LOOKBACK: North Red Deer a village 100 years ago

In her first public appearance since being released from kidnappers three months ago, freelance reporter Amanda Lindhout received a hero’s welcome from Alberta’s Somali community.

Led by Julia Stretch

Led by Julia Stretch

ONE YEAR AGO

• In her first public appearance since being released from kidnappers three months ago, freelance reporter Amanda Lindhout received a hero’s welcome from Alberta’s Somali community. As soon as Lindhout entered Pineridge Community Association hall, the crowd of 75 people stood up to applaud the 28-year-old woman, formerly of Sylvan Lake, for trying to interview Somalis uprooted by violence.

• Mayor Morris Flewwelling shared what used to be an expensive secret. His office fully disclosed his expenses for 2009, which amounted to nearly $219,000 in total and more than $7,300 over budget. Flewwelling said he was open to having expenses shared with the public four times a year on the city’s website, as was recently decided for council expenses.

FIVE YEARS AGO

• Jessica Koitoski and her husband, Conrad Semple, celebrated the arrival of identical triplets Emma, Anna and Tessa, each weighing in at 1.4 kg (three pounds, two ounces). A month after the birth, Jessica and Conrad still had trouble telling the girls apart.

• The father of a missing Red Deer woman welcomed news that 35 RCMP officers would investigate the disappearances of several woman along an isolated British Columbia highway. Jack Hoar, whose daughter Nicole vanished in while hitchhiking from Prince George to Smithers, B.C., said he hoped the extra manpower would uncover new directions for police to pursue.

10 YEARS AGO

• A Red Deer high school stepped up security after rumours spread online that a gun-toting teen would target students and staff. Vice-principal Rick Ramsfield said there was no evidence to suggest the rumours were true, but school officials decided to err on the side of caution.

25 YEARS AGO

• Most of the athletes at the inaugural Alberta Special Olympic Winter Games competed indoors, which was just as well considering the blustery weather. Of the roughly 230 mentally-disabled athletes, only 60 speedskaters and cross-country skiers had to brave the elements — at the Lions club oval and Great Chief park respectively. The rest were at Michener Centre playing floor hockey with the exception of eight curlers. The games attracted athletes of various ages from 13 centres, ranging from Lethbridge to Grand Prairie. There were 66 from Red Deer — some from Michener Centre and others living outside the institution.

• Much of downtown Red Deer would change dramatically when the railyards were moved from the city centre.

• Towne Centre Association general manager John Ferguson hoped to see a convention centre-hotel complex in the core, similar to the Capri Centre in south Red Deer. He was also hoping for a retail mall, high-rise apartments and a parkade. “Those are probably the four main components that have been thought of at this point,” Vern Parker of Red Deer Regional Planning Commission confirmed.

50 YEARS AGO

• Red Deer city teachers opened the annual salary negotiations with the Public School Board with a presentation of a proposed schedule for 1961-62 ,which represented a similar increase to the one obtained in negotiations the previous year. Basic minimum proposed by the teachers for the next contract was $3,200 a year, up $200 from the previous year’s $3,000 minimum for a teacher with one year’s training and no experience.

• A city landmark, the Parrish and Heimbecker Ltd. Grain elevator at 556 Gaetz Ave. was torn down. The elevator and the old brick Horne and Pitfield Foods Ltd. at the corner of Gaetz Ave. and 55 st. were being demolished to make room for a truck route to the city’s industrial section and an underpass under the CPR rail tracks. The new road system was to be a modest cloverleaf and expected to start in the spring.

90 YEARS AGO

• A gathering of older boys was held in the Presbyterian hall on Monday night to take part in a demonstration of the Tuxis Boys Programme of Canadian Standard Efficiency Training. Mr. Wallace Forgie, secretary of the Boys Work Board of Alberta, took charge of the evening’s programme and organized the boys temporarily into four Tuxis squares in order to show how the work is organized and the programme of work carried on.

• The Red Deer Hockey team were beaten out at Calgary arena rink on Wednesday night by six goals to two, in the first of the two games for the championship of the Rosebud league, Carstairs having won the southern and Red Deer the northern series. Harry Scott, sports editor of the Calgary Albertan, files a most appreciative write up of the game, and of the good work of both teams.

100 YEARS AGO

• North Red Deer was incorporated as a village.

• Alberta Hotel owners announced plans to build a new brick hotel in Red Deer at a cost of between $45,000 and $60,000.