Memories from those first days

My Nikkel's Worth column

I was presented with a Black Forest cake (one of my favourites) on Friday to help commemorate my 25th year here at the Weyburn Review.

It still doesn’t seem real this much time has passed, but when I looked back at the issues of January 1995, there is evidence that I indeed arrived at that time.

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The first feature story I did was on the late Ray Belanger, who was both an avid bird-watcher and a scout for the Atlanta Braves major league baseball team. (This is the first photo shown above of the feature story)

(The other photos show my first column; my first story on the Golden Spike Award, won by Al Yeaman; a story about Mandy Pingert, and a Valentine's photo, taken at Souris School of Megan Ivan and Nathan Lanz.)

In the same issue, I also had a feature story on restaurateur Zia Yazdani, who painted Persian eggs with intricate designs, and later I had a story on Mandy Pingert, a Brokenshell 4-H member who did well at Agribition that year.

One of my first assignments was to cover the presentation of the Golden Spike Award by the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce, and that year (presented in January at that time) the winner was the late Al Yeaman, one of the founding principals and administrators of the Southeast Regional College.

I happened to spy this column from the Weyburn Comp by two girls, Regan Lanning and Jenny Mott, reporting on things happening at the Comp. As most readers will know, Regan is now the curator for the Weyburn Arts Council.

For Valentine’s Day that year, I did a sweet photo at Souris School (where all four of our kids went) where a young girl named Megan Ivan received a Valentine’s card. Today, Megan is a wife and mom, and I’m sure they all give her Valentine’s cards when that day rolls around.

My first column in the Review didn’t appear until early February, to give me time to get settled into Weyburn and into the new job, and that first column talked about our move to Weyburn.

I also mentioned in there that I was told by numerous people how Weyburn was a great place to raise children — and they were right, of course.

All four of our kids went to Souris, the Weyburn Junior High and the Comp, although in that very first year we were here, my oldest girl, Elizabeth, actually attended kindergarten at Elgin School, in the last year that they were open.

The first day I took her to school, I walked up with Elizabeth to the school and she was crying because at that time, she was painfully shy and this was a scary thing to go to a school she had never seen before.

I was trying to settle her down enough to go in when a teacher approached, probably the friendliest teacher who could possibly come along: Colleen Weimer. She took Elizabeth’s hand as she talked to her, and led her inside, and took her to her kindergarten class.

At that time, as Elgin was set to be closed, even though the parents were against it and loved that school, we were given the option to send our kids to Souris, even though that school was on South Hill, and that’s where they all attended for their elementary school years.

The mayor at that time was Jim Brown, and sadly he just passed away at the age of 83 years. One of my primary beats to cover as the news editor was city council, so I got to know him and the members of council. He was certainly a volunteer extraordinaire, one of the many great people I got to know in my time here in Weyburn.