LOOKBACK: Pine Lake resort ripped by tornado

Red Deer County’s crackdown on river rafting rowdies and illegal parking was paying off.

ONE YEAR AGO

• Red Deer County’s crackdown on river rafting rowdies and illegal parking was paying off. County patrol officer Bob Marsh reported few problems at Fort Normandeau where a steady stream of people took advantage of the first real summer scorcher to hit the river in their inflatables. “We’re seeing a decline in the amount of alcohol infractions,” said Marsh, as he kept a watch on the parking lot and checked coolers. “When the season first started we were getting household coolers full of alcohol. People have been very compliant, and they understand.”

• Calgarians, Edmontonians — and Red Deerians. Residents had an official name to call themselves after the City of Red Deer conducted a poll. Red Deerians was the clear winner, achieving 44 per cent of the popular vote, or 236 votes. Red Deerite took 179 votes, pulling in 33 per cent of the vote. Less favourites were — under the category “others” (18 per cent), Red Deeronian (four per cent) and Red Deerigan (one per cent). Among the “others” category was a classroom submission of Red Deerio.

FIVE YEARS AGO

• The first shipments of cattle crossed into the U.S., more than two years after a ban was put in place amid fears of mad cow disease. R-CALF, a Montana-based beef protectionist group, said it would seek a permanent injunction against Canadian live cattle imports.

• The city considered allowing a cremation room in local funeral homes under proposed bylaw amendments. The cremation issue had been a contentious one. Parkland Funeral Home and Crematorium sued the city for $3 million in early 2000 in a dispute over a proposed crematorium.

10 YEARS AGO

• Eleven people died and more than 130 were taken to hospital after Central Alberta’s greatest disaster struck. An F3 tornado struck the busy Green Acres campground near Pine Lake on a Friday night. Winds of 300 km/h tossed around motorhomes and holiday trailers, and snapped off trees like toothpicks. More than 400 units were destroyed. Searches went on through the rubble and the nearby lake for several days.

25 YEARS AGO

• A bike plan to build a network of bicycle paths throughout the city was given approval in principle by city council. The decision meant that each project proposed under the plan would have to receive council’s stamp of approval before it could proceed said City Commissioner Mike Day.

• Alberta Environment began intensive tests at three abandoned city landfill sites to determine if waste dumped there in the late 1960s had seeped into the ground and surface water. The three city sites were: west side of Gaetz Avenue at 32nd Street, only a stones throw away from Waskasoo Creek, beside Montfort School, behind the Village Shopping Centre, on the north hill, close to a residential centre and near the sewage treatment plant on Riverside Drive. The dumps were three of 18 tagged by a provincial study as potentially dangerous.

50 YEARS AGO

• The City of Red Deer received $188,557 as its share of the provincial gasoline tax distribution under the Municipal Assistant Act it was announced.

Worked out under a formula which takes into consideration the elements of population, assessment and other factors, the money was distributed to municipalities from the gasoline tax fund collected by the province. In 1959, Red Deer received $1185, 234. The grants in the past year had worked out at about $10 per capita; 1060’s was $10.70

• Old newspapers of varying vintage keep turning up in the oddest places — underneath the linoleum, in the walls of old buildings and in the lining of ancient trunks — but one of the strangest places to find a 19th Century newspapers was reported to the Advocate by H.M. Berry.

Mr. Berry was helping Mrs. F.A. Porter to clean out the garage. One of the items there was a mounted stag’s head, in poor shape, which was going to be thrown away. Investigating the mount, Mr. Berry removed it and found the hollow skull of the stag was stuffed with paper.

The torn fragments of the paper turned out to be from the Dublin Gazette of May 13, 1864.

90 YEARS AGO

• The Medicine Valley U.F.A. held a very enjoyable picnic at the home of Mr. F. Thorpe. The ladies of the Valley (who have lately formed a U.F.W.A.) worked very hard, together with the members of U.F.A. to make the picnic a success. A few showers marked an otherwise perfect day.

Dancing was indulged in ‘till the early hours. It is hoped by all that this picnic will become an annual affair. A goodly number of new members have been lately enrolled in this. Locals, and all are showing a lively interest in its welfare.

• Mr. John Lamont, for some 20 years a successful farmer and respected citizen of the Red Deer district died at the Memorial Hospital on Thursday morning at the age of 73. Mr. Lamont had been in failing health for some months, having been pretty well crippled up for some years.

100 YEARS AGO

• Services in connection with the opening of a new pipe organ at Leonard Gaetz Memorial Church were being planned for the next Sunday. The organ was erected in memory of the late Mrs. Dr. Gaetz by her sons and daughter.

• An action by the Town of Red Deer against The Western General Electric Co. was dismissed in court. The town was seeking cancellation of the company’s franchise because Western General had refused to supply telephones without individual contracts with subscribers.