LOOKBACK: Prairie fire claims mom, two daughters

Like a 1970s version of gladiatorial games, the roller derby girls cruised into Red Deer Saturday.

ONE YEAR AGO

• Like a 1970s version of gladiatorial games, the roller derby girls cruised into Red Deer Saturday. Decked out in old-style roller skates, fishnet stockings and mini-skirts the women looked more like vixens than vicious competitors — at least until things got underway. As the announcer called out their skate names — Anna Salt, Viv the Shiv, Honey Crueler, Ana Filactic and more — the crowd of around 200 people hooted, yelled and whistled.

• A grizzly sow and three cubs are being hunted by Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers after it was determined that a Didsbury hunter was killed by a bear. Dave Ealey, a spokesman with the Department of Sustainable Resource Development, said Friday the hunter was killed by a bear following an autopsy performed by the Calgary Medical Examiner’s office.

• It took two years and $20 million, but the town of Rimbey finally had a modern new hospital. About 20 local residents followed Judy Drebert, a site leader with the David Thompson Health Region, on a tour through the new 3,300-square-foot building.

FIVE YEARS AGO

• Red Deer unveiled its ninth Ghosts statue to commemorate the unlikely friendship of Doris Forbes and Mickey the beaver. Doris adopted the injured pup 1939. The two became inseparable, sparking newspapers stories around the globe during the Second World War.

• A Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School student was suspended on for posting a “hate” website. The contents of the site included comments such as “oh god, just kill urself now” and “die ur ugly.” The student deleted the offending material and added the word “sorry.”

10 YEARS AGO

• Red Deer’s First Night Society would end up making national headlines by deciding to hold its New Year’s Eve celebrations one day early, on Dec. 30, 1999. This was done to avoid any Y2K catastrophes — the fear that computer glitches arising when the date changed to 2000 would cause malfunctions in infrastructure systems like water and electricity.

25 YEARS AGO

• Lights, camera, drill? Wildcat, a potential half-hour weekly television series was filming the pilot show in Red Deer’s backlot. A co-production of Tinsel Media Productions Ltd. Of Edmonton, Atlantis Films of Toronto and the CBC, Wildcat began filming on a lease southwest of the city.

• Climatology students at Red Deer College would soon be doing more than just peering at the wind an the rain thanks to a new weather tower. The 10-metre tower behind the college would allow students studying climatology to gain some hands-on experience with weather- reading instruments, said Denzill Garrett, a geography instructor at RDC. “I though that the college needed something . . . more than just classroom lectures,” he said.

50 YEARS AGO

• An anonymous telephone call that brought the Lacombe Fire Department out in full force at 10 p.m. Wednesday proved to be a false alarm. Three pump trucks and 15 volunteer firemen were rushed to Morrison and Johnston Lt. hardware in downtown Lacombe, the scene of the reported fire, but the crew found no trace of smoke or flames.

The report was phoned in to Fire Chief Colin Dalzell from a sidewalk pay station. Dalzell said the reflection of nearby neon signs on the hardware store windows could have prompted the call.

• Heartened by the news of the Los Angeles Dodgers victory in the second games of the World Series, W. J. Kirby of Rocky Mountain House, who would turn 93 in December, left Red Deer by train Friday afternoon on the first leg of his journey to Los Angeles to see the three games at the Coliseum. Mr. Kirby travelled alone, flying from Edmonton to Vancouver and then on to Los Angeles. His son. W. J. C. (Cam) Kirby, former MPP for Red Deer and leader of the Progressive Conservatives, saw his father off on the train and commented “He’s as excited about the trip as a boy out of school.”

90 YEARS AGO

• Mr. H. Kingzett, who had been Superintendent of the Baptist Sunday School at Red Deer for two years, and Mrs. Kingzett, who were moving to Alfred, Sask., were most agreeably surprised when a surprise party from the school met them at Mr. and Mrs. L.R. Baker’s Waskasoo home and presented them with a handsome silver carving set and cold meat fork as a token of affection and esteem.

• Pte. Z. Becart was taken prisoner. Rev. Mr. Finn wrote friends in the city that he was now with the forces in France. Pte. J. L. Kenworthy, Rocky Mountain House, reported wounded at the front some days ago, succumbed to his injuries.

100 YEARS AGO

• A five-year-old Stettler girl died after her mother inadvertently gave her the wrong medicine. The girl, who had been suffering from a cough, was given carbolic acid, which had been prescribed for her mother’s toothache. She died within minutes.

• A Stettler woman and her two children, ages four and two, died after they were caught in a prairie fire. The children burned to death while the mother lived a few hours after she was found

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