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Fun factory: Elementary drama club delights with “Willy Wonka” play

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — It was a world of pure imagination as Davidson’s elementary students presented their fall drama productionon Wednesday. Close to 40 students in grades 3 through 6 made up the cast and crew of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The play was based on the book by Roald Dahl, first

Nov. 11 service wraps up busy year for Legion branch

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — For members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 51, this year has been the busiest in recent memory. On July 1, the branch unveiled a new monument, a granite pillar bearing the names of 614 men and women from the area who have served their country in uniform....

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Torn apart by war

This week’s edition of the Leader features two stories of how one local family was touched by the First World War. The first story tells of Pte. Thomas P. Shearer, a Davidson resident who died in action at Passchendaele, Belgium on Oct. 30, 1917, one hundred years ago last week. Among those he left behind

Blizzards honour coach with heartfelt ceremony

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

Two truck rollovers on icy highway

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — Winter arrived in dramatic fashion last Wednesday as Davidson and area received several centimetres of snowfall overnight. A chilly Halloween evening turned into a white winter morning, producing plenty of ice on local roads and dangerous conditions on Highway 11. The Davidson Volunteer Fire Department responded to two

Baldwin among CBC Saskatchewan Future 40 picks

Nicole Baldwin has named one of CBC Saskatchewan’s Future 40 honourees.

By Joel van der Veen

REGINA — One of Davidson’s own was among the honourees in this year’s CBC Saskatchewan Future 40.

The CBC contest featured 40 people under the age of 40 who are making their mark in the province.

Nicole Baldwin, currently working on her master’s degree at the University of Saskatchewan, was announced as one of the winners on Oct. 25.

Nicole, 24, is the oldest child of Tony and Sandra Baldwin of Davidson. She was nominated in the category of “Community, Social Activism and Volunteerism.”

Her dad and her friend Hayley Willner nominated her for the CBC competition, which began in late September.

Nicole learned she had been nominated in mid-October, and she had some advance warning that she had made it as a finalist, but had to keep the news under wraps.

She said both her nomination and her success came as a surprise, given the crowded field of nominees.

“I had been looking through the nomination profiles,” Nicole said. “I didn’t think I had much of a shot . . . It was a pleasant surprise.”

Nominations were accepted from Oct. 9 through Oct. 17, with a panel of judges selecting the top 40 nominees.

Nicole and Hayley went to the CBC studio in Regina on Oct. 26 for a reception and the presentation of the awards, with most of the winners present.

“Everyone that attended was from such a wide range of backgrounds,” said Nicole, adding that she enjoyed the diverse crowd since she spends most of her days surrounded by fellow toxicologists.

Currently, Nicole is 10 months into her master of science in toxicology. She is working with a team of researchers on a joint project with the U of S and Montreal’s McGill University, funded by Genome Canada.

Their goal is to develop and, eventually, commercialize a tool to assess and prioritize environmental chemicals.

Specifically, the tool will allow researchers to assess the impact of known chemicals — both individually and collectively — on soil, air and acquatic systems.

They will then be able to prioritize those chemicals in terms of their likely environmental impact, allowing them to compare options and determine which one poses the least risk.

Nicole said she hopes to complete her degree within three years, but the project’s five-year timeline means someone else will pick up where she leaves off.

She said she enjoys the self-directed nature of her research work, as well as working with the other researchers on the project.

“I absolutely love it,” she said. “I’d stay in school forever if they’d let me.”

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Cyclones top Craik in pre-season action

Davidson’s Tim Spencer (57) and Craik’s Jared Broderson (22) battle for the puck during an exhibition game Wednesday.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — With a new season on the horizon, the Davidson Cyclones hit the ice for pre-season action against the Craik Warriors on Wednesday.

The Cyclones hosted the Warriors at the AGT Centre, leading from the start and ultimately winning 10-3.

Derek Allan, who has served as the Cyclones’ captain since 2012, said the game was a good opportunity for the team to play together on the ice before the season begins.

Allan said the Cyclones’ bench is currently a little emptier than they’d like it to be, calling the situation “not ideal.”

Fourteen players were on the bench on Wednesday. Allan said he has 13 or 14 players committed for this season, but he’s still trying to recruit more.

So far, Tim Spencer is the sole new addition to the Cyclones roster. A native of Carnduff, his career has included stints with multiple teams in the American Hockey League. He had three assists in Wednesday’s game.

Among the returning players are two imports, defensemen Brett Ward and Matt Saunderson.

Brad Morrison also returns as the Cyclones’ head coach, with Jason Schneider serving as assistant coach.

Given the team’s current numbers, Allan said it’s hard to predict what the season ahead will hold.

“We’ve lost quite a few really good players,” he said. “I think the team will jell pretty good. . . As long as we go out there and have fun, that’s the main thing.”

The Cyclones are again playing in the Long Lake Hockey League, which grew this season with the addition of the Wynyard Monarchs.

The league also includes the Drake Canucks, the Lanigan Pirates, the LeRoy Braves and the Watrous Winterhawks.

The Long Lake teams will face an expanded field of teams this year, thanks to an interlocking arrangement with the Fort Carlton Hockey League (FCHL).

Allan said they will be playing one game against each of the four FCHL teams, which include Tisdale, Wakaw, Waldheim and Hague. Those games will count towards the Long Lake teams’ records.

“We’ll get to see some new teams, instead of playing the same four or five teams all winter,” he said. “It’ll be good.”

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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.

Bylaw changes still in the works

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Major revisions of some key town bylaws are still in the works, council heard at a recent meeting.

The status of the revisions was a topic of discussion during Davidson town council’s regular meeting on Oct. 17.

Coun. Arlene Low expressed some concern regarding a lack of regular formal updates on the bylaws and other matters.

She said she finds it frustrating how council will request action or discuss a topic at one meeting, and “then they’re never brought up again.”

In May, council requested that town staff prepare a draft of a business licensing bylaw, to target businesses that operate in town but whose owners do not currently pay commercial property taxes.

The current business licensing bylaw was approved in 1981 and remains on the books, though it has not been updated or enforced in decades.

Regarding the new bylaw, Mayor Tyler Alexander said at October’s meeting, “It’s something that we’re looking at putting in for next year, so we’ve got time yet.”

In March, council agreed to form a committee to oversee the Davidson cemetery, and to replace the existing bylaw, which dates back to 1951 and was last updated in 1979. The committee was formed, but council has yet to see a draft of a revised bylaw.

Following a pair of dog bite incidents in August and September, council also agreed to a recommendation from town staff that the animal control bylaw be reviewed.

In that case, the aim was to expedite the process of dealing with animals deemed dangerous, by eliminating the step of holding a hearing.

Within the last year, council has also requested a revision of the fire bylaw, with co-operation from local fire officials.

Assistant administrator Donna Bessey told the Leader last week that she is gradually working on the bylaw revisions as time allows, juggling that with her other responsibilities.

“They’re all important,” she said. “I’m doing the best that I can.”

Sometimes, Bessey said, council provides only limited details in regards to the changes they want to see, which delays the process.

Coun. Todd Lockwood said last week that better communication between council and staff would help the process along.

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Parent named Elbow’s Citizen of the Year

Elbow Mayor Rob Hundeby presents Joe Parent with the Citizen of the Year award during the village’s ratepayers meeting on Wednesday.


By Joel van der Veen

ELBOW — Three contenders were neck-and-neck for the title of Elbow’s Citizen of the Year, divided by a spread of just eight votes.

In the end, Joe Parent was the winner of this year’s title, presented during the village’s ratepayers meeting on Wednesday.

Parent was nominated in recognition of his efforts to beautify the town, and in particular his work on the Urban Orchard at the centre of Elbow.

Mayor Rob Hundeby, who presented the award, thanked Parent personally for his work in leading the crew of volunteers that tends and maintains the orchard.

“It’s just awesome to see that flourish,” said the mayor.

A report by the Friends of the Orchard indicated a successful year with a bountiful harvest that included apples, saskatoon berries and multiple varieties of cherries.

Parent in turn thanked those who nominated and voted for him, saying he was proud of the orchard — calling it a “unique” place in Elbow — and grateful for the support of the village and volunteers.

He has also worked on the village park and the entrance garden at the Elbow cemetery.

Also nominated this year were Evelyn Bramble and Grace McTavish. Residents and ratepayers were eligible to vote for their nominee of choice.

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Minor hockey season opens with Cyclones school

Zack Prpick gets ready to attempt a backhand shot on goalie Hunter Wightman.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — More than 80 budding hockey pros hit the ice at the AGT Centre last weekend during the Cyclones hockey school, held Oct. 20 to 22.

The three-day event is organized annually by the senior hockey team, with a rotation of players leading the sessions for each of the five age groups.

The event began Friday and Saturday with age-appropriate lessons, including drills on skating and puck handling, and wrapped up Sunday with three-on-three matches.

A total of 83 players were registered for the weekend event, which marks the beginning of minor hockey season in Davidson.

Rob Warkentin, vice-president of the Davidson Junior Athletics Association (JAA), said 120 players are registered this year, which is in line with the average over the last few seasons.

The biggest change this year was the introduction of online registration through the JAA’s new website.

Previously, parents would email the association to register their players, but organizers often had to follow up to fill in the gaps for any missing information.

From his point of view, Warkentin said the website made the registration process much easier.

“It worked very well from our side, and I think most of the parents were pretty happy with it too,” he said last week. “We’ll call that a win.”

Davidson has eight minor hockey teams this year, including two initiation teams with 33 kids in total, and two novice teams with 27 kids in total.

There is also one team each for the atom, peewee, bantam and midget divisions.

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