Exciting times in 1995

My Nikkel's Worth column

I was looking back at some of the issues I worked on in my first year at the Weyburn Review, in 1995 (as this is my 25th year here at this fine publication), and was struck by some of the top stories that came up, and some of the events that occurred.

In March of that year, the perennial Liberal cabinet minister, Ralph Goodale, had come to town to promote the new federal budget, which got royally slammed by those present at that meeting.

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A timely story that came up was the establishment of “Weyburn 2020” by the City and RM of Weyburn, which looked to be more pro-active rather than reactive in terms of economic development. I don’t know if you would think this was a bad example or not, but the example provided at the time was the former distillery, then known as the Plains Food Fibre plant.

Oh, you haven’t heard of that? Hmmm …

To be fair, at the time, there were a lot of hopes being pinned on developing the former distillery into something good, as later an ethanol plant was developed which ran for a little while, but has also gone the way of the Dodo bird.

Two local sports legends, boxing coach Hank Hartenberger and the 1983-84 Red Wings (winners of the Centennial Cup), were inducted that year into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

I saw some photos of mine at Folkarama from that spring, and brought to mind this is an event that could be brought back again, or made into something totally new. We do have Culture Days that has sort of replaced some of what we had at Folkarama, but even there we could see much more involvement from the various cultures who now comprise our city’s population.

Word came in May of that year that Elgin School “might” close. As we now know, the school did in fact close, in spite of the very strong opposition by the families involved, who very much loved that school and its compact size.

As I mentioned recently, our oldest child, Elizabeth, attended Elgin in its final year of operation, so we were sad to see it close.

A big highlight of my first year here was my very first experience with the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show, and my introduction to “plow winds”, which I had never heard of before.

It was kind of exciting going to the Oil Show, and gathering with some fellow staff members to go to the barnstorming pancake breakfast held as a part of the event.

What particularly sticks in my memory was the huge windstorm that struck the morning of the first day of the Oil Show, as I was awakened early by a big crack and the sounds of the wind, splitting a neighbour’s tree in half. Grabbing my camera, I soon found a lot of trees damaged, including a big tree in front of Grace United Church which laid across the street in front of the then fire station in the back of City Hall. Exciting stuff!