Archive for Kenaston

Hanley White Sox win midget AA provincial title

The Hanley White Sox defeated the Ponteix Pirates 6-5 on July 23 to win the Midget AA Tier 4 provincial baseball championship.

By Joel van der Veen

HANLEY — The Hanley Merchants went their whole first season without a single win.

In their second year, they showed modest improvement, winning two games.

So it was nothing short of a shock when the team, now renamed the Hanley White Sox, finished its third season by winning a provincial title.

The Sox defeated the Ponteix Pirates 6-5 on July 23 to win the Midget AA Tier 4 provincial championship.

“We didn’t expect that at all,” said Jason Bellina, the team’s head coach, adding that while the win was a surprise, the boys earned it just the same.

“It’s not like we’re a bunch of schmoes out there. They’re good ball players. It was fitting for them to win the whole thing.”

The midget team included 16 players, drawing from Hanley, Dundurn, Kenaston and Clavet, and played in the Saskatoon league.

All their games are played in the city, as Hanley’s diamonds aren’t in line with the league’s regulations.

The past season had been the team’s best yet, with three wins in the regular season and a brief run in league playoffs, where they reached the second round.

“They’re such a good group of guys,” said Bellina. “You could just see them getting better and better through the season.”

Initially they hadn’t planned to go to provincials, but later decided to take a stab at it.

“We figured, ‘Who knows? Let’s just see what we’re up against,’” Bellina recalled.

Midget AA Tier 4 provincials were held in Ponteix from July 21 to 23, beginning with round-robin play on Friday and Saturday. Six teams competed in two pools.

For the full story, please see the Aug. 14 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.


Kenaston hosts long weekend of fun

Former Kenaston resident Lyle Hoffman shines the front end of his 1970 Chevrolet truck, one of the entries in the Show ‘n’ Shine in Kenaston.

By Joel van der Veen

KENASTON — From the youngest to the oldest, all had the chance to show off their fancy wheels during Kenaston’s long weekend extravaganza.

The village hosted a full schedule of events on Aug. 6 and 7, with proceeds going to the Kenaston rec board.

Tammy Powder, one of the event organizers, said they have tweaked the events each year, experimenting and trying new things to make the weekend bigger and better.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said, adding that the support of the community has been crucial to the events. “We needed all the volunteers.”

Tammy and her husband Denis organized the flea market and the Show ‘n’ Shine, now in its fourth year, held in memory of the late William Holder.

Bill, who died in 2014, was well known for his passion and skill for cars, and for Chevs in particular.

The event on Monday drew about 30 entries, with some coming from Outlook, Clavet, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert.

First prize was awarded to Jim DeVries of Surrey, B.C., for his 1956 Chevrolet Bel-Air.

Jim and his son had visited Saskatoon for the Super Run over the weekend. They were driving down Highway 11 on Monday when they saw the signs for the Show ‘n Shine and decided to join in.

For the full story, please see the Aug. 14 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.


Kenaston shows Canadian pride at street party

Nolan Briggs (right) holds a maple-leaf flag in one hand and a stick of cotton candy in the other. He and his brother Devin were visiting with grandparents Eldon and Theresa Owen in Kenaston and took in the village’s Canada 150 festivities on Wednesday.

By Joel van der Veen

KENASTON — Canada Day festivities got off to an early start in Kenaston on Wednesday afternoon, with food and fun for the whole family.

A section of Third Street was blocked off for a community street barbecue, organized by the village, the Chamber of Commerce, and local clubs and businesses.

Vickie Holder, one of the organizers, said they were pleased with the turnout and the weather. The skies were sunny for most of the afternoon, though the rain finally came around 6:30 p.m.

“We almost made it till 7,” said Holder. “We held out as long as we could . . . It was a very quick, fast-paced clean-up.”

Popcorn, cotton candy, Sno-Cones and mini doughnuts were offered up and down the street.

Attractions included a bouncy castle, balloons and face painting.

Hamburgers, hot dogs and salads were served at the Adams Centre, along with a red-and-white Canada 150 cake.

Multiple businesses were offering draws for raffle prizes, while the volunteer fire department had two vehicles on display, available for guests to check them out.

Members of the Circus Club from Kenaston School provided entertainment, performing tricks and walking on stilts.

Village councillor Brad Owen and his father Eldon were offering rides around the village in a 1926 Ford Model T.

Eldon has owned the car for more than 30 years, having restored it to running condition. The car had previously been abandoned to rust on a section of pasture land.

“I traded a piece of moose meat for it,” Eldon said, recalling that when he found it, the car had no roof and the left rear wheel had rotted off.

Mitch Hunter and his son Pierre, visiting from the Mistawasis First Nation west of Prince Albert, took a ride in the Model T.

Pierre is a home-school student who takes courses through the Distance Learning Centre. The family was in town for school-related matters and decided to take in the afternoon events as well.

“He’s never seen (a car) like that before,” Mitch said, adding that they enjoyed the afternoon. “It’s nice to have it as a community, (and) everyone gets together.”

Friends roast Firby on retirement

Barry Firby reacts to a remark by Manitoba Senator Don Plett during a charity roast in honour of his retirement, held June 17 at Kenaston Place.

By Joel van der Veen

KENASTON — The guest list ran the gamut from farmers and businessmen to MLAs, MPs and senators.

They were all there for one purpose — to take Barry Firby down a peg in the name of charity.

Close to 250 people were gathered at Kenaston Place on June 17 for a charity retirement roast, with Firby, a longtime coach, political and community organizer, as the “Man of the Hour.”

Firby, 70, and his family organized the event to celebrate his impending retirement from politics, and to support a couple of causes near to his heart.

He told the Leader he was pleased with the response and turnout, adding that there were no hard feelings.

“A roast, of course, is a bit of a different format,” he said. “Everything was meant to entertain. . . We said there was no holds barred, and it was fine.”

His daughter Mackenzie said they began planning the event at Christmas, inspired in part by a previous roast held in honour of the late Senator Doug Finley.

She acknowledged there was some risk involved: “You plan a big event like that . . . You don’t really know what they’re going to say.”


Proceeds from the evening are being divided equally between two causes.

Half will be donated to the Kenaston Community Recreation Board, which works to maintain, support and fundraise for the village’s pool, rink and community hall.

The other half will be directed to the Senator Doug Finley Memorial Fun, created to support young people interested in entering politics. The fund is named in honour of Finley, a campaign director for the Conservative Party who was appointed to the Senate in 2009 and died in 2013.

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


Kerpan family continues campaign against impaired driving

Allan and Melanie Kerpan hold a framed photo of their late daughter Danille at their home near Kenaston. (Leader photo by Joel van der Veen)

By Joel van der Veen

KENASTON — Days before Danille Kerpan died, she had a conversation with her sister Stefanie, the kind of deep talk the sisters often had.

Danille, then 25, talked about her future goals and the things she wanted to accomplish — including her desire to help at least one person.

More than two years after she was killed by a drunk driver, Danille’s family is working to keep that dream alive.

Her picture is prominently featured in two new campaigns against impaired driving, both of which were unveiled recently.

On May 11, SGI released a new 60-second commercial, featuring family photos of Danille and other victims of impaired drivers.

They are shown surrounded by loved ones. Then their images fade from view, representing the void left behind.

The campaign runs from May 14 to June 16, with the ad appearing online, on TV and in theatres.

A second campaign, presented by MADD Canada and the RTL-Westcan Group, was launched in Saskatoon on May 17.

Danille’s photo will appear on 40 truck trailers operated by Westcan in Saskatchewan, along with her name, her age when she died and the words, “Killed by an Impaired Driver.”

Through these campaigns, Stefanie said at the Westcan launch, her sister still has the opportunity to accomplish that dream.

“Thank you, Westcan, for giving Danille the platform to do just what she wanted — to not only change lives, but to save them,” she said.

* * * * *

Allan and Melanie Kerpan live in the same farmhouse west of Kenaston where they raised their four children: Joshua, Tyrel, Stefanie and Danille.

Family photos adorn many of the walls, and images of Danille, from childhood through adolescence to early adulthood, are everywhere.

Some of her keepsakes and possessions are also on display. One item, a description of herself written as a Grade 12 student, seems poignant now, especially in certain parts: “I worry that I will not stay young forever.”

For the Kerpans, the house itself is filled with memories old and new. They now have three grandchildren, with a fourth on the way.

Melanie, a teacher who works from the Distance Learning Centre in Kenaston, said it can be overwhelming when the rest of the family is home. Generally, though, she finds it a source of comfort.

“I feel her here all the time,” she said. “I don’t find it overwhelming. I find it comforting.”

Allan, a farmer and a former MP and MLA, said he struggled with seeing Danille’s face at first.

“The first few days or weeks, I couldn’t look at the pictures without crying,” he said. “Now I’m glad they’re here.”

Danille died Oct. 10, 2014 in a head-on collision on Highway 11 just south of Bladworth, when her vehicle collided with a truck headed north in a southbound lane.

She was one of 59 people killed that year in auto collisions in Saskatchewan where alcohol was a factor.

The driver later pled guilty to impaired driving causing death. He was sentenced to four years in prison and will be prohibited from driving for seven years after his release.

Two-and-a-half years after Danille’s death, the Kerpans face constant reminders that life has changed.

“There is no more normal,” Allan said. “You look at everything differently than you did before.”

He recalled how friends and neighbours appeared to act differently around them, especially in the first year — unsure if they could approach them or talk to them about it.

Gradually, Allan said, people seem more comfortable raising the subject with them, especially as they have stepped into the role of advocates.

In the last couple of years, the Kerpans have made presentations in area schools and become more involved with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

To read the full story, please see the May 29 edition of The Davidson Leader. To subscribe, contact The Davidson Leader, 306-567-2047.

Kenaston dancers hit the stage

Levi George does a leap over Chloe George, Ayslee Blenkinsop and Lexi Stacowich.

By Joel van der Veen

KENASTON — Dance students from Kenaston performed an impressive program at their annual recital last weekend.

About 140 people attended the one-hour program at Kenaston Place on the afternoon of May 14.

Dance guild president Tammy Owen served as emcee, introducing each of the nine performances in jazz, ballet, hip hop, tap and creative movement.

In between dances, the students presented poems and sayings relating to Mother’s Day.

This year 23 students between the ages of three and 15 years were registered for lessons in Kenaston.

Owen said the biggest challenge this year was finding an instructor, which took organizers until September.

Tia Shaw, a Grade 12 student in Davidson, agreed to step up and teach lessons in Kenaston, while also teaching dance two nights a week in her own hometown.

“It takes up a lot of time when you’re teaching four days a week,” remarked Shaw, adding that it worked out well and was a good experience.

Owen said the Kenaston students did not take part in any competitions this year. Enrolment is down from the previous year, when 36 students were registered.

She attributed the decline to older students with busier schedules deciding not to continue in dance, adding that she hoped to see some bigger classes next year.

The afternoon program included a raffle with 24 prizes given away.

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