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Close encounters of the furred kind

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — Pigs might not fly, but as Stuart Morrison can attest, they can at least run pretty darn fast. Morrison spotted a pair of wild boar while driving on a grid road towards Simpson on Dec. 22. He said he was about 15 miles east and five miles north

Renovations begin at Bladworth hall

By Joel van der Veen BLADWORTH — They’ve only just begun, but efforts to renovate the Bladworth Hall are already paying off — at least in terms of its aroma. Volunteers gathered at the hall last weekend for an intensive work bee, with the goal of removing surface mould from both the basement and ceiling. Lyle Kowalski,

Chevy confident as leadership campaign winds up

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — With two weeks to go till the Saskatchewan Party chooses its next leader, Ken Cheveldayoff has a good feeling about the outcome. “I feel the momentum is with my campaign,” he told the Leader in a Jan. 8 phone interview. Cheveldayoff, one of five candidates running to replace Brad

New bylaw surprises business owners

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — After more than three decades in business, Debbie Doell figures she’s paid her fair share of bills. As the owner of Golden Image Jewelry, she has a wide range of expenses to cover. Besides the cost of inventory, she pays for utilities, insurance and security services, as well as

Wheelchairs arrive at Davidson health centre

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — Patients will be hitting the hallways of the Davidson Health Centre in some sleek new wheels, thanks to a recent donation. Members of the Knights of Columbus Council 5384 visited the centre on Dec. 21 to present a total of six wheelchairs, for use by patients at the

Province honours “Lentil King” with Order of Merit

Lt.-Gov. Vaughn Solomon Schofield is pictured with Saskatchewan Order of Merit recipient Murad Al-Katib.
(Photo courtesy Government of Saskatchewan)

By Joel van der Veen

REGINA — When Murad Al-Katib came home Wednesday night, his teenage son Tariq greeted him with a hug and told his father he was proud of him.

In the last two years, Al-Katib has been celebrated and honoured on the global stage multiple times.

But as he told the Leader last week, there’s something special about being recognized by those closest to you.

On Wednesday, Al-Katib was one of 10 inductees into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the province’s highest honour, presented at a ceremony in Regina by Lt-Gov. Vaughn Solomon Schofield.

As a first-generation Canadian, Al-Katib said the honour meant a great deal to him.

“This is home, this is Saskatchewan,” he said in an interview with the Leader. “We were raised with that pride, that this was our (home) and our province.”

Al-Katib, a native of Davidson who now lives in Regina, is president and CEO of AGT Food and Ingredients, one of the world’s largest suppliers of pulses, staple foods and food ingredients.

The citation from the province called him one of Saskatchewan’s “greatest homegrown success stories,” crediting him with creating jobs here and linking the province’s producers to new and emerging markets across the world.

He was also recognized for his philanthropic work, based on a philosophy he has called “compassionate entrepreneurialism.”

Last year AGT worked with the United Nations, Red Cross and other organizations to distribute more than 4.5 million food parcels to refugee families.

Al-Katib said receiving the award was an emotional experience, as he stood alongside nine other people, noted for their accomplishments in the arts, education, business, government and military.

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

“Heartland” fans enjoy a day on the set

From left, Cathy Sperling, Maggie Boehm, Ashton Schneider, and Jack and Marie Schneider attended a “Fans as Extras Day” on the set of “Heartland,” on the Calgary Stampede grounds on Nov. 23.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Ashton Schneider recently had the chance to see his favourite TV show come to life.

The 15-year-old from Davidson, along with four family members, witnessed a taping of the CBC show Heartland in Calgary in late November.

They were part of a “Fans as Extras Day,” during which they were on the set for five hours as the cast and crew shot scenes for the upcoming season finale.

The scenes take place in an arena, and roughly 1,200 fans were invited to the set to fill the stands as extras.

Ashton made the 1,500-km trip with his cousin Maggie Boehm, his grandmother Cathy Sperling and grandparents Jack and Marie Schneider.

While all of them are fans of Heartland, Ashton says it’s his favourite show, and he’s seen most of the episodes, some of them multiple times.

“He was just so excited,” said Cathy. “I think it was really a highlight for him . . . To think that you could ever get that close.”

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

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.

Coach: defence will be key to big year for sr. boys

Davidson’s Derek Schmiedge goes for a basket during Thursday’s senior basketball game against Watrous.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — It might be his biggest team yet, and coach Kim Rettger is hoping that means another big year on the court.

Rettger, Davidson’s senior boys basketball coach, said the team has at least four players measuring 6’4” or higher, bucking the trend of past years.

“We’re very big,” he said, adding that this year’s team also has the deepest bench in recent memory.

With the level of skill shown by each player, Rettger said he hasn’t set a starting lineup, since any of them would do well as starters.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’m excited,” he said.

Davidson’s senior boys opened their season Thursday afternoon, hosting the Winston Wildcats from Watrous.

The home team established an early lead and stood ahead at 53-22 after the second quarter. The final score was 93-57 in Davidson’s favour.

Mark Rettger led the scoring with 32 points, including two successful three-point shots.

Following closely behind was Clay Murfitt, who scored 22 points, including a three-pointer later in the game.

The roster has 12 players this year, including three Grade 12 students: Mark Rettger, Parker Smith and Reegan Taylor. (Smith suffered an ankle injury early in Thursday’s game, the extent of which was not immediately clear.)

Five boys moved up from the junior team: Riley Berry, Gabe Charette, Nathan Chomyshen, Andrew Moore and Keegan Shaw.

Rettger said junior coach Garrett Bailey has done a superb job preparing the boys for senior play, using similar techniques and training.

“We’ve got like a farm team, if you will,” Rettger said. “It makes a difference.”

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

Obituary: Anton, Melodie

Melodie (Thomas) Anton
May 14, 1954 — Nov. 20, 2017

With heavy hearts, the family of Melodie announces her passing at the age of 63 following a courageous battle with cancer.

Mom was born in Watrous, Sask., to Nina (Quathammer) and Charles Thomas. The youngest of six children, her childhood was filled with adventure and excitement. Mom attended school at both Simpson and Watrous.

In 1973 she married her true love, Nick Anton of Bladworth, Sask., and this is where she would spend the next 44 years. Mom was blessed with two daughters, Laney in 1974 and Anjie in 1976. Alongside of being a mother, she was also involved hands-on on the farm. From milking cows to combining, she did it all.

Mom was actively involved with her church, as a member of the CWL and a catechism teacher. She was a member of the Midlakes Pro-Life Association and a member of the Bladworth TOPS.

The greatest gifts mom received were her grandchildren. She was a natural. She opened her heart and her home to them and was rarely seen without at least one of them tagging along behind her.

Family was mom’s life: nieces and nephews coming and going throughout summers and school breaks, and still at Thanksgiving this year when it was standing room only. She made sure we all knew there was a place for us in her home.

Predeceased by her parents, her brothers James and Maynard, mom passed away Nov. 20, 2017 at St. Paul’s Hospital, Saskatoon, Sask., with her family by her side.

She leaves to cherish her memory her husband Nick; daughters Laney and Anjie; grandchildren Shelby, Regan, Sabastian, Jody and Dallylah; sisters Ollie and Doris; brother George; sister-in-law Jenny; 12 nieces and nephews; and 17 great-nieces and great-nephews.

The Mass of Christian Burial took place Nov. 25, 2017 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Davidson, Sask. Interment took place in St. Andrew’s Cemetery, Kenaston, Sask. Hanson’s Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

For those wishing, donations can be given to the Canadian Cancer Society or Midlakes Pro-Life.

Obituary: Manz, Joan

Joan Isabelle Manz
August 11, 1939 — November 23, 2017

It is with sadness the family of Joan Isabelle Manz announces her sudden passing on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017.

Joan was born to Dorothy and Vincent Weigel, the oldest of five children. She grew up in the Girvin and Davidson area. She married Eddy Manz in 1956 and they farmed and raised four children. Joan kept busy growing a big garden, raising her kids and many of the neighbour kids as well. Her door was always open and she’d have the coffee on. She loved music and even though she never had the opportunity to take music lessons, she could sit down at the piano and play almost anything! They went to many dances in the area and had many card parties through the years.

They retired from the farm in 1998 and moved to town where her door was still always open for meals, cards, coffee and visits. She loved nothing more than when her kids and grandkids came for visits, as well as her regular coffee drinkers who came most days for a quick visit.

Joan is survived by her children: Connie (Gary) Glines, Rod (Ann) Manz, Tim (Jan) Manz, Tory (Nikki) Manz, foster son Tim (Carolyn) Kamin and family; grandchildren Jody (Jamie) and Geoff (Jen) Glines; Kacie and Lindsay (Jesse) Manz; Ken (Renae), Jared (Beth) and Chad (Shantel) Manz; and Kelsey (Kyle) Manz as well as numerous great-grandchildren.

Also survived by brother Lorne (Nora) Weigel, sisters Judy (Wayne) Ryder and Sherry Parenteau and sisters-in-law Lori Weigel and Nola Manz.

Predeceased by her husband Eddy, grandson Zach Manz and brother Les Weigel.

As per Joan’s wishes, there will be a private family burial at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the charity of your choice.

Arrangements in care of Hanson’s Funeral Home of Davidson.