Archive for Davidson

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.

Come on in, the water’s fine!

Cutting the ribbon to open the new pool are lifeguard Sarah Bublish and Gloria Zdunich, who worked at the former pool for its opening season in 1967. Also pictured are Mayor Tyler Alexander, former mayors Clayton Schneider and Mary Jane Morrison, and Rob Stone (obscured) representing the Davidson Kinsmen Club.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — In the words of Mayor Tyler Alexander, the swimming was “on the house” as Davidson celebrated the grand opening of its new pool.

Members of the pool committee, along with town officials, sponsors and other dignitaries, looked on with pride as the ribbon was cut to officially open the Panther Swimming Pool.

Cutting the ribbon were Sarah Bublish, currently the pool’s assistant manager, and Gloria Zdunich, who was on the staff for the opening day of the previous pool in 1967.

Mary Jane Morrison, a former mayor and also a member of the committee, served as emcee for the brief program on June 30, starting around 1 p.m.

“Today marks a five-year journey of a dream come true,” she said, adding that she could speak for hours about that journey. “I have nothing but great things to say about this project and the people that supported it.”

Fundraising for the $1.53-million project began in 2012, with a campaign called “Every Drop Counts.”

Morrison recalled the many fundraisers organized or operated by the team, from galas and community auctions to produce sales, bottle drives and “the dreaded bingos.”

“Indeed, every drop has counted,” she said, also pointing to the co-operation between the committee, town council and recreation director Trevor Ouellette.

Also speaking during the ceremony were the current mayor, Tyler Alexander, and his predecessor, Clayton Schneider.

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

New era as Co-op opens liquor retail in Davidson

Tim Broadis, operations manager for Riverbend Co-op in Davidson, stands next to a display in the new liquor retail area at the Home and Ag Centre.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — The space is still under construction, but Riverbend Co-op is ready to serve liquor shoppers at the Home and Ag Centre in Davidson.

Monday, July 3 was the first day of operations for the Co-op’s liquor retail outlet, which now covers roughly 1,800 square feet of floor space inside the Railway Street business.

Renovations at the centre have been underway for several months to make room for a selection of beer, wine and spirits.

As of last week, construction was not yet complete, as employees were awaiting the installation of the walk-in cooler, measuring about 540 square feet.

Operations manager Tim Broadis said the refrigeration unit was expected to arrive during the coming week.

“I’m guessing in two weeks we’ll have it up and running,” he said.

When finished, the cooler will also feature nine doors filled with single-serve products.

Last week, Broadis said, employees had received and stocked between 500 and 600 SKUs (stock keeping units). Once the anticipated stock has arrived, that number will be closer to 1,000 SKUs.

Riverbend Co-op’s ability to purchase products directly through vendors opens up the possibility of specials and promotions.

Broadis said they’re aiming to offer a variety of Saskatchewan-made products, and they’re also open to input from shoppers about what they’d like to see.

“We’re still feeling out our customers,” he said Wednesday. “If you don’t see something that you think we should carry, let us know.”

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

Filipino family awaits reunion in Canada

Soon Joseph Glenn and Valerie Anne Lopez’s family will be complete. Their children David, 9, Beatrice, 4, and Georgina, 3, will arrive in Canada August 22.

In 2016 Canada welcomed 320,932 immigrants. Joseph and Valerie Lopez are some of those immigrants. They came to Canada to work, to send money home to the Philippines to support their family. In Canada — Davidson in particular — they found a caring community and opportunities. They found their future. Now they just need to bring their kids here.

By Tara de Ryk

DAVIDSON — When she was a little girl living in the Philippines, Valerie Anne Lopez says she dreamed of growing up in Canada.

It seemed like a fairy tale place where common folk — not just rich people — had bathtubs in their homes.

Canada is also a place where the habit of buying a carton of milk is a daily occurrence, not a carefully considered expense, a big reward that consumes a big chunk of a daily wage.

“My childhood was difficult. I had to work and earn something or we couldn’t afford to go to school,” Valerie says.

She watched her father come and go. He worked as an international seafarer for 13 years.

She recalls going to the airport to meet her father’s flight home. Sometimes he didn’t arrive on the much-anticipated plane and she’d be heartbroken.

Valerie did get to come to Canada. She arrived in December to join her husband Joseph Glenn, who’s been living and working in Canada since 2014.

Before meeting Valerie at the Saskatoon airport, Joseph stopped into Midway Flowers to buy a bouquet of roses, explaining he was picking up his wife, whom he hadn’t seen for nearly two years.

Their happy reunion was bitter sweet because their three young children David, 9, Beatrice, 4, and Georgina, 3, remained in the Philippines where Joseph’s mother is taking care of them.

Joseph’s been apart from his children for nearly three years.

“Our situation is not that unique because every other immigrant has this story,” Joseph says.

A common story for immigrants, perhaps, but it’s one difficult to imagine for most Canadians who get to tuck their kids in bed each night.

For the full story, part of our Canada 150 special, please see the June 26 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today. 

McNabb among picks for Golden Knights

Brayden McNabb speaks to the media following the Vegas Golden Knights’ announcement of their draft picks last week.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — One of Davidson’s own is among the draft picks for the NHL’s newest expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights.

Brayden McNabb, for the last three seasons a defenceman with the Los Angeles Kings, was on the roster announced by the team Wednesday at the NHL Awards.

McNabb, 26, is the son of Kim and Jeannine McNabb, and was raised in the Davidson area.

In a Twitter post Thursday, he thanked the Kings for the past three years, calling them a great organization and saying he’d be forever grateful.

“Excited for a new start,” he also wrote.

His mother told the Leader on Wednesday that they had been aware of a potential move since Brayden was on the Kings’ unprotected list, and they also received some advance notice prior to Wednesday.

“We knew it was a possibility,” she said. “I kind of figured they were going to be picking him.”

In three seasons with the Kings, McNabb logged 42 points, including six goals and 36 assists. He also recorded a total of 491 hits.

He was a third-round draft pick (66th overall) for the Buffalo Sabres in 2009, playing 37 games with the team over two seasons.

Prior to that, he played four full seasons with the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League. His final season with the Ice was his best in terms of scoring, with 22 goals and 50 assists.

McNabb stands 6’4” tall, weighs 212 lbs. and shoots left.

The Knights’ draft picks included 13 defencemen, along with two more acquired via trades.

Given that the team is expected to adjust its roster in the coming months before its debut season, Jeannine McNabb said her son’s future was uncertain.

“Time will tell whether he stays there or not,” she said. “With the hockey world, you never know.”

She said Brayden was surprised by the announcement, despite knowing he could be a pick.

“I know he really enjoyed L.A. and he really liked his teammates,” said Jeannine. “But that’s part of the job.”

For their part, Vegas will be easier to fly into when they visit from Saskatchewan. Jeannine said they’d received plenty of phone calls and text messages since the announcement.

The addition of the Golden Knights brings the total number of NHL teams to 31. It is the league’s first expansion team since 2000, when the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets both joined.

Senior boys honoured for sportsmanship

Davidson School’s senior boys basketball team displays its sportsmanship award banner at the June 19 school awards ceremony. Pictured from left are: Leonard Wipf (SaskMilk), coach Kim Rettger, coach Luke Edwards, Hunter Wall, Clay Murfitt, Andrew Read, Parker Smith, Morgan Manz, Cole Murfitt, Reegan Taylor, Mark Rettger, Tobi Arowolo, Rylan Slemming, Blake Allan and Dave Sandomirsky (SHSAA).

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Their grace in the face of defeat left an impression.

Last week, the Saskatchewan High School Athletics Association (SHSAA) recognized that grace, presenting Davidson’s senior boys basketball team with the Sportsmanship Award.

The award was presented to the Raiders during the school’s annual awards ceremony, held June 19.

Dave Sandomirsky, SHSAA’s assistant executive director, spoke of the team’s skill and success throughout the season, as well as the reason they were being so honoured.

“In our society, we tend to reward and celebrate the winner,” he said. “But how do you react when you lose? . . . How do you carry yourself as a team while in competition?”

Sandomirsky said the team’s behaviour is a reflection of the school and its culture.

“The Raiders impressed people wherever they went, for all the right reasons,” he said. “They were humble in victory, respectful in defeat and did not get caught up in the moment to allow themselves to find places to lay blame.”

He read a statement from David Wells, coach of the Twin Lakes School in Buffalo Narrows, whose senior boys team defeated the Raiders in 1A regional playoffs in Davidson in March.

Wells, who nominated Davidson for the award, wrote that the Raiders came to his team’s dressing room after their loss, wishing them the best at Hoopla.

They helped them pack up, carried mats back to the gym and assisted with cleaning the change room.

“I have never experienced anything like that before,” wrote Wells, adding that his players agreed that “the Davidson coach and players were great people with tremendous character.”

For the full story and more photos, please see the June 26 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.