The Strathmore Ladies Auxiliary hosted an appreciation dinner for their volunteers and members of the Strathmore Firefighters on May 6 at the Legion.
“It is one of the best relationships I have encountered in my years of service,” said Fire Chief Muir Furzer. “It is humbling to think of how much they do. We think of them as the matrons of our fire hall.”
President Colleen Cameron said their volunteers have helped with many fundraising events and the ladies are thankful for all the help they supply. She said over the years, the Auxiliary and the Fire Department have had a reciprocal relationship, each stepping up to help the other out when needed.
The ladies decorated the hall in a fire hall theme, utilizing black and red table coverings and napkins. Floor decorations were small fire hydrants, and the walls displayed pictures of the fire crews and their work.
Guests enjoyed a buffet dinner topped off by piano tunes played by Jim Risdon. Pastor Dawn Nelson attended to bless the meal and the event. She led prayers for the safety of the community, and the men and women that put themselves at risk for the public’s safety.
The Legion Ladies Auxiliary is no rookie at fundraising efforts; they raised over $9,000 last year and donated funds to Meals on Wheels, the Wheatland Food Bank, the Handi-bus Association, WADEMSA, Rural Fire Departments, along with their contributions to the Strathmore Fire Department. In the past, The Strathmore Legion Ladies Auxiliary purchased the Search and Rescue jet boat for the Strathmore Fire Department. It has been used by the department in training exercises and rescue efforts in water bodies all across Southern Alberta. They also purchased an infrared thermal imaging gun for the department.
Birth Forest encourages urban forestry growth
For five years the Birth Forest has provided a way to give the gift of life and teach the value of nature to our children. The Birth Forest has been built on a partnership between Communities in Bloom, the Town of Strathmore, Eagle Lake Nurseries and Chinook Credit Union. A tree is planted for each newborn registered into the free program.
“It’s part of the Tree Canada program, it’s designed to encourage urban forestry with the idea, of course, that forests are good for our environment, good for our living, improve our communities, and improve our urban dwellings,” said Rob Pirie with Communities in Bloom (CIB)
For Paul and Joelle Sonsteby, as soon as they heard about the program - while pregnant with their first child - they knew it was something they wanted to be involved in. One of the main reasons is the sense of permanency that comes with planting a tree in your child’s name, knowing it will be there for generations to come.
“One of the things that I think is cool about it is you’re teaching kids to appreciate nurturing the environment and life and growth. If at four and two-years-old they can see the significance of something as majestic as a living tree, I’m hoping that will be something that sticks with them when they become adults,” said Paul Sonsteby.
The Birth Forest in Strathmore is at the Parklane Park, a place where families can see the trees often. The Sonstebys visit the Birth Forest with the kids when they are playing soccer. There are two trees planted for the Sonsteby children, one each for four-year-old Fynn and two-year-old Coen.
Another neat thing about the Birth Forest said Sonsteby is that there is not a specific tree designated to each kid, so his family will go through and decide which ones they think were planted for them.
Anita Heuver, owner/manager of Eagle Lake Nurseries, has been involved since the inception of the program.
“We thought it was a great idea, a great way to enhance the landscape as well as recognize the new births and just to do something for our local community,” said Heuver.
“To see it growing over the years from the first ones that we did, it’s looking beautiful out there. It’s neat for the families, but it’s also a benefit for the town and the communities that live by there, if people haven’t driven by there it definitely is starting to look like a forest.”
Chinook Credit Union has committed to 10 years of support for the initiative, and is pleased to be a part of a project that beautifies the town and connects the community, said Branch Manager Larry Betts.
“It provides a visible consistent connection to the community and the area of town that the Birth Forest is in. It also provides opportunity for people in the community to connect with the town by registering their newborn children, participating in the planting and watching their trees grow,” said Betts.
“I think it’s a great thing that the Credit Union and Communities in Bloom have done because they’re increasing the amount of trees and greenery that’s being added to our town,” said Councillor Pat Fule. “Basically I ran on the idea that we need more parks and playgrounds and trees and pathways so having them aid in that is a great deal for the town because whatever it takes to add more greenery and trees is perfect and they’re doing an awesome job.”
Pirie believes they will be able to plant one, maybe two, more years of births at the current location before a new location will need to be determined by the town. This year’s tree planting is scheduled to take place on June 1 at 10 a.m. Parents are encouraged to quickly register their births from 2012 before May 25.
Worries over mother’s care arise
Concerns about job loss and patient care have been prevalent since the announcement that long term care (LTC) patients at the Strathmore hospital will be moved to the Sagewood Seniors Community.
Einar Davison’s mother has been a resident of the hospital’s LTC for the past few years. After dealing with a privatized seniors facility in the past, and having not so great results, he is leery of moving his mother into Sagewood, but isn’t sure what other options there are that will keep her nearby.
“I am very worried the quality of care is going to be a lot less, and it’s not a union thing or anything. The ladies in here do a really good job, my mother is good friends with all of them, and there’s a sense of responsibility for the patients here that I’m not sure you’ll get in a private facility if you’re just income or revenue,” said Davison.
His mother first went into the system in 2007. The year she went into the private home, there was a lot of rain and flooding. The roof started collapsing in the dining room, which was of course a major concern. His mother was also placed in a shared room with a resident who suffered from either dementia or Alzheimer’s, who would throw things and was quite violent. He quickly removed his mother from this facility and she went to Didsbury next. He lives in Hussar, and the drive was a long one for visits but at least he knew she was safe.
A few years ago, Davison said, they lucked out and a space became available at the Strathmore Hospital LTC Ward. Since coming back to Strathmore there have been many occasions where she has needed blood transfusions or other care provided specifically by the hospital.
“It’s way easier to move her from the long term care, into the hospital and then back, and it’s a lot more comfortable for than being stuffed into the back of an ambulance,” said Davison.
He said his mother feels comfortable at the hospital and they were told she had to be in there because she couldn’t be alone any more.
“They are saying that the rooms over there will be much larger, but my primary concern with my mother is she’s medically sensitive, and having a bigger room isn’t going to do her any good if she gets sick and she has to wait for an ambulance to go over to the hospital,” said Davison.
“They didn’t even talk to us before hand. Basically the meeting just happened and they said, well this is what we’re doing and you have no choice. Sure you have choices, you can take your parent home or you can try to get them into a different facility, but most of those aren’t really options.”
He is confident that if the community works hard and pulls together they will be able to stop the government and the forced move.
Strathmore’s first annual Parade of Garage Sales
Parade of Garage Sales
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure! That exact quote is another reason summer is so exciting. People of Strathmore have this love for garage sales. We get up every Saturday and spend time with our families searching for treasures. We never know what we are going to find but that is the best part! So why not have a whole day dedicated to garage sales? That is exactly what we thought. A small group of us are organizing a parade of garage sales on June 1 from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.! What a great day to come out to Strathmore and spend a Saturday with your families! We have the exciting first annual parade of garage sales sponsored by Debbie Murray with Real Estate Professionals, which is not just a bunch of garage sales. Kristel Lang and I are having a garage sale at 10 Maple Place to raise money for our Dog Jog team. For those that do not know the Dog Jog is a small walk to raise money for the Calgary Humane Society. Christine Petovello has a very excited little 5-year-old who plans to sell lemonade up in Hillview. It is great to see all ages in the community excited about this. We have businesses that will be putting on a special garage sale blow out! Hope Church has their table sale going on and the youth club will also have some amazing things for the public. Spring Fest is happening June 1 down at the Ag Society with a ton of family things. It is definitely a great day to get the family out and enjoy what Strathmore has. If you are interested in registering for the Parade of Garage sales please phone 403-934-3550 and leave me a message with your name, number, and address so I can get you on the map. This is FREE thanks to Debbie Murray, The Strathmore Times and the volunteers putting it on so don’t miss out! We need all addresses registered by May 20 in order to get them on the map and in the Strathmore Times for those that are wanting to shop. So watch in next week’s Strathmore Times for your parade of garage sale map!
Crime Prevention Week
Cst. Andrew Lindsay
Strathmore RCMP would like to remind everyone that May 12-18 is Crime Prevention Week in Alberta.
Crime Prevention Week is a tool that helps create awareness about issues in our local community, and helps residents become aware of steps they can take to prevent crime.
As residents of Strathmore, Wheatland County and Rocky View County, we can all work together to help prevent crimes in our own backyard by working closely with our neighbours, community leaders, and the RCMP. This type of teamwork makes it easier to identify and solve issues that affect our entire community.
Within the communities of Strathmore and Langdon, residents can take part in the local Citizens on Patrol (C.O.P.), which has been a valuable tool in fighting crime in those areas. Residents of Strathmore also have the opportunity to become a part of the Strathmore Neighbourhood Watch, a group of citizens who work in conjunction with the RCMP to help keep our neighbourhoods safe.
As always, residents are the first line of defence against crime. Residents are encouraged to ensure that doors and windows of their homes and vehicles are always locked and secured. Many reported thefts are a crime of opportunity, and by taking these quick and simple steps, a crime can be prevented before it occurs.
If you who would like more information regarding Citizens on Patrol, Neighbourhood Watch or any other ways to help prevent crime you are encouraged to contact the Strathmore RCMP at (403) 934-3968. If you have any information regarding crime in your local community, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or Strathmore RCMP.
Jumpin’ Jack Flash, it’s a gas, gas, gas!
Fule for Thought
Our dog is 13. Our dog is 13 and has developed a gas problem. This is actually kind of funny, as our last name is Fule. The problem is that it’s becoming all too regular, and we never know when, or where we’ll be! We’re even worried to have company over because of him. You see, he thinks every human is a pal, so he’ll climb up on the couch to sit next to someone. Then while we’re cringing and silently praying that Brodie won’t, he DOES! It’s hard to describe what happens next…it’s not pretty.
First of all, the old “fur rug” is silent, but deadly. The smell is also deadly! Hopefully, you’re not eating during this column, as the aroma from my old dog is a mix of rotting things, the un-dead, old feet, and just a hint of rotten eggs! It’s always enough to get Debbie nauseous, and she’ll usually sprint from the room. The rest of us are left to laugh nervously, and we hope the company doesn’t notice. It’s usually too late for them, and they always try to act as if it’s not a big deal, but we all know better. Brodie has become the friendliest, yet smelliest dog in town! He’s slowing down, too, and has a bit of trouble climbing stairs. I try to help, and carry him up sometimes, but I’m never sure if the “grab” will squeeze out the methane! When he does pass gas, the old guy has the most innocent look on his face, as if it’s not HIM! We know different, though.
I guess I’m to blame, as he does get the odd bit of “people food.”
I mean if he goes with me to do the recycling, “take it or leave it”…he does deserve SOMETHING. So…he has been known to have a “Buddy Burger” in the drive-thru! But hey, he’s a working dog…you have to keep up his strength! However, we have learned to never leave him alone in the van, under any conditions. I don’t know if he gets frustrated, or he’s mad, or even if he’s scared. Alone in the van seems to bring out the gas. Brodie chooses those times to become “Brodie the Farting Dog”.
Usually, we’ll throw open the doors for a bit, before getting inside! In fact, even on cool days, he seems to be able to raise up the temperature on his own!
I know he’s now an older dog, but I didn’t know how much different the older version of the puppy really is. Besides the gas, Brodie has started to grow large, disgusting warts all over his body! So, between the warts and the farts, petting Brodie has become an unpleasant experience. I know there are always those jokes and stories about blaming the dog when you smell something bad, but our situation is for real. Sometimes no one even wants to sit with him, and we’re always a little worried if he hops up to do that, because we know what we’re about to endure!
One night when I had to take a long distance call, Brodie did his usual “thud” into our back door. Now unlike most normal dogs who scratch at the door, our dog kind of flings himself into it, and sometimes if you forget, he can scare the crap out of you! Anyway, my daughter brought him in, and he went to jump next to me on the couch. That’s when I heard Bree scream and run like I’ve never seen her before…not even in basketball! There on the old guy’s butt was some poo stuck to his fur! She hit “battle stations,” grabbed him, and rushed him to the powder room! I heard a LOT of groans, and: “Brodie… no! Stand still…I can’t believe this!”
She came out shaking her head, and said, “I never thought I’d have to wipe my own dog’s butt…this sucks!”
Ah, the joys of having a family dog. Brodie had on his usual innocent look, and snuggled into Breanne as if nothing happened. Of course, she forgot all about the poo problem with that, and off they went to her room.
So, I guess for as long as we’re able to keep “Brodie the Farting Dog” healthy and happy, we’ll just have to carry on in spite of what he adds to our air space. Luckily, he’s a great dog, and who knows, maybe someone may write another book where HE is the star. Hopefully, it won’t be a “Scratch and Sniff” book!
(“Fule for Thought” is a slice of life humourous column that appears in the Strathmore Times, written by long-time resident, town councillor, high school teacher, coach, husband and father of two – Pat Fule. If you would like to get in touch with Pat, you can send him an e-mail at
Continuing 75 years of preservation
Wheatland County is rich in ponds and wetland areas. Within a 160 km radius of Strathmore, there are 182,850 acres of wetland and upland habitat, with 171 projects under Ducks Unlimited Conservation (DUC) care. Each season, a unique variety of migratory birds pass through this area. Residents enjoy taking a walk on the wild side, to watch wild birds feeding or in flight.
DUC knows that preservation of wetland areas requires vigilance. They estimate that every 24 hours, up to 80 acres of wetlands, the equivalent of about 45 soccer fields, are lost in Canada.
In a move to slow some of that loss, DUC recently purchased Buffalo Hills Ranch, located in the Milo area. Milo is about 1 hour southeast of Strathmore.
Dan Buell, Conservation Program Specialist for DUC, is excited about the project.
“It is pretty unique. It is all native prairie, never been broken up. If you look at it from the air, it is virtually an island surrounded by cropland,” said Buell.
Buell said that DUC knew if they didn’t purchase the land, its native prairie habitat would not have remained. DUC is beginning with plans for wetland restoration on the site and examining appropriate grazing programs, as the land will continue to be a working ranch. The public will be able to visit the ranch and Buell said the ranch will open sometime in June.
To control further loss, it is also important that existing DUC sites be maintained. Buell said there are a lot of older DUC sites that need infrastructure improvement. Weather always plays a part in breeding success. The local areas are a bit dry this year, with wetter areas appearing closer to rivers. For the canvas back ducks, which return to birthing grounds to lay eggs, it may affect their numbers. He also said there are concerns around the declining number of Northern Pintail and American Widgeon. For more DUC information, see www.ducks.ca
DUC receives funds from multiple sources: Government grants, private donations, investments, shared US/Canada partnership funds, and funds from fundraising dinners. They are asking residents to help with preservation efforts, by supporting their fundraiser that will be held on June 1 at the Strathmore Civic Centre. It is DUC’s 75th Anniversary and the 31st annual banquet in Strathmore. Over the years, this area has raised $1,148,827, to support DUC’s important work.
“If you love the outdoors and want to have a fun, social evening while supporting a good cause, mark your calendars and buy your tickets for our 31st annual event, ” says Art Harris, DUC’s Strathmore committee chair. “It’s a great opportunity for people in the area to get together in a really fun way and raise money for DUC’s wetland conservation work across Alberta. The entire event is put on by local DUC volunteers and is generously supported by many local businesses. The live and silent auctions are the highlight of this event, and there are some really great items such as wildlife prints, all types of gear for the outdoor enthusiast, carvings and sculptures, plus many items donated by local businesses.”
The event will be at the Strathmore Civic Centre on June 1 and tickets can be purchased by calling Shorty Setliff at 403-934-3118, or purchased online at ducks.ca/event. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, call Janet Shmorong at 403-644-2420, or email
Remembering our roots - Linton & Donna Treacy
Linton’s great, great grandfather arrived in St Mary’s, Ont. from Ireland in 1847. This was the time when the potato famine was raging throughout Ireland. His maternal grandfather arrived in the Wintering Hills, north of Hussar in 1902, where he started ranching. Hussar wasn’t incorporated as a town until April 20, 1928, although there were many buildings there prior to this.
Linton’s father came west from St Mary’s to the Blackie/High River area in 1906. When his parents were married at the Wintering Hills Ranch in 1913, the minister had to be brought from Gleichen. After the wedding ceremony, the new bride and groom took the minister back to Gleichen, where they caught the train to Calgary for their honeymoon. Linton advised that the Treacys came to Canada as builders, and that there are quite a number of heritage houses still standing in the surrounding areas. Linton was born in Calgary, the eighth of nine children in a musical family. He attended one-room schools in Atlas and Lawson, before attending high school in Drumheller. In those days, it was quite normal to stay in the dormitory while attending high school. At a very young age, Linton began playing the piano. He never had any formal lessons, but picked up new music by ear. He played for his first dance at Rabbit Lake School when he was 12 years old, and received a gratuity of $2. He was instrumental in forming the Hussar Orchestra, and throughout his life, has played at hundreds, if not thousands, of weddings, anniversaries, graduations, funerals, and more recently at Senior’s Lodges. He advises that he has played in every community hall in this area! In the old days, he says, one used to smoke inside and drink outside!
After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Saskatchewan where he obtained an engineering degree. He spent some time in the oil patch, before returning to Hussar to farm.
Donna Kinney’s family history dates back to 1651, when the first record of a ‘Kinney’ shows a Henry Kinney being married in Massachusetts, New England. The paternal side of her family were Puritans seeking religious freedom. Her father moved from Vermont to Calgary by train, in 1912. She says, he actually got off the train in Winnipeg, but it was so cold, he immediately got back on, and stayed there until the train reached Calgary, where there was a Chinook blowing. So when he got off, he stayed! Her maternal grandfather moved from England to Calgary in 1910. Since he previously was a farmer, he knew how to use two horses pulling a dray, so he got a job hauling rocks to the site where the Centre Street Bridge was being built. Later in life, he worked for the CPR Irrigation System, now known as W.I.D. in the Dalroy and Strathmore areas.
Donna grew up north of Nightingale, and attended one-room schools in Valley Gardens and Nightingale. She attended high school in Kathryn, where one of her teachers was Irene Hanson.
At this time, the Wheatland School Division Dormitory was located there. She continued her education at the University of Alberta where she obtained a Teacher’s Certificate with a Home Economics Major. Donna went on to teach in Wheatland County, and later the Calgary School Board. Linton and Donna were married on April 4, 1959 at St Stephen’s Anglican Church in Calgary. Their first residence was a mobile home, located in a stubble field! They lived there, until they’d completed the building of their house and other farm buildings. The farmyard was surrounded by many, many trees, which provided a good windbreak from all directions.
They have four children and 13 grandchildren, and because of the family belief in the importance of university education, all of them have attended university and have degrees. Their son has operated the family farm since they retired and moved to Strathmore in 1990.
Linton and Donna have spent their lives in Wheatland County, where they have been very involved with all kinds of activities – fundraising to build Lord of All Lutheran Church in Strathmore, Treasurer of the Hussar AG Society when the first arena was built, and assisting with the Western Art Section at The Calgary Stampede.
Donna is a Fair judge, and regularly judges food and creative arts in Gleichen, Milo, Cochrane, Calgary, Springbank, Chestermere and Millarville. She was instrumental in starting the Strathmore Horticulture and Creative Arts Show on Heritage Days. They are both strong believers in the values of 4-H, and Donna helped to organize The Nifty Knots 4-H Clothing Club in Hussar. Linton has always appreciated a good piano and was instrumental in obtaining two pianos and an organ for Hussar Church, a piano for the Hussar Hall, and one for Lord of All Lutheran Church, in Strathmore. The main changes they’ve seen in this area include the growth of Strathmore and surrounding areas, the increasing number of acreages, the arrival of big box stores, and the size of farms and new technology for farmers.
Both are really concerned and saddened by the moves of so many businesses from the downtown core towards the highway. They asked me “what will become of all the empty buildings left behind?”