Category Archives: Loreburn

Curlers come home to Strongfield’s new rink

League curling resumes tonight, Monday, Feb. 12 in Strongfield. This new curling rink replaces the older structure that was toppled by a July 20, 2017 windstorm.
(Leader photo by Tara de Ryk)

STRONGFIELD—Curlers along Line 19 have come home.

Monday night curling has resumed at the Strongfield Curling Rink. The season kicks off tonight in the brand new rink that was built to replace the old rink that was destroyed by a July 20 windstorm.

A “Welcome home to Strongfield” banner was hung on the inside wall, greeting curlers as they stepped on the freshly made ice.

The banner is a thoughtful touch courtesy of Ron Sabiston.

When he was sorting through the remnants and equipment of the destroyed curling rink that were stored in the ice-skating rink next door, Sabiston said he found the banner, which was from the village’s homecoming celebration in 2012.

So he brought it over to the new curling rink and hung it up.

“This is like home. We’ve lived here the last four months,” Sabiston says.

He’s a member of a crew of volunteers who have been working nearly non-stop to get the new rink ready for the season.

He is known as “Northend Ron” to differentiate him from the other Rons living in and around the community including Downtown Ron and West Farm Ron.

“I found it kind of ironic. There were four Rons in town and then I get here and found out there’s two more Rons on the farm.”

Strongfield is like most Saskatchewan towns, populated by community-minded individuals who get things done. And they all have nicknames, so it can take a minute or two for a stranger to sort out who’s who.

George “Shorty” Follick was flooding the ice last Monday night. He’s known as Shorty to distinguish him from Strongfield’s former mayor George Bristow, who was of much taller stature.

Also part of the volunteer crew are Ryan Glubis, Strongfield Mayor Jeff Vollmer, Ronny Follick, Dave Wirth, Devon Ellscheid, Ernie Pryor, Jessica April and Amanda Glubis.

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Blizzards squeak by with 6-5 win over 19ers

Kenaston’s Chris Prpich and Loreburn’s Carter Norrish battle for the puck during Wednesday’s senior hockey game at the Kenaston Arena.

By Joel van der Veen

KENASTON — The Kenaston Blizzards held on Wednesday night to claim a narrow win over the Loreburn 19ers at home.

Though the Blizzards took an early lead and were ahead 5-1 by the second period, the 19ers made an impressive recovery in the latter half.

Four goals put Loreburn within spitting distance of the lead, but Kenaston prevailed to claim a 6-5 win.

It was their first game of 2018, and only their second win of the regular season.

“We got kind of undisciplined,” said Blizzards coach Mike Hertz, noting that a string of penalties in the second period for his team allowed Loreburn to take advantage. “It got a little hairy at the end.”

With a 2-10 record for the season so far, Kenaston is in a three-way tie with Loreburn and Elrose for last place in the Saskatchewan Valley Hockey League.

Hertz acknowledged that it’s been a challenging year for the Blizzards on multiple fronts: “We’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff.”

Chief among these was the death of longtime coach and player Dean Blenkinsop on Dec. 7, following a long battle with cancer.

The Blizzards had opened their season on Oct. 28 with a ceremony honouring Blenkinsop, prior to their first game.

Upwards of 350 people, including Dean and his wife Michelle, were in attendance as the team unveiled a banner with his name and number.

“He was touched and honoured,” said Hertz. “I think he was surprised a little bit with the outpouring.”

Continue reading Blizzards squeak by with 6-5 win over 19ers

Blizzards honour coach with heartfelt ceremony

At left, Dean Blenkinsop, accompanied by his wife Michelle, stands on the ice while hundreds applaud him during a ceremony at the Kenaston Arena on Oct. 28. Also pictured at right is Mark Asbjornhus.

By Joel van der Veen

KENASTON —  Hundreds filled the Kenaston Arena on Saturday night to pay tribute to a coach, teammate, neighbour and friend.

Longtime Blizzards player and coach Dean Blenkinsop was honoured with a brief ceremony at the rink, to retire his number and to recognize his years of service to hockey in Kenaston.

The ceremony was held the night of Oct. 28, prior to a senior hockey exhibition game between the Kenaston Blizzards and the Loreburn 19ers.

Introduced by former teammate Mark Asbjornhus, Blenkinsop walked onto the ice with his wife Michelle following closely behind him.

He stood quietly while the players on the ice and the crowd — estimated at more than 350 people — paid tribute with a standing ovation.

Following a slideshow of photos, a banner was unveiled at the far end of the rink, bearing Blenkinsop’s name and the number 10.

Dean then spoke briefly, thanking the team for the tribute, and saying, “Let’s have a fun night.”

Asbjornhus said the tribute was a “group effort,” calling Dean an “unbelievable guy” who has dedicated many years to the community.

“We’ve been talking about retiring his jersey for a while,” Asbjornhus said, adding as he looked over the crowd on Saturday night, “It seems to be coming together pretty good.”

Blenkinsop, 46, grew up in Hawarden and began playing senior hockey with the Blizzards in the late 1980s.

He continued with the team over the next 25 years, moving off the ice into coaching four years ago.

He was first diagnosed with colon cancer nine years ago, and has been battling the disease on and off since then.

Blenkinsop said he has been open about his fight with cancer, adding that he and his family have received plenty of support from the community.

He and Michelle have three daughters, ranging in age from nine to 13 years, while Michelle also has a 24-year-old son.

Blenkinsop said prior to the ceremony that organizers had kept most of their plans a secret.

“They just told me to show up tonight,” he said. “It’s exciting.”

Afterward, he said he enjoyed the ceremony, adding that the banner was a nice surprise touch. Continue reading Blizzards honour coach with heartfelt ceremony

Obituary: Dodds, James

James Cameron Dodds
February 8, 1927 — October 14, 2017

The passing of James Dodds, of Saskatoon and Loreburn, Sask., occurred on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at his home in Saskatoon at the age of 90 years. Born and raised in Loreburn, Jim attended school in Loreburn and later attended the School of Agriculture at the U of S, where he formed many friendships. Jim was a successful, proud farmer for 60 years and was active in his community, always willing to lend a helping hand. He enjoyed hockey, curling and golfing. In his later years, he spent many hours sitting in his recliner watching the Blue Jays, Roughriders and Oilers. His happiest times were spent at family gatherings and he was an inspiration to his children and grandchildren.

Jim is lovingly remembered by his wife of 61 years, Ruth; and his family Harvey Dodds, Jean (Doug) Jones and children Rory Jones (Kaesha Wenzel), Kelsi (Kevin) Clayton, and Darion Jones (Courtney Friesen); June (Robert) McJannet and children Erik McJannet and Tera (Brock) Thiessen; Karen (Phil) Anton and children Travis (Allyssa) Anton, Kathryn Anton, and Jayme Anton; and Beth (Brad) Holt and children Lauren Holt, Allyson Holt, and Erin Holt. He is also survived by his brother Bob (Carol) Dodds; sister Dorothy (Don) Reuszer; four sisters-in-law Lillian Dodds, Lois Hoiland, Ilene Hoiland and Bernice Fjeld; brother-in-law Art (June) Hoiland and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents George and Robena Dodds; brother Mac Dodds, sister Marion (Rodney) Francis; sister-in-law Mary Dodds, three brothers-in-law Peder Hoiland, Irvin Hoiland and Cecil Fjeld; and niece Janis Fonos.

A memorial service was held on October 20, 2017 from the Strongfield Community Hall with Rev. Ursula Wiig officiating. Interment at the Loreburn Cemetery.

Courting action during Loreburn’s junior RAVE

Loreburn’s Emmitt Hundeby returns the ball during a junior boys volleyball game on Sept. 16. Also pictured are Jackson Allan of Davidson (left) and Dylan Glubis of Loreburn.

By Joel van der Veen

LOREBURN — Whether you were playing, officiating or sitting in the stands, it felt like fall in the Loreburn rink last weekend.

Fifteen teams competed in Loreburn’s junior boys and girls RAVE volleyball tournament on Sept. 16, with the action divided between the arena and the gym at Loreburn Central School.

With fall temperatures setting in, spectators and players on the bench sought refuge in winter coats and heavy blankets, while active players and officials had to find other means to conserve their body heat.

Sue Ann Abbott, who was keeping track of game results, said the rink warmed up as the day went on — “not a great deal, but enough to make it more comfortable for the referees and the people sitting in there.”

Three courts were set up on the concrete floor of the skating rink, while the school gym served as the fourth court.

The day began with round-robin play and ended with playoff games. Ten girls teams and five boys teams competed.

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Hundreds flock to Strongfield for festivities

Randy Urlacher gives spectators a refreshing blast from the fire hose during Strongfield’s parade on July 15. Randy was riding on the back of the Loreburn fire truck along with Luke Glubis, Taylor South and Victor Dutkiewicz.


By Joel van der Veen

STRONGFIELD — Serving three meals for hundreds of people last Saturday made for a busy day for volunteers at the Strongfield hall.

“It just seemed like we went from one meal to the next,” said Brandy Losie, adding that the atmosphere elsewhere in the village was more relaxed.

“It’s small, so people just want to walk around and look where they used to live.”

Strongfield celebrated its 105th anniversary, as well as the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, with a full day of events on July 15.

A pancake breakfast on Saturday morning drew close to 200 people, with around 180 returning for a barbecue lunch and 165 enjoying a pulled-pork supper.

Losie, the village’s administrator, said Strongfield usually has a small summer parade to celebrate Dick Tastad’s birthday, typically held on a weekday.

This year, she said, they decided to hold the parade on a Saturday in hopes of drawing a larger crowd.

They picked July 15, knowing that the Hutchinson-Taylor family reunion was happening the same weekend, with around 60 people expected to attend.

Losie said the scheduling worked out well, adding, “I was happy to see so many people.”

The village received some sprucing-up for the occasion, including flowers planted by organizer Holly Vollmer.

Dozens of kids joined the bike parade, led by Sgt. Mark Langager, a native of the area and now commanding officer at the Outlook RCMP detachment.

They were followed by roughly 30 entries in the vintage car, truck and tractor parade. George Bristow, a former resident and longtime mayor of the village, introduced each entry.

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