July 17 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Goats add playful twist to yoga class

Janelle Shewchuk (left) and Julie Nykiforuk sit in a lotus pose during a goat yoga class on Monday.

By Joel van der Veen

BLADWORTH —  A herd of goats, a yoga mat, and thou.

These were the ingredients for a unique experience at the farm of Mary Smillie and Ian McCreary at Bladworth on Monday night.

Around 45 people visited the farm for a session of “goat yoga,” led by local instructor Lois Dueck.

It’s exactly what the name suggests: a yoga class given inside the goats’ pen, with the animals freely walking around, nibbling on grass and sometimes getting up close and personal with the participants.

Dueck, who has been teaching yoga for 12 years, said she wasn’t sure what to expect heading into Monday evening.

She had visited the farm previously to meet the herd and said she found it easy to warm up to the goats, who seemed to have a calming effect.

“It brought all levels and ages together, and that was very cool,” said Dueck. “Being outside was very nice, too.”

Dueck remarked that she’d expected the goats to be more curious, noting that they were drawing closer to the yoga group as the evening went on.

The goats appeared comfortable despite the presence of the large group. Some drew close enough to be petted or held, or to nibble on a participant’s shoelace. Occasionally a few of the goats would startle, leading to a brief, harmless stampede.

“People really have to try it to know what it’s like,” said Dueck. “I’d be up for doing it again, for sure.”

Smillie began raising goats six years ago, starting with 12 animals. Currently, her herd includes 30 nanny goats, 14 replacement doelings (one year old) and 42 kids.

The event was inspired by videos of goat yoga that were recently posted online. To Smillie, goats and yoga sounded like a natural pairing.

“Yoga should be about feeling good and relaxing,” said Smillie. “It seemed to work.”

She contacted Dueck, who was immediately on board. She said afterward that she was pleased with the response, adding that several more would have come if not for prior commitments.

More sessions are planned for the future, said Smillie, adding that she would appreciate feedback from those who attended the first.

For the full story, please see the June 12 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Obituary: Kerpan, Paul


Kerpan, Paul

Paul Nicholas Kerpan passed away Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at St. Ann’s home in Saskatoon. Paul was born on the family farm at Kenaston on Dec. 20, 1919, one of 12 children born to Paul (Sr.) and Mary (Yelich) Kerpan. Paul was a man of the land, starting farming at an early age. He married Helen Krpan of Bladworth on March 7, 1943. They kept busy with work most of the time, but enjoyed visiting with friends and family and going to the local Sports Days. In 1979, they retired to Outlook where they lived for 17 years. During their retirement, their love of the land transitioned from farming to gardening, and they made time to take a few trips. Due to health issues, they moved to Saskatoon where they lived independently for awhile. Both Helen and Paul spent their last years under the wonderful care of the staff at St. Ann’s Care Home.

Paul is survived by his four children: Karen (Wayne) Jess, Margaret (Ken) Baird, Allan (Melanie) Kerpan and Darrell Kerpan; brothers Martin (Doreen) and Bill (Lillian) Kerpan, 11 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Paul was predeceased by his loving wife, Helen; granddaughter Danille Kerpan; brothers John, George, Tony, Matt, Joe, Louis; sisters Eva Metheral, Mary Horan and Anne Pavelich.

A Celebration of Paul’s life was held at St. Andrew’s church in Kenaston at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 27, 2017. Arrangements in care of Hanson’s Funeral Home, Davidson. 
For friends so wishing, donations in memory of Paul may be made to the St. Andrew’s Cemetery fund or a charity of their choice.