Friday, June 16, 2017

Sad News About Stage East

It is with much sadness that I must report that the Stage East Dinner Theatre Society has cancelled this year's performances.

The reason is quite simple; we just don't have enough people to put on a production this year.  We have lost some of our major cast members and with no one to replace them, we can't continue again this year.

Stage East was started more than thirty years ago to raise funds to save and restore the last remaining station building in Beiseker.  We were successful in raising enough to save the building which now serves as the Beiseker Village Office and the Station Museum!  It was started up again in 2005 to celebrate Alberta's 100th Birthday.   Since then we have donated funds to many community groups and projects but over the last few we've supported improvements to our community hall.

The Stage East Dinner Theatre Society will continue on.  It is an active society and is registered.  We will continue meeting on a regular basis.

It has been suggested that we hold a theatre workshop in the fall, to show people how much fun theatre and Stage East can be.  We are planning to have a full production in the fall of 2018!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Admiral Notley of the Albertan Navy

You might recall the old joke about a gentleman claiming to be an admiral in the Swiss Navy.  Switzerland is of course a landlocked country.  Save for a few lakes, it doesn't have access to enough water to float a navy!

The Province of Alberta is landlocked, too!  Our natural resources must be shipped to customers overseas, yet we have no deep-water, ocean ports.  We must rely on our neighbors to provide those facilities.  It is absolutely necessary that Alberta's petroleum products, grain, coal, forest products and other products be able to be sold on the international market.  Without that ability to sell its products, Alberta will stay on the list of "have-not" provinces forever!

Premier Notley (or should I say Admiral Notley) is desperately trying to make sure that Alberta has and continues to have access to seaports for its natural resources.  That's not an easy task! 

The way I see it, we have three directions to go;  West through B.C., South through the U.S.A. and East through Saskatchewan.  Each direction presents challenges.  There are environmental concerns, indigenous peoples' concerns, and economic concerns in each direction!  B.C.'s Green Party leader says there is a simple solution; no movement of Alberta's resources through British Columbia.  Quebec's city mayors have the same solution!  And the on-again-off-again-on-again Keystone project shows me that the U.S. has a similar attitude.  How does Premier Notley convince these folks that that is NOT an option?

These access corridors must be created!  We need some kind of a commission or board to deal with each and every issue in each direction.  Our environment must be preserved and the rights and concerns of everyone must be addressed.  All options must be explored!   Everyone must be treated fairly!  Saying "no" just because you can is not an option!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Clear Skies, Terry

Yesterday I attended the funeral of a friend of mine.  I've known Terry McDonough for many years.  We met while volunteering at Calgary's Aerospace Museum (now, the Hangar Flight Museum)

While talking we discovered that we were also both long time volunteers at the Calgary Stampede!  Last year Terry proudly accepted a Calgary Stampede Honourary Life Membership!  Our connection to aviation and the Stampede proved most beneficial!

Terry was a life-long aviator!  Flying with him was a real treat!  He was out to promote aviation any way he could!  With Terry's enthusiasm and drive, we were able to take a museum plane, the Cessna Ag Wagon aerial applicator plane, to both the Stampede July show and to Aggie Days!  Through Terry's efforts, we were able to put to rest many misconceptions and outright falsehoods about aerial application in agriculture!

Terry was a hard worker and a practical joker!  I fell victim to a couple of his jokes over the years.  His schemes were never hurtful and always generated bushels of giggles and laughs!  Terry's city of Calgary will miss him.  And so will many of the rest of us!  Clear skies, Terry! 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Silly Things!

Here's a few silly things which I have trouble understanding.  Perhaps my generation gap is showing, or perhaps I've seriously lost my sense of humor.
You could just accept these things as a "sign of the times," but I think they're just silly!

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 6th Water Line Break

On the afternoon of Thursday, April 6, our Fire Department was testing various fire hydrants in the village.  While being tested, the valve on one of the hydrants at the corner of Main Street and Fourth Avenue began leaking quite considerably. 

The village water supply was shut off, the valve was excavated and replaced.  The water lines were flushed during the night as water pressure was resumed.  Provincial regulations dictated that we issue a boil water notice for a specified length of time after the water was opened to replace the valve. 

The water was tested and the boil water notice was lifted Sunday afternoon.

There is no good time for a major water main break, but for me these last few days was really bad timing:  I was doing my part as a volunteer at the Calgary Stampede Aggie Days! 

Fortunately, we have an extremely competent Public Works staff and Gail at the office who took charge and dealt with the issue at hand!  They got it done and answered questions!  My thanks to those hard working folks.  I also want to thank everyone in the Village for your patience and understanding during this past weekend.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Happy St. David's Day!

Saint David is the patron saint of Wales.  St. David's Day goes by here with barely a mention, but in Wales it is still celebrated.  The Welsh celebrate by wearing a leak on their collar and wishing all they meet good fortune.   The wearing of the leek comes from a story where the Welsh warriors were fighting for their independence in a fierce battle with the English.  To identify the Welsh warriors from their opponents, they pinned a leek (related to an onion) to their collars. 

My Dad's family have been in Wales for many generations.  They settled around the town of Ruabon in North Wales, which is near the famous town of Llanggollen where the renowned Eisteddfod music festival is held. 

I still have many relatives in that area.  We (my family and I) emigrated from Wales to Canada many years ago, when I was a baby.  We're 99% Canadian now, but we still keep a little Welsh with us.  My Grandchildren call me Taid (pronounced "tah eed"), which means Grandpa in North Wales.  We still make leek soup (very occasionally) and we have visited Wales a couple of times.

When visiting Wales, you'll notice that most signs are bilingual in English and Welsh.  I think everyone speaks English and a bit of Welsh.  The Welsh have their own National Assembly in Cardiff, but still are a proud part of the United Kingdom.  There might be a lesson there for us Canadians!

Happy St. David's Day!

Clarifications on the Fire Engine

In my last blog about the problems with our fire engine, I'd indicated that we had problems keeping the engine's water pump warm during our winter months.

You will recall that our truck originally came from the southern United States, where freezing temperatures like ours are unheard of.  When the truck arrived here, our Fire Department set forth to address the problem of protecting the water pump from freezing.

After a while, a solution to the problem was designed and installed.  I am told now that the water pump NEVER froze, and functioned as it should every time.   But like everything, the pump just "wore out!"

I have also avoided mentioning exact figures for the repair of our truck, or its replacement, because we don't have those figures available yet.  Council is in the process of getting more information on the repairs and more accurate costs of another used fire engine.  After all that is in, we than need to decide what to do.

We will have three choices;
  • Fix our existing truck and hold on to it until 2020 when the Village's finances and provincial and federal grant money may make it possible to replace it.
  • Get rid of the existing truck and purchase another used, surplus truck.
  • Continue to rent a fire truck until Village finances and grants may make it possible to replace it. 
It is highly unlikely that the Village of Beiseker could ever afford to purchase a brand new fire truck!  We have a small population and a debt load of that size would be unmanageable, in my opinion.