Rural Studies in various academic institutions have no trouble affirming that – a year in time is really no time at all in a rural community!
To review a year is to look over a longer time period and fit into the puzzle just a few small pieces from the year of 2018.
In a slightly different approach to a year in review, topics that explore the nature of the Town of Kindersley will be examined. This is not exhaustive, and as with any journalism, there is some bias. The topics chosen interested the writer – and some just made him laugh.
Capital / Regrowth / Revitalizing Projects – Town of Kindersley
Successful construction and renovation projects are not built in a day. Take the example of the local aquatic center in Kindersley. Over this past year, residents have been able to watch as fencing appeared, holes were created, and a shelter erected – and now you can buy passes to swim and enjoy the newly completed center in the new year. Fundraising has been ongoing – much like the Energizer bunny it seems to keep going and going and . . .
For those whose lives revolve around site clean-up and generally a clean neighbourhood, the landfill site fire of a few years ago pushed forward the impetus to create a new regional landfill. Those who had visited the Kindersley “Town Dump” had heard the rumours of a move for months. The official opening was on December 5th. Recycling now happens at the former Town of Kindersley waste management site. Other refuse is trucked outside of town, just south of the weigh scale on Highway 7.
What next? A fire hall has being called for – tenders were received in 2018. A new arts center – in discussion for a few years – appears to still be a ways down the road.
Capital / Regrowth / Revitalizing / Renovation / Anniversary Projects –
Local Businesses run by Baby Boomers have been in the process of transition. Some local businesses were retired this year. Take for example Staples Apparel Company and Prairie Computer Services.
Meanwhile, there is a new optometric office building on Main Street, new strip malls across from Walmart, and a revitalized Kindersley Mall with Buy Low and Peavey Mart
as anchor stores. In a game of dominoes, the Regional Ministry of Agriculture office moved to the Kindersley Mall, and the Kindersley RM office moved to the vacated Agricultural Office building. Montanas came to town to serve food, COOP food store was renovated, and an oil pipeline was upgraded (Enbridge Line 3).
The two major industries of the Town of Kindersley were on display as the year came to an end. A late harvest had many wondering when it all would end. For the oil industry, some wonder if an end is in sight. A cloud of pessimism has been seen on the horizon, and the optimism of a rural community hopes the cloud will just disappear.
What of the stability of the town? The Library celebrated 50 years on (May 26th). The Kindersley Music Festival celebrated 55 years. The Kindersley and District Funeral home celebrated 80 years. Meanwhile, the old “old” hospital building on Railway was destroyed by fire. Goose Festival ran again in September. The Klippers played hockey. Karate, soccer, football, volleyball, baseball, sledge hockey, karaoke and other activities continued in town. The town provided the normal activities of a highly functioning hub center.
Politics is just the business of the “polis” – the people. And the people have experienced all sorts of busyness this year.
On March 1st a new MLA was elected – Ken Francis. Ken replaced a beleaguered Bill Boyd, restoring a sense of calm in the district. The disturbing effects of Cannabis Legislation (legalization on October 17th) occupied the Town Council agenda. The possible approval of retail outlets in town has been set aside for another year. In May, the Chief Administrative Officer of the Town of Kindersley announced his resignation. Earlier in the year, the Heritage and Culture Position was eliminated and over the summer the director of Communications for the Town left town. The town council has since appointed a new CAO. The resiliency of the town can be seen as administration continues unabated.
Have you had fun this past year with the Facebook RCMP page? The face of the RCMP is much more personable.
The year began on Jan 17th with a discussion of a Rural Crime Watch being instituted. Near year end, at a November 5th RCMP Townhall, The RCMP sought out community input in fulfilling their mandate.
A crash on April 6th created an emotional hole in the province and the country. Humboldt Broncos lost players and coaches to a horrific crash. In solidarity with the team – and recognizing that a similar type of situation could easily have happened with any rural district, including Kindersley – the outpouring of support was phenomenal. This was not the first sports-related accident to deal a death blow to Kindersley, and may not be the last.
Talk of a safe shelter, with an emphasis on abused women and children, created all sorts of discussion – particularly when a possible site was explored. An ongoing committee was formed to explore other alternatives. With a downturn in economy, there is also a renewed recognition of those who are homeless in Kindersley, and the need for affordable housing.
Churches in town, a stable presence for the community, saw an unusual happening in the month of September. The Kindersley Alliance Church saw a new pastor installed – Peter Ralph. Established minister, Peter Walker, continued to pastor St. Olaf’s Lutheran Church. The St. Paul’s United Church saw their newer pastor, Peter (Piotr) Strzelecki, fit in well with the community. Unknown to many, there was another Pastor Peter in town – who passed away in September having reached and surpassed the century mark – Peter Tompalski. Not many towns can say they have had, at the same time, four Pastor Peters ushering people to the gates of heaven!!
Oh, and on July 11th a major windstorm swept through town, downing trees and power lines. Town spirit was increased as neighbours ventured out of their houses to discuss the storm. And for those who were observant, vehicles toured the town – recharging their cell phones.
What filled up your 2018? And what comes next? Stay tuned for Part Two of this series – Into the future!
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