Archive for Craik

Craik woodcarver wins awards

Two models made by Austin Eade of Craik — a bufflehead duck (left) and a pine grosbeak (right) — recently won awards at a pair of competitions.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — Each one starts as a humble block of tupelo wood.

The body and features are carved with care before the finishing touches — glass eyes and paint — are added.

Each bird has a unique posture or “attitude” that the carver needs to capture in his or her work. If they’ve done that properly, Austin Eade said, a trained eye can identify the bird even before it’s painted.

“It’s a connection to nature,” he explained. “If you can’t identify the bird or the subject before you paint it, you didn’t capture the essence of the bird.”

Eade, 73, has strengthened that connection over the past decade as he has pursued his woodcarving hobby.

In that time, he has completed roughly 30 birds. He works on them over the winter months, finishing two or three in an average season.

Eade, a longtime Craik resident, recently won awards for his work at a pair of competitions, including an international show in the U.S.

He had two entries in the Prairie Canada Carvers Show and Competition, held April 22 and 23 in Winnipeg.

There, his female pine grosbeak won best of show at the open level, while his bufflehead drake also placed first in its category.

A week later, he had the same two pieces entered in the Ward World Championship, held in Ocean City, Maryland from April 28 to 30.

The grosbeak won Best in Category (songbirds), outranking other entries from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K, while the bufflehead was a runner-up for Best in Species.

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

Obituary: Spencer, Violet

Violet Spencer
February 9, 1918 — May 27, 2017

Violet Alberta Sloan was born Feb. 9, 1918 at Kirriemuir, Alta., and passed away May 27 at the age of 99 in Craik.

She was predeceased by her husband George Ernest Barton Spencer in 1973, also by her parents Jack and Leona Sloan; sister Lyda Ward; brothers Chauncey (Jack); and Ralph. She is survived by brothers Jim (Evan) and wife Elaine of Saskatoon; and Stanley of Moose Jaw; three boys, Ernest (Nancy), David (Arlette) and Hilton (Wilma); eight grandchildren — Lori Ann and Michael, Tanya and Nicole, George, Peter, John and Rae-Lynn; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and a growing number of great-grandchildren.

Violet’s dad Jack came west with his three brothers on threshing excursions and homesteaded at Kirriemuir. Leona had come from New Brunswick with her sister to teach. The two were married in 1916.

In 1926 the growing family moved to the farm at Rose Hill and then a few years later to Dixmude, near the Spencer farm. Violet finished Grade 12 at Craik, a 12-mile round trip to school on her favourite horse Queen. After school in Craik Violet attended Normal School in Moose Jaw. She taught at three country schools near Bladworth, Davidson and Rose Hill, all in the depth of the depression. Her first salary was only $400 a year! But she ended up with $350 and an I.O.U. for $50.

Violet married George in 1942 and lived on the farm in the same house for 70-plus years. She returned to teaching when the family was older, teaching at Homesdale School west of Craik and as principal of Girvin School. Violet strongly believed in education and received a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan at the age of 70. Her priorities were family, farm and community. She was a member of the Foxbury and Craik United Churches, 4-H beef club, Craik band, Home and School and was on the local library board for 14 years.

Besides running the house, Violet also kept the farm books, hauled grain and tended a big garden. She was also active on an impressive list of provincial organizations: Palliser Regional Library, Saskatchewan Library Trustees Association and the Saskatchewan Library Board. She also served on the District 15 extension board from 1968 to 1982. Violet also operated the Country Book Store from home for 15 years and wrote a column on Canadian books for the Western Producer. The Oral History Room was a pet project and very dear to her heart. Violet’s hard work was recognized by letters of appreciation from Craik School, Davidson School Unit, the RCMP, a lifetime membership in the Craik Agricultural Society and an award from the Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan.

For fun Violet busied herself making dozens of quilts and filling binders and computer discs with Sloan genealogy. She also enjoyed square dancing, bridge and travel. Family, neighbours and strangers were all welcomed into her home and usually did not leave without tea or a meal.

Violet spent the last few years at the Craik and District Health Centre in great comfort. The family greatly appreciates the facility and staff that looked after her so well.

A Celebration of Violet’s life was held at Craik United Church on Saturday, June 3, 2017. Hanson’s Funeral Home of Davidson was in charge of arrangements.

Renos continue at Craik fairgrounds as Lions plan summer event

Members of the Craik and District Lions Club were on hand Thursday to accept a cheque for $75,000 for upgrades to the Craik fairgrounds from Co-op Community Spaces.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — A $75,000 grant from Federated Co-op Ltd. will provide a major boost to ongoing renovations at the Craik fairgrounds.

The funds, provided from the company’s Community Spaces Program, will be spent on upgrades at the site, including renovations to the agricultural building, concession stand and one of the ball diamonds.

Gayle Skeet said there are also plans to build a new ticket booth at the entrance to the 23-acre site, as well as an entertainment stage, to be known as the Co-op stage.

“The grant is going to be spent for the betterment of the community,” said Skeet, secretary of the Craik and District Lions Club, which is taking charge of the project.

Members of the local club were on hand Thursday evening to accept the five-figure cheque from two Palliser Plains Co-op representatives: general manager Mike Sigouin and board member Mark Wegner.

“It’s important that we give back and make investments in our community and people, which is what Co-op Community Spaces is all about,” Sigouin said in a prepared statement.

The Community Spaces program supports recreation, environmental conservation and urban agriculture projects. A total of 27 projects are being supported through the program this year, receiving a combined total of $2 million.

The Craik and District Lions Club has seen significant growth in the past five years, growing from six to 24 members.

Club members are getting ready for the second annual Craik Fair, following the success of last year’s event.

The year 2017 marks 100 years of Lions International, and the club has selected the fairgrounds as its Legacy Project.

The Craik Fair, scheduled for Saturday, July 29, will expand this year with the addition of a gymkhana event, organized by a resurrected Craik Ag Committee.

For the full story, please see the June 19 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Rubber hits the road in Craik bike rodeo

Aubrey Boyd stops at a checkpoint during a bike rodeo in Craik on May 27. Helping her out is volunteer Judy Anderson.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — Safety was the order of the day during a fun event for the whole family in Craik last weekend.

Several businesses and local organizations partnered to host Craik Community Kids Safety Day on May 27.

Part of Third Street was closed to make room for a bike rodeo. Each participant made their way through seven stations, and volunteers were on hand to provide tune-ups, helmet fittings and other assistance.

Clear, sunny skies were much appreciated by organizers, though they had to keep close eyes on obstacles that were prone to being rearranged by the wind.

“We’ve really lucked out with the weather,” said volunteer Judy Anderson. “It’s not 60-mile-an-hour wind . . . yet.”

Const. Nathan Boyd of the Craik RCMP said just under 30 participants completed the bike rodeo.

The event wrapped up a little earlier than planned due to the wind, though all who had registered were able to make their way through. Boyd said they were pleased with the turnout and results, expressing appreciation to the sponsors and volunteers.

The Craik and District Lions Club and the Craik branch of the Royal Canadian Legion served a barbecue lunch in Cornerstone Park.

Public health nurse Sheri Warkentin provided a car seat clinic, while the SGI Safety Squad was also on hand to provide education.

The RCMP and the Craik Fire Department had their emergency vehicles on display, open for tours.

Craik Playschool operated a bake sale table, and local high school students provided face painting. A bean bag toss in front of the Long Lake Insurance office also proved to be a popular attraction.

Dulle on the road for mental health

Jade Dulle stopped in Davidson May 29, taking a pit stop during her Ride for Mental Health. She’s cycling 1,300 kilometres from Consul to Creighton to raise money and awareness for the Canadian Mental Health Foundation.

By Tara de Ryk

DAVIDSON — With the wind at her back, Jade Dulle’s managed to travel at a pretty good clip in her journey to raise money and awareness for mental health.

She set out from Consul May 23. Six days later she arrived in Davidson after cycling roughly 450 kilometres, completing one-third of a 1,300-km trek called Jade’s Ride for Mental Health. The ride will end in Creighton. Jade says the objective is to get there by June 20, but if the wind keeps blowing her way, she could reach the finish line ahead of schedule.

The fundraising effort is ahead of pace as well, having raised $14,000 towards her $20,000 goal.

These funds are much needed and, according to Jade, will go to a worthy and needy cause.

Jade, 21, battles bipolar disorder. She was diagnosed a year-and-a-half ago and says programs and services offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association have been very beneficial.

“They cover the vastness of mental health. The support is ongoing. I found it very helpful to different people I know and to myself.”

She points to the CMHA’s Mental Health First Aid course as one that helped the most.

“I became more aware. It taught me how to recognize symptoms of mental illness and how to help and how to remove people from situations that could trigger. Overall it gave me more confidence about mental health,” Jade said.

She has company along for the ride. She has a support crew of partner Courtney and her parents Calvin and Tracy Dulle who follow behind in an RV, its hazard lights flashing.

Her dad and Courtney take a shift on the bike every now and then so she can take a break, but Jade says she’s doing the majority of the cycling.

To support Jade’s Ride for Mental Health, people may go to and search for the CMHA Saskatoon branch and under the Donate option, put their donation in honour of Jade’s Ride for Mental Health. People may also follow the ride on Facebook.

For the full story, please see the June 5 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

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.