Archive for Craik

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.

Test drilling for Craik water source to begin in May


By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — Test drilling for a potential ground water source for the Town of Craik is expected to begin in early May.

Town council heard during its April 13 meeting that employees of the Regina-based firm KGS Group would soon be drilling test wells to find a new source for the town’s water supply.

“They have to be able to get out and drill their test wells,” Mayor David Ashdown told council, saying that is expected to happen “as soon as the weather conditions are right.”

Representatives from KGS have recently met with the mayor, administrator Sarah Wells and town employee Kevin Gilby, and have performed visual exploration in the area, looking at three potential well sites.

It’s another step in the process of restoring potable drinking water to the citizens of Craik, who have been under a boil water advisory since August of 2010, due to ongoing issues with a treatment plant built by the now-defunct Mainstream Water Solutions.

Currently, Craik draws surface water from an intake at the Arm River dam east of town.

The town’s current plans include exploring alternate sources of water and treatment options, which were previously believed to be beyond the town’s financial capacity.

A federal-provincial grant totalling more than $1.42 million was announced in December of 2016, while an insurance payout of $380,000, resulting from the March 2016 fire that levelled the Eco-Centre, is also being directed towards the water project.

Ashdown had previously stated that Craik may have potable water again by the end of 2017 if the project proceeds at the expected pace.

For the full council report, please see the April 24 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Two farms near Dilke robbed on same night


By Joel van der Veen

DILKE — Two farmyards in the Dilke area were targeted by robbers on the same night, resulting in extensive damage and theft.

One yard north of the village was struck during the night of April 13, according to a news release issued by the Craik RCMP detachment.

Culprits stole a large quantity of power tools and other items from an unlocked shop and storage shed.

Police said they believe the suspect or suspects fled after encountering the family dog.

A second property southwest of Dilke was struck the same night, where a grain truck was driven into two locked storage containers.

The truck and containers suffered severe damage. Household items and tools were stolen from inside the containers.

Police noted the keys had been left inside the truck used in the crime, which was left at the scene.

Culprits also broke into an abandoned residence located on the same property, damaging a door to gain entry. The property and other buildings were searched, and other property damage was reported.

Both of the affected farmyards are located within the Rural Municipality of Sarnia.

Const. Kam Hay, who investigated both incidents, said there was no apparent connection between the two, besides the fact that they happened in the same area at around the same time.

For the full story, please see the April 24 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Warriors claim league title with Game 5 win

Craik Warriors captain Bert Watkins hoists the Wheatland Senior Hockey League championship trophy.

Craik Warriors captain Bert Watkins hoists the Wheatland Senior Hockey League championship trophy.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — It was as exciting a series as they come.

The Craik Warriors earned their league title with blood, sweat and tears this year, defeating the Foam Lake Flyers in a full five-game series to become the Wheatland Senior Hockey League champions.

The team hosted the fifth game on March 26 before a packed house, estimated at more than 200 spectators, at the Craik Memorial Rink.

The Warriors led throughout in a highly physical game, ending with a 5-3 win.

“It was a hard-fought series,” said manager Rick Reich. “Our guys, they buckled down and got the job done. . . You couldn’t have wrote it any better.”

Besides the hard work, Reich said the team’s success in the playoffs was partly due to its strength on special teams and its penalty kills.

The games with Foam Lake were close and there was no room to relax, he said.

“If you took a shift off, you paid for it,” Reich said, adding that the teams were generally evenly matched. “Seemed like we maybe wanted it just a little bit more.”

The teams played the last three games in the series on the same weekend. Between the gameplay and the travel, Reich said it made for a long three days.

The championship caps a strong year for the senior team, with 37 games played altogether and only six losses, including three regular-season games, one provincial game and two league playoff games.

The Warriors had a short run in this year’s provincial “C” playoffs, losing to Bredenbury in the second round.

However, they were unstoppable in league playoffs, beating the Allan Flames in three straight games to win the south division final before taking on Foam Lake.

The team won back-to-back league titles in 2009-10 and 2010-11, but had been denied ever since. Last year the Warriors reached the league finals but came up short against the Naicam Vikings.

Reich said this year’s lineup was the best they’ve ever had, but also noted it’s necessary to keep growing and improving as league play becomes ever more competitive.

For the full story, please see the April 3 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.