Archive for Davidson

Wilkins donates latest piece to town

Farmer and sculptor Don Wilkins has donated his latest creation, a metal sculpture depicting two ravens poking at a nest, to the Town of Davidson.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Not everyone may like Don Wilkins’s latest creation.

The Girvin-area farmer and sculptor told Davidson town council, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that his new metal sculpture, depicting two ravens poking at a nest, may not sit well with those who regard the birds as pests.

“I know the subject matter is a bit controversial,” he said, adding later, “I think everybody respects a raven.”

Wilkins visited as a delegate during town council’s regular meeting on Tuesday to discuss the raven sculpture, which he offered as a gift to the town.

Gratitude was evident on the faces of the mayor and councillors as they accepted the gift.

“We appreciate what you’ve done for us, it’s just fantastic,” said Mayor Tyler Alexander.

Wilkins’s metal sculptures, depicting scenes from the region’s history, are a fixture along Highway 11.

Among his works are a total of 16 reproductions of Red River carts, designed after the two-wheeled carts used by 19th-century Métis settlers.

Wilkins said he envisions the raven sculpture being placed on a pole between 15 and 18 feet high, along with an interpretive plaque.

“I need a substantial pole underneath it,” he said, adding that suspending the sculpture would protect it from vandalism or theft.

Wilkins said he sought input from the council as to where the sculpture should be placed, in hopes that it could be installed by this fall.

He and the councillors discussed some potential locations, including the business district, the rest stop and the walking trail, with a decision to be made in the near future.

Council also agreed that Communities in Bloom should be consulted if the sculpture is to be located on property maintained by that committee.

Alexander offered the use of town equipment to aid in the sculpture’s installation.

Council keen on Loraas compost proposal

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — An organic waste pickup program for Davidson could be up and running as early as this fall.

During their regular meeting on Tuesday, town councillors welcomed a representative from Loraas Disposal Services to talk about his company’s offerings.

The company has recently begun offering an organics collection program, with several municipalities, including Warman and Rosetown, already on board.

If approved by Davidson’s council, the program would operate similarly to the curbside recycling program that the town has offered, through Loraas, for the last five years.

Green bins would be distributed to all households for the collection of organic waste — including plant and yard waste, fruits, vegetables, eggshells, coffee or tea grounds and related material.

Organic waste would be collected from households every two weeks, with the program going on hiatus in the fall and winter.

The proposal met with a warm response from the mayor and councillors, who voiced their approval in pursuing an arrangement with Loraas.

Mayor Tyler Alexander has stated at past meetings that the town must consider its options for composting, both to reduce its environmental impact and to extend the life of the muncipal landfill.

He said Tuesday that Loraas’s proposal made sense, as it would allow the town to provide the service at a low cost without having to directly operate it themselves.

“Personally, I’m all for it,” said the mayor. “I think we should hit the ground running.”

Alexander proposed that the town could introduce the service this fall, along with a public seminar to inform and educate residents.

Council will wait till the August meeting before passing a formal motion on the matter.

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


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.

Obituary: Andreas, Albert

Andreas, Albert

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Albert Andreas. He battled a short, painful fight with pancreatic cancer.

Albert was born September 16, 1937 to Nick and Barbara Andreas. He grew up on the family farm, seven miles east of Girvin, with three brothers and three sisters.

Albert married Arlene Martin on November 7, 1964 and they had three children. Family was what Albert loved to do. Albert and Arlene enjoyed raising their children on the farm where Albert was raised. Once Albert retired, they moved to Davidson. His favourite pastimes were playing pool or a good game of cards. He would quite often have luck on his side and obtain high cards at bridge.

Albert was always willing to lend a hand. He had a knack for fixing things and he often helped. It may have taken him some time and some thinking “outside the box” but it always came back to us in working condition.

Albert was predeceased by his wife Arlene, son Darcy, brother Frank and brother-in-law Jim.

He is survived by his daughters Roxanne (Paul) and Caron (Orrin); grandchildren Alysha (Bruce), Kristina, Nicholas, Nathan, Maria, Noel, Rachael and Eve; brothers Raymond (Beatrice), Ross (Catherine); sisters Shirley (Max), Helen and Doris (John) and numerous nieces and nephews.

We will miss you Dad.

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New monument pays tribute to servicemen and women

Gordon McRae shakes hands with Second World War veteran Alf Stulberg shortly after the unveiling of the monument in front of Davidson Town Hall on July 1.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — More than 600 men and women from Davidson and district have served their country in uniform since the start of the First World War.

Their names will live on, engraved on a granite monument that was unveiled July 1 during the town’s Canada 150 festivities.

Roughly 150 people were present for the ceremony on Saturday afternoon outside Davidson Town Hall, where the monument was installed on June 19.

Gordon McRae, president of Branch 51 of the Royal Canadian Legion, said the idea for the monument originated close to a decade ago.

He and the late Fran Stone had discussed building a monument to all those who had served — complementing the existing cenotaph, which honours the fallen of the First and Second World Wars.

McRae began working on the project in earnest after Stone died in August 2014.

“These names shall never disappear, but will go down in history forever,” he said during the ceremony, amidst blistering heat.

Joining McRae for the unveiling was Alf Stulberg, the town’s last remaining Second World War veteran, and Alf’s grandson Trevor Bessey.

Stulberg, who will turn 96 in August, thanked those who had attended the ceremony, adding, “It’s a good thing we have Gordon here to keep us going.”

Gladys Junop served as emcee for the program, which began with the singing of “O Canada,” led by Geena Heinrich.

Comrade Wayne Morrison directed the colour party carrying the flags, with guests invited to follow as a parade behind them.

The group marched eastward down Washington Avenue past the monument, turning around at the end of the block and walking back.

Lavonne Lyke spoke on behalf of Arm River MLA Greg Brkich, who had left following the Saturday parade to attend another event within his constituency. She expressed his thanks to the Legion and its members.

Mayor Tyler Alexander also spoke briefly, expressing appreciation to McRae in particular, for his efforts in keeping the Legion branch active in the face of declining membership.

Atel Concrete, Ltd., of Saskatoon donated the concrete for the base and a short sidewalk leading up to it, which was installed by Tom Vanghel.

For the full story, please see the July 10 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.