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Around the Southwest

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Maple Creek

By Donny White

Celia & Harley Lehr, two of Maple Creek’s biggest boosters are having an antique sale at Walsh Alberta, Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 – detailed information can be found in the Maple Creek News.  Celia is well known in the fibre arts and pottery circles and a regular at many of the trade and craft shows in Maple Creek.  For a number of years she also participated in the two antique shows, but has decided to sell her antique inventory – if you are driving by Walsh on the weekend, drop in and support two of our town’s best supporters.  Keeping with support, the Piapot Lions Club is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.  I’ve often wondered why this service club has not received more attention for its work in our community.  Twice a year this club brings in hundreds of visitors and vendors to the annual Gun & Hobby Show in November and the Antique & Collectible Show the end of January.  Many vendors travel from as far away as Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina, spending at least two nights in local hotels and eating at our fine restaurants.  The approximate six to eight hundred visitors, most from out-of-town, also shop and eat at our local establishments during these events – this is a big economic boost to our town.  Thanks to all the Piapot Club members both past and present – we owe you.  Speaking of service clubs, the Elks Club will have held their regular spring Fish Fry by the time you read this piece – if you missed the feast, make a point of watching for the fall event.  Our service clubs and their many dedicated members assist numerous programs, projects and individuals in our community – remember in supporting these clubs, you are supporting your community.
I was fortunate to view some of Bev Wennas’s hand-made jewellery recently.  Bev’s work is quite impressive – yet another talented artist in our midst.  Anyone wanting a closer look at her unique jewellery can view select pieces on sale at Drury Lane or contact Bev directly.  Nick Saville, one of Eastend’s talented potters, is selling his work at the Medicine Hat Farmers’ Market every other weekend over the summer.  Nick has sold his creative and colourful bowls at several of the local shows and examples of his work can be found for sale in Luxito & Co. at 124 Jasper St. in Maple Creek.  Remember, if you are looking for a special gift for someone look first to the many local artist and artisans in the Southwest.
Wayne Baerwaldt, freelance art curator, and former director/curator of the Alberta College of Art & Design and Illingworth-Kerr Gallery in Calgary stopped in town on April 18 with noted Brazilian artist “Paulo” from San Paulo, Brazil.  We had the pleasure of joining them over dinner at the Commercial Hotel.  Wayne now freelances from his home in Assiniboia and we can look forward to hearing more of his interesting work/exhibitions in the months to come.  We attended Al Hartley’s photographic exhibition reception in Swift Current on April 16 – the show, “Seeking Tranquility” was stunning and congratulations go to Al for his impressive work and to director/curator Kim Houghtaling for the wonderful installation of Al’s work.
Former Swift Current Museum Curator, Hugh Henry is once again busy with historic trail work.  Hugh has been heavily involved with maintaining the old North West Mounted Police trail/markers from Wood Mountain to Fort Walsh – associated with the late Everett Baker.  He is now working with the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society in marking the Swift Current/Battleford Trail.  He and several other enthusiasts plan a major “hike” this summer.  In conjunction with exploring the countryside, he also records/photographs early cemeteries or graves he encounters.  He has been working closely with the Saskatchewan Cemeteries Project in this regard and they post his images/information online.  Anyone interested in joining Hugh on his adventures can contact him at 306-778-2531.
The recent letter in the paper requesting information on the old Sam Ingram Dairy resulted in an interesting bit of discussion and research for a few days.  Between the Ravenscrag History Book, Helen Gunn in Lethbridge, (whose mother was an Ingram) and Isobel Gordon, who had additional information, the gentleman in Tabor received considerable material.  The Ingram Dairy was originally located south of Fifth Avenue and later relocated east of the present Rodeo Grounds.  In regards to the dairy tokens, I have seen at least two different token designs, possibly three – it would be interesting to know which design relates to which time period of the dairy.
For those that have not seen P.J. Chudleigh’s short film presentation entitled “The Cabin”, you are still in luck.  The film is being shown as part of the “Curator’s Café” series in the Esplanade studio theatre on Tuesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. in Medicine Hat.  There will be an opportunity to meet P.J. and discuss his film about Robert David Symons and his cabin in the West Block of the Cypress Hills.  Many readers will be familiar with artist/author Symons who worked/lived in the Cypress Hills in the early years and wrote a number of publications.  The most familiar of his books is “Where the Wagon Led”.  The Old Timer’s Museum has a couple of pieces of his art but his most prolific work can be found at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina.
Our condolences go to the Lacik families of Synder and Fort Worth, Texas with the passing of Irene Lacik on April 15.  Irene was born on November 5, 1922 the eldest daughter of Irvine & Tootsie Fleming of Maple Creek and spent her formative years in the Cypress Hills and Maple Creek.  She was the first person from the Southwest to pursue fashion design at SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary, graduating in 1943.  Following a few years in the fashion industry, she met her future husband Harold, and the couple spent the next sixty-four years together – Harold being involved in the oil industry.  Irene was predeceased by Harold in 2013 and is survived by her two children John Lacik, Cindy Gray and their respective families.  Closer to home Irene leaves to mourn her youngest sister, Shirley Merle Osborne, a niece Donna Zorn and numerous cousins.
For those who love Celtic Music, The Leahy’s are performing at the Sky Centre in Swift Current, 7:30 p.m. April 29 – tickets are $45 and even though it is last minute you may still be able to secure a ticket.

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