LOOKBACK: Red Deer bricks hot commodity century ago

Red Deer was no longer considered one of the most dangerous cities in Canada — and that pleased two people who had much to do with helping frame how crime here was prevented.

Central Middle School student Adam Ogilvie

Central Middle School student Adam Ogilvie


• Red Deer was no longer considered one of the most dangerous cities in Canada — and that pleased two people who had much to do with helping frame how crime here was prevented. Red Deer fell 13 places to 36th in the latest survey of crime in Canada’s largest 100 communities by Maclean’s magazine. This was the second year that the magazine had put out the lists. Mayor Morris Flewwelling and RCMP Supt. Brian Simpson are pleased about in their approach to policing.

• A 12-sheet curling rink and a multi-sport and community centre worth more than $21 million were being eyed for Red Deer’s northeast side. With the help of outside funding, the Red Deer Curling Centre was seeking to first build the rink and then the recreational centre next. The project, pegged at $21,472,000, would be constructed on land that the curling centre hoped to lease from the city.


• R-CALF, a Montana-based protectionist group, won an preliminary injunction to delay plans to resume imports of young Canadian cattle. Dennis Laycraft of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association estimated it could take another nine to 18 months to reopen the border.

• Central Alberta municipalities scrambled to come up with enough money to cover ambulance funding shortfalls. Many municipalities were still upset the provincial government broke its promise to completely fund ambulance services earlier that month.


• Alberta treasurer and Red Deer North MLA Stockwell Day confirmed he would run for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance party if Reform Party members voted by at least a two-thirds majority to join Canadian Alliance.

• Bower Place Shopping Centre got a face-drop, as the top floor of the old Eaton’s store was scheduled for demolition for the new tenant, Zeller’s. Zeller’s, which was moving from another site in the mall, expanded the main floor since it preferred single-level stores.


• A 440-name waiting list for urgent and elective surgery alarmed the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre board. Board chairman Merv Hewson said it may be time to lobby government to increase the number of beds at the hospital. “It could be a crisis situation again unless something is done,” Mr. Hewson said.

He was referring to the second phase of hospital construction, which would develop the unused sixth floor of the hospital. Planning for this phase was to have begun but was delayed indefinitely by a provincial spending freeze.

• City councillors voted to deny themselves a two-per-cent raise in their monthly honoraria.

The increase was defeated in a 6-2 vote with Councillors Dennis Moffat and Larry Pimm voting against deferring the pay hike. Councillors received $914 a month.


• A novel suggestion that the Kiwanis Club as a community service, could adopt a program of civic promotion for industrial development, was placed before the club at the weekly meeting in the Buffalo Hotel by speaker John E. Lang, general manager of the Builders Hardware chain in Alberta.

• The increase in the number of unskilled workers this season almost made up the difference in increase in the total number of persons seeking employment in the Red Deer area, according to figures released by James Gibson, NES manager.

The number of persons seeking work in the area at the end of February totalled 1,813, as compared to the end of February in 1959.


• Mr. Joseph Ardell, of Ponoka, has purchased from Mr. E. R. Hill his half interest in the Piper brick yard at Red Deer, will move his family down, and will manufacture brick this year in association with Mr. Frank Piper, who controls the other half interest.

Owing to the high price of lumber, the demand for brick is increasing, and the Company expect to do a good business. Red Deer citizens will welcome Mr. Ardell and will be glad to see the yard opened up again.

• Before Judge Lees in Wetaskiwin on Wednesday, Judge Mahaffy sued Geo Bigam, Sylvan Lake, for $120 in damages to Chevrolet car in collision, and $300 for damages to Mrs. Mahaffy in being thrown against the windshield in the accident.

The collision occurred last summer just west of the C.N.R. crossing on the Sylvan Lake road. The evidence of Mr. Cash Mahaffy, who was driving the car, and Mrs. Mahaffy was to the effect that they were on their right side of the narrow road when Mr. Bigam ran into them, while the evidence of Mr. Bigam and his mother was to the effect that they were on their right side when Mr. Mahaffy ran into them. The plaintiff’s witnesses swore that Mr. Bigam offered to settle after the mishap, which defendant denied. Evidence of Mr. Dawe, showing plan of the place of accident, and of Mr. Thorp, auto mechanician, was also given by the defence. Judge Lees reserved judgement. Mr. Graham for plaintiff; Mr. Russell K.C. for defendant.


• Red Deer Brick Co. officials revealed there had been a lot of interest in their product from potential customers, including an offer from an unidentified buyer to purchase the season’s entire output.

• The weather in Red Deer took a turn for the better. “The cold spell has given way to the delightful spring weather of this week which has considerably damaged the town’s sleighing,” the Advocate noted.