Archive for Strongfield

Wind delays work on Strongfield curling rink

The frame for Strongfield’s new curling rink (pictured on Nov. 28) is now complete. The addition of tin roofing and siding is expected to wrap up this week.
(Photo courtesy of Brandy Losie)

By Joel van der Veen

STRONGFIELD — Once again, prairie winds appear to be conspiring against Strongfield’s curlers.

A July 20 wind storm flattened the village’s curling rink, a popular gathering place for more than 50 years.

Before long, plans were underway to build a new rink, a simplified structure that would allow curling to continue.

Inclement weather has delayed construction, but organizers are hopeful that the rink will be ready in time for curling season.

Amanda Glubis, who serves on the recreation board, said she has her fingers crossed that curling will be able to start the first Monday in January, as per tradition.

“If the wind would co-operate, they’d have been done a long time ago,” she said last week. “It’s getting into a busy time of year for everything and everyone . . . The crunch is on.”

Construction on the rink began in early fall. The wooden frame was finished in mid-November, and crews installed tin on the roof last week.

Strongfield’s mayor, Jeff Vollmer, said they hoped to have tin siding in place this week.

“Every time it gets nice out it gets windy,” he said Wednesday. “Hopefully in the next few weeks they can get a lot done.”

Wind is especially problematic when workers are handling large sheets of tin, Glubis said, adding, “It’s not a fun job.”

The new rink will measure 52 feet wide by 154 feet long and stand 16 feet high.

It will look significantly different from the old rink, which featured a curved wooden roof, but it will serve the intended purpose.

“We’ll be able to use it for suppers and curling, and that’s what we wanted,” said administrator Brandy Losie.

Contractors had to adjust the size slightly when they came up against the concrete pilings from the old rink, which had been installed at an angle.

An insurance payout from the old rink is expected to cover the cost of the basic structure, at around $120,000.

For the full story, please see the Dec. 4 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Strongfield to rebuild curling rink

The Strongfield curling rink was destroyed in a wind storm on July 20.

By Joel van der Veen

STRONGFIELD — If you rebuild it, they will come back.

That’s what organizers in Strongfield are hoping, as they press forward with plans to replace the village curling rink, weeks after it was knocked down in a windstorm on July 20.

The rink, a popular destination for more than 50 years, drew crowds each week for curling and community suppers during the winter months.

Village officials say the insurance payout from the old rink should largely cover the cost of building a simple structure that is roughly the same size, allowing curling to resume for the coming season.

The council and recreation board have both indicated their support for the project, as have the volunteers who keep the rink running each year.

“They’re completely in favour to rebuild,” said Amanda Glubis, one of six members on the village rec board. “They know it’s an important part of our community.”

A public meeting to discuss the rink’s future on Aug. 24 drew about 30 people, many of them from other communities on Line 19.

Mayor Jeff Vollmer said most in attendance were in support of rebuilding, though others questioned the long-term viability of a curling rink in Strongfield.

Some were under the impression that the village would be taking out a loan to pay for the new structure, the mayor said, adding, “A lot of people were thinking that their taxes were going to go up.”

He said the insurance payout should pay for the building itself, while fundraising will pay for finishing touches further down the road.

For the full story, please see the Sept. 4 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.


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.

Plough wind wrecks Strongfield curling rink

A plough wind destroyed the Strongfield curling rink on Thursday night.

By Joel van der Veen

STRONGFIELD — A gathering place for young and old for more than 50 years, the Strongfield curling rink was the casualty of a plough wind that swept through the Line 19 district on Thursday night.

The wind struck the rink shortly after 8 p.m., flattening it in a matter of minutes.

Nearby residents soon discovered the wreckage. The rink’s north wall had been knocked down, and the roof and sidewalls lay flat, with shingles, planks and insulation scattered around.

“It’s not good,” said Amanda Glubis, a member of Strongfield’s recreation board.

Glubis, who lives on a farm one mile north and one mile east of the village, said she and her family could see the storm approaching Thursday, with lightning off in the west.

She sent a text message to her husband Ryan at 8:04 p.m. — “Wind!” — after which they endured roughly a half-hour of storm conditions.

The combination of thick rain and wind made it impossible to see outside, she said, adding, “It was just a white-out.”

The Strongfield curling rink, constructed in 1963, had three sheets of natural ice and was typically open from early January to mid-March.

In recent years, the rink would be open on Monday nights, with a community supper and usually two draws of curling.

In effect, Glubis said, though the rink was only in operation for 10 days a year, it was the rec board’s main source of income, supporting both the rink and the village hall.

“She’s open as long as there’s ice,” she said. “It brings in enough money to operate power, phone, buy new rocks for the kids, that kind of stuff.”

With the only curling rink in the district still in operation, Strongfield drew enthusiasts from as far away as Mistusinne and Broderick, though the facility was showing its age.

“We knew it was starting to sag a bit in the middle,” said Glubis. “We were hoping we could get another five years out of it.”

The kitchen and viewing area, located in the centre, are still standing, though some damage was evident.

Glubis said volunteers entered the building last night to remove some equipment, finding water on the kitchen floor.

The skating rink on the south side of the facility, which dates back to the 1920s, also survived the storm.

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