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A safe arrival on Highway 11

By Joel van der Veen BLADWORTH — It was a special delivery Lacey and Chase Tannahill won’t soon forget. The couple welcomed their newborn son Owen around 5 p.m. on Sept. 5, weighing 7 lbs. 8 oz., measuring 20.5 inches long. He arrived while his mother was laying on a stretcher in the back of an...

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Pedro the pigeon a summer guest for Craik couple

By Joel van der Veen CRAIK — For Tim and Pearl Unger, a rescue mission turned into an extended visit with a new feathered friend. The Ungers, who live in the Eco-Village east of Craik, took on the role of pigeon protectors over the summer, welcoming “Pedro” into their home. Late this past spring, two sickly,...

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Win at home over Lanigan opens new football season

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — With just five games in their regular season, each one counts for the Davidson Raiders this year. The six-man football team started things off right with a 46-36 win over the Lanigan Lazers at home on Sept. 8. “It was a great morale booster to get the home...

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Local man believed dead in farm fire

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — Many questions remain unanswered following a massive Friday night fire that levelled three buildings on a farmyard south of Davidson. Local firefighters responded to the call at 11:40 p.m. on Sept. 1. They remained on site for the next 18 hours, fighting to bring the fire under control and...

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Grand opening for Co-op fertilizer depot

By Joel van der Veen HANLEY — As a farm boy himself, Scott Banda couldn’t help but remark on the ideal harvest conditions seen near Hanley on Tuesday. “The sun is shining, wheels are turning, dust is flying,” he said. “Everything’s going our way today.” Banda, the CEO of Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL), was speaking at...

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Obituary: Crawford, Margaret

CRAWFORD, Margaret Ella (nee Low)
April 4, 1928 — Sept. 6, 2017

It is with great sadness the family announces the peaceful passing of Margaret Ella Crawford at Edmonton’s Grey Nuns Hospital. After 89 years of leaving her mark on this world, she died as she lived: on her own terms. Pages could be filled with wonderful memories but Mom always said, “Less is more.” So it’s only fitting we take one of her favourite quotes from the movie Forrest Gump: “And that’s all I have to say about that.”

She will be lovingly remembered by children Donna (Kenny) Taylor, Wendy (Bing) Vanthuyne, Colleen Crawford, Trev (Shauna) Crawford; grandchildren Keith (Sammie) Taylor, Stacey (Trevor) Risling, Graham (Lisa) Taylor, Tara Taylor (Brad Whitter), Kelly (Karen) Taylor, Derek (Susan) Vanthuyne, Kristen (Warren) Fry, Brent (Nicole) Vanthuyne, Amy (Kurt) East, Wes and Dale Lenkewich, Kurt Crawford, Hailey and Meg Crawford and 23 great-grandchildren; Leslie Taylor (brother-in-law), Arthur Morrison (brother-in-law), Marlene Low (sister-in-law), Harold Crawford (brother-in-law), Shirley Crawford (sister-in-law), Allan Crawford (brother-in-law), Roy (Marilyn) Crawford (brother/sister-in-law), and Glenn Crawford (brother-in-law); and too many nieces, nephews and significant people in her life to include.

Predeceased by Alex and Ella Low (parents); Gordon Crawford (husband); Dorothy Moore, Jean Taylor, Kathleen Morrison (sisters); Willie Low (brother); George Crawford, Ralph Crawford (brothers-in-law), Howard Moore (brother-in-law); Janet Crawford, Shirley (Taylor) Crawford, Beth Crawford (sisters-in-law); Murray Crawford (nephew); Ronald, Bobby, Roy Moore (nephews); Ben Crawford (great-nephew) and Maurice (Reec) Bouchard (great-nephew).

Service Information: In loving memory of Margaret Ella Crawford, aged 89 years. Memorial Service was at Simpson Community Centre, Simpson, Sask., on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Officiant — Linty Crawford; Register Attendants — Michele and Stuart Morrison; Ushers — Hugh Crawford and Alex Morrison; Eulogy — Derek Vanthuyne; Tribute Video — Colleen Crawford; Memorial Luncheon — Simpson Homemakers. Private Family Interment at Simpson Cemetery.

For online condolences, tributes or to make a donation “In Memory of Margaret Crawford” to the Simpson Cemetery Fund, Box 19, Simpson, Saskatchewan, S0G 4M0, please visit http://www.fotheringham-mcdougall.com.

Local man believed dead in farm fire

Three buildings were destroyed in a fire that broke out Sept. 1 in a farmyard 7 km south of Davidson.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Many questions remain unanswered following a massive Friday night fire that levelled three buildings on a farmyard south of Davidson.

Local firefighters responded to the call at 11:40 p.m. on Sept. 1.

They remained on site for the next 18 hours, fighting to bring the fire under control and preventing its spread to the rest of the yard.

The fire destroyed a house and two barns in the yard, located seven kilometres south of Davidson on the east side of Highway 11.

Jerry Bezanson, who owned the property and lived there, is believed to have died in the fire, though officials would not confirm this last week.

The dramatic blaze caught the attention of highway travellers and local residents, and could reportedly be seen as far away as Aylesbury.

Police were monitoring the yard the following day, maintaining site security while the investigation continued.

The remains of multiple vintage vehicles could be seen underneath the wreckage of the long barn that dominated the yard.

Fire chief Clayton Schilling said he could not provide further details on the incident, as it is subject to an ongoing criminal investigation.

Members of the Craik RCMP detachment also responded to the fire, along with additional investigative units.

Officers confirmed to the Leader that three structures were involved, but would not confirm any further details. No details were provided on the cause or catalyst for the fire.

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Grand opening for Co-op fertilizer depot

Employee Neil Renwick gives a guided tour of FCL’s new fertilizer terminal near Hanley during a grand opening event on Sept. 5.

By Joel van der Veen

HANLEY — As a farm boy himself, Scott Banda couldn’t help but remark on the ideal harvest conditions seen near Hanley on Tuesday.

“The sun is shining, wheels are turning, dust is flying,” he said. “Everything’s going our way today.”

Banda, the CEO of Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL), was speaking at the grand opening for his company’s new fertilizer terminal southwest of Hanley.

Representatives from FCL and co-ops across the province, as well as other industry reps, dignitaries and media, were on hand to tour the 96,000-square foot facility.

The high-throughput terminal has a capacity of 45,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, and will be used to mix, store and distribute products through the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS) to retail partners and producers across Saskatchewan.

Dan Mulder, FCL’s fertilizer director, served as master of ceremonies during Tuesday’s grand opening.

He said the facility represents the adoption of a new centralized model and “a new way of doing business.”

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Al-Katib featured in pulsating picture

A strong Davidson contingent attended the premiere of “Changing the Pulse of the Province” in Saskatoon on Aug. 30. Pictured are (from left) Serra, Murad and Michelle Al-Katib, Vanna Gay Shaw, Angela and Jason Shaw, Monica and Gerrid Gust, Arlene and Jason Low, Corla Rokochy, Betty Crowley and Stephanie Prpick-Boss.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Murad Al-Katib was on the edge of his seat as he waited for the movie to start.

And with good reason: the film he was about to watch was telling his own story.

“Changing the Pulse of the Province,” a 27-minute documentary, premiered Aug. 30 at the Persephone Theatre at Saskatoon’s Remai Arts Centre.

The film was the third entry in the Popcorn and Entrepreneurship series, produced by the North Saskatoon Business Association.

The movie tells the story of Al-Katib, who was born and raised in Davidson, and the company he founded, AGT Food and Ingredients.

The company distributes lentils, chickpeas and other crops to more than 120 countries internationally, generating $2 billion a year in revenue.

Though he was interviewed extensively for the movie, Al-Katib said he had no say in the final cut and had to wait for the premiere like everyone else.

In the last year, Al-Katib has received two international awards, beginning with the Business for Peace Award, presented in a gala in Oslo, Norway on May 16.

On June 10, he accepted the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 award at a ceremony in Monaco.

This string of events may have given some the perception that Al-Katib actively seeks the spotlight, but he said the truth is actually the opposite of that.

“I don’t like the accolades and all of that all the time,” he told the Leader, characterizing himself as a humble, hard-working guy who “just did my job.”

He said he hopes the film will serve as an inspiration to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

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Sabers beat Viscount 72-21 to open season

Hanley’s Parker Mooney (23) heads off Viscount’s Bryce Welter (8) during Thursday’s senior football game.

By Joel van der Veen

HANLEY — A 72-21 win in their home opener gave the Hanley Sabers a solid start to their new season.

Hanley hosted the Viscount Vikings on Thursday in 1A six-man senior football action.

Though the visiting team remained competitive through the first half, the Sabers led throughout and ran away with the game in the fourth quarter, in which they added 30 points to their score.

While he was pleased with the outcome, Sabers coach Mark Anderson also said there was lots of work ahead for the team.

In particular, he said there was room for improvement with the team’s offensive line, saying they displayed skill but needed to work on their timing.

“On offence we have so many new starters,” said Anderson. “They’re just not clicking yet.”

The coach said he was feeling positive, given the team Hanley has this year and the high level of commitment they are showing.

“They’re into it fully,” he said, adding, “We’ve got to play faster and we’ve got to play tougher.”

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Gymkhana, horse pulls draw crowd to Craik

Emily Dixon competes in the pole bending event hosted by the Craik Ag Committee on Sept. 2.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — A good time was guaranteed, and the Craik Ag Committee worked its hardest to deliver on that promise.

“Saddle Up, Shut Up and Hold On Tight” drew hundreds to the Craik fairgrounds on Sept. 2.

The afternoon event included horse pulls and gymkhana, with open and youth categories. A cold plate supper and cowboy social followed the main event.

“We were super happy with how it turned out,” said Kourtney Dixon, president of the revived Craik ag committee. “The people that have come out and supported us is phenomenal . . . We couldn’t ask for better.”

Dixon said roughly 200 paying guests went through the gate, in addition to children 10 and under, who were admitted free of charge.

The Craik ag committee became active again last year after going dormant in the early 1990s.

With permission from town council, they rebuilt the riding arena “from the ground up,” in Dixon’s words.

The arena measures 120 feet by 235 feet. Standing next to it is a building that houses the announcer’s booth and concession stand, along with a fenced-in area serving as the beer gardens.

The project was supported by a grant from Federated Co-op Ltd., as well as various local sponsors, whose names are carved into wooden planks that line the outer walls of the arena.

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