Archive for Craik

A tale as old as time

Morgan Stephens, Sophie Kearns and Kaylee Watt dance as a trio.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — Belle, the Beast and other characters were brought to life in this year’s recital by the Craik School of Dance.

The dance students presented Beauty and the Beast to an audience of about 65 people in the auditorium at Craik School on May 13.

The one-hour program, inspired by both the 1991 Disney animated film and the recent live-action remake, included roughly a dozen dance routines set to familiar songs like “Be Our Guest.”

Also featured were scenes from the movies, acted out on stage by a troupe of adult and child performers.

Dance instructor Amber Koza-Drimmie Vibert said she began planning the recital around the classic tale last year.

“It’s been my favourite movie my whole life,” she said.

A display in the school foyer included a cardboard stand-up promoting the 1991 movie, as originally displayed in a video rental store.

Vibert said they assigned acting parts a couple of weeks before the recital. After the other actors had made their choices, she tried a few roles and wound up playing Gaston, at the insistence of her students.

Her costume included boots made out of duct tape. Vibert said the character was a good fit for her, calling him “very flamboyant.”

Vibert had 10 students enrolled in Craik this year, ranging in age from five to 21 years. She taught in Craik one night a week and also operated a studio in Eyebrow.

For the full story and additional photos, please see the May 22 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Mayor says Craik will recover fraud losses

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — Craik’s mayor says he believes the town will be able to retrieve the total amount it has lost to fraud, calculated at close to $40,000.

“I’m confident that we will recover, through various means, all of the funds that were lost,” David Ashdown told the Leader.

Those means include bonds held by the town, as well as the restitution to be paid by former town administrator Jeff Murray, who pled guilty to fraud in January.

According to figures provided by the town earlier this month, the loss to fraud totals $39,416.34.

Administrator Sarah Wells said the town currently has an open insurance claim through SGI, and is waiting to hear what the outcome will be.

“It’s not a guarantee,” said Wells, adding, “We’re definitely going to work with them and see what we can get.”

The mayor said he, the town councillors and employees are working to carefully follow established policies to ensure that Craik won’t be vulnerable to fraud again.

“Personally I’m very confident that a similar situation could not arise,” said Ashdown, adding that while he trusts the staff, “that doesn’t remove my fiduciary duty to check carefully.”

Wells, who began working for the town in November 2014, said her responsibilities to council have been consistent throughout that time.

“I make sure council has all the information to work with,” she said. “My office door is always open for them to come in and inspect anything that they wish.”

She confirmed that she provides detailed financial statements to council, including itemized credit card statements.

Ashdown said these documents are received by council members prior to each regular monthly meeting.

The council reviews and adopts financial statements, payroll and accounts payable at each meeting. Having these documents makes it possible for council members to do cross-references.

“I do a regular review ensuring that the invoice matches the check and the authorization,” Ashdown explained. “We have tightened up the administration considerably.”

The mayor clarified that these are not new policies for council, but that they must be followed in order to be effective at preventing or detecting any financial irregularities.

Ashdown said he draws from his own experience in dealing with public funds, as well as observing best practices from other municipalities.

“We’re very careful to strictly adhere to the policies we already have in place,” he said. “Unless it’s adhered to, it’s not worth anything.”

For the full story, please see the May 15 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Local Cadets headed to flight school in Manitoba

Emily Jones of Craik and Jacob Heinrich of Davidson, both Air Cadets in 40 Snowbird Squadron, have been accepted to attend the Cadet Flying Training Centre in Gimli, Man., this summer.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — When Cadet Sgt. Jacob Heinrich learned he’d been accepted to attend flight school in Manitoba this summer, he wanted to celebrate.

At the time, however, he was standing in parade formation with the other members of the 40 Snowbird Squadron, so the celebration had to wait.

“You still have to keep a straight face,” he recalled. “I was biting my lip pretty hard.”

Heinrich, a Grade 10 student at Davidson School, is one of two local cadets invited to attend the Cadet Flying Training Centre (CFTC) in Gimli, Man., this summer.

He and fellow cadet Emily Jones of Craik will spend a month and a half at the centre, training on the Schweizer SGS 2-33 glider.

Both Heinrich and Jones began their cadet careers with 553 Sherlock Squadron in Davidson.

After the local squadron became inactive due to declining enrolment, they and a couple of others transferred to 40 Snowbird Squadron in Moose Jaw.

Local cadets travel to the city one night a week for regular meetings, and more often when they have weekend activities.

Heinrich began the application process for the CFTC in September, attending ground school to learn the basics of aviation.

For the full story, please see the May 15 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Dilke Co-op to close its doors after 101 years

By Joel van der Veen

DILKE — After more than a century of serving local customers, the Dilke Co-operative Association is sputtering to a halt.

May 10 is the final day of operations for the Co-op, though most of its services have already wound up and stock is largely cleared out.

The Co-op’s properties — including a grocery store, hardware store, lumberyard, cardlock and oil storage building — went up for sale in an online auction that ended May 1.

Board president Trevor Maerz said the association was forced to address its dire financial situation late last year.

“Our cash flow disappeared on us,” he said, adding that attempts to increase their line of credit were also unsuccessful. “We were basically presented with two options: dissolve or run on a cash basis.”

A public meeting was held in January, packing the village hall, and a vote on dissolution was taken the next month, with 86 per cent in favour.

Maerz, 60, said it was a difficult decision for the board, but ultimately, inevitable given the decline in business.

“You knew there was no alternative,” he said. “You can’t keep stuff open for people that just want to buy a jug of milk and a tub of margarine every week.”

“It was a hard decision, and just a shame to see something else leaving small-town Saskatchewan. . . It’s been a tough winter, hard on the ol’ psyche.”

The association has been in operation since 1916, and continued to provide a full line of services even as patronage dwindled, including bulk fuel sales. The grocery store also houses the village post office.

The Dilke Co-op had roughly 120 active members, though Maerz estimated that maybe a third of those were regular, year-round customers.

The village has around 75 residents, but the area sees increased traffic in the summer as tourists and cabin owners flock to nearby Last Mountain Lake.

Maerz said the population explodes for about three months of the year, adding, “It’s the other nine that kills us.”

For the full story, please see the May 8 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Craik drama club tells tales from the circus

The troll (Connor Watt) matches wits with the middle Billy Goat Gruff (Parker Ackland) in a scene from “Stories Under the Big Top,” presented at Craik School on May 1.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — The circus came to Craik last week for a limited engagement, entertaining young and old.

On May 1, the Craik School drama club presented “Stories Under the Big Top,” a 40-minute play by Lorraine Thompson.

The play featured a cast of 23 students in grades 3 through 12, telling a series of fairy tales.

Constance Schneider, an educational assistant who directed the play, said they decided to mount a shorter production this year due to the high number of young students in the cast.

“It was a short and sweet play,” she said. “I had a lot of beginner actors this year.”

Schneider said the play made a good introduction to the stage for the rookies, though it still required plenty of effort.

“With a lot of hard work from the students, we pulled it off,” she said, adding that many of the kids involved are active in sports and other activities.

Grade 12 student Sky Ann Stinson was the ringmaster, introducing each story and presenting the cast at the end for their final bow. Each tale ended with a moral.

For the full story and more photos, please see the May 8 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Obituary: Nielson, Mildred

web-obit-nielsonNielson, Mildred Elizabeth (nee Elliot)

With sadness, the family of Mildred Nielson announces her passing on April 19, 2017 at the Herb Basset Home in Prince Albert.

Mildred was born on the family farm in the Aylesbury district on Sept. 30, 1920 to Almer and Elsa Elliot. She attended school in Aylesbury with her three siblings and later travelled to Moose Jaw to attend Normal School. She taught briefly in country schools before moving to Nova Scotia where she married Jens Nielson on Oct. 28, 1943. Their first daughter Lynne was born there. Upon Jens’ discharge from the Air Force they returned to Saskatchewan and began farming. Soon after they welcomed Nadine and James to the family.

Mildred enjoyed gardening, genealogy, knitting, sewing, painting and L.O.B.A. as well as many other activities. She was very involved with the United Church and continued to attend Sunday services until she moved to Weldon. She had a smile for everyone and always had time to stop for a quick visit. Mildred and Jens were involved in both breeding and racing standard bred horses. In later years they enjoyed travelling with family and friends and were fortunate enough to visit Japan, Australia, Hawaii and many parts of both Canada and the U.S.

In 1985 Mildred and Jens retired and left the farm, moving into Craik where Mildred continued to live until moving to the Weldon Villa Care Home in 2010. She lived there for just over three years and was fortunate to make many new friends and spent many happy hours visiting and playing cards.

Mildred is lovingly remembered by daughters Lynne, Nadine (Wayne) Steen and son James (Connie) Nielson; grandchildren Colin (Angie) Steen, Todd (Cam) Steen and Quinn, Maren and Conlan Nielson; and four great-grandchildren, Erik, Luke, Gunnar and Haakon Steen. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

Mildred was predeceased by Jens, her parents and siblings Arvid, Eldeen and Clarence.

A Celebration of Mildred’s life will be held at a later date. Arrangements in care of Hanson’s Funeral Home.