Dear Editor:

Once again, I find myself in a position where I must respond to, in this instant, a newsletter that has been circulated to residents of Russell Binscarth Municipality.

To my dismay, this newsletter is filled with misinformation, and inaccurate and false statements. It begins by making a statement about rumors within the municipality. For the mayor’s edification these are not rumors but are facts that the mayor and her CAO have been unwilling to answer or explain. I am assuming that the author of this document is the mayor since the pronoun “my” is used at the beginning of the newsletter.

More than one councilor noted that they knew nothing of the content of the newsletter until the document arrived in their mailboxes. The public meeting referred to in the first statement was in fact chaired by myself and provided an opportunity for Ms. Napier, to explain her position as it related to her firm’s intellectual property being pirated and distributed under a false pretence. The intent was to once and for all put an end to an issue that has stained the reputation of this municipality and by extension our communities! This was not a closed door meeting! Sadly, the only member(s) from council in attendance were councilor Estha Baseley and former councilor Marg Fraser. Ms. Napier’s presentation was not confrontational but she provided the evidence that in fact supported her claim. Council members had the opportunity along with their CAO to attend, to listen to her presentation and provide an explanation as to their CAO’s erroneous claim regarding the document.

To end all of this, an apology by council to Ms. Napier could have concluded the matter. Instead the mayor has chosen to keep this issue alive in the news letter by continuing to hopelessly defend actions of the CAO in this matter. I must also address the “in camera” issue because the author of the newsletter links this to a former structure of council management and claims that this lacked transparency. In camera sessions have never been part of the regular agenda of council meetings. This is a process that should be rarely used by any council. Its intent is to deal with an issue that requires a private discussion by councilors. In such a situation, a motion to meet “in camera” would be called for with a recorded vote. Following the “in camera” meeting, the issue would be brought back into the general session of the council meeting. The item could be tabled for discussion at a subsequent meeting, or it would be dealt with in the normal course of the same meeting.

Read the full letter in this week's Banner!

Wednesday, 28 September 2022 13:35

Letter to the Editor: My Truth

Dear Editor: It has been brought to my attention that a poster has surfaced publicly at both Post Offices a few times over this past week aiming to discredit me.

It has and will be removed by Postal Staff as it defies eligibility for what is allowed to be posted and no ownership is identified!

1) I resigned from MRB Council April 13, 2022.

2) Following the posting of the Draft April 26, 2022 meeting minutes, I was contacted by a Ratepayer inquiring if I had been DISQUALIFIED (I replied with “not to my knowledge”) as referred to in Resolution #97/2022 – (Sections 94/95 of the Municipal Act) ACKNOWLEDGING my Resignation.

3) May 4, 2022 I received the letter from Mayor & Council ACKNOWLEDGING my Resignation with an enclosed copy of Resolution #98/2022.

4) In the Municipal minutes there has not been a resolution regarding my Disqualification – had there been, an Appeal process could have happened at that time.

5) Senior Elections Officer confirmed with me, prior to taking my papers out, that following my resignation I was eligible to run for Mayor for the 2022 upcoming election.

Get this week's Russell Banner for more!

Dear Ms. Welwood:

I have been provided a copy of a municipal newsletter circulating in your community with yet another version of events regarding Mr. Fielder’s use of my intellectual property. I am thoroughly confused by the story I read. He states that he “found some practical information on the internet that provided guidance for municipalities” and that the “Manitoba Municipal Administrators liked the information and asked him to share it”.

When I contacted Mr. Fielder upon finding out he had taken my property and was utilizing it with his name as the author he stated, “I took it from another municipal website”. Let’s be clear, the plan he put forward to his Council as his is a word for word copy of my work and not “information used for guidance.” If indeed this was to be a generic use of good information, why then did he place his name on the title page as the author of the plan? Mr. Fielder says he was not aware the plan belonged to my company when he took it as his own, perhaps this is true, however he was definitely aware the work was not his own – and he led everyone to believe it was.

He then states that “he shared it with the disclaimer that he was not the author and thanked the original author for the material”. I printed the plan with his name on it right from the MMA website when I was notified and there was no disclaimer on it. A disclaimer would go on the document being shared so why is it not on the downloaded copy I printed directly from the website he shared it on? Why have I never heard about this disclaimer until now? If this is the case why did MMA not tell me about this when I called them in August of 2020 and informed them they were advertising my work on their website? I am curious why this is the first anyone has heard of the disclaimer? Mr. Fielder states that he offered me a “written and verbal apology”. Mr. Fielder has never apologized for his actions. I had one conversation with him when I discovered the theft of my work, at no time did he apologize and at no time did he state he had forwarded it with a disclaimer noting it was not his work.

If Mr. Fielder innocently used work that was not his, added in a disclaimer and shared it with an Association because he was “asked to do so” then why when he discovered that the plan belonged to me, did he not immediately inform his council of his actions. The information provided to all of you in the newsletter certainly sounds innocent, so my question is why did he not inform your council – his employer of what had transpired. His silence on this matter until confronted with the truth really speaks volumes more than anyone can say.

To read this full Letter to the Editor check out this week's Russell Banner!

Tuesday, 27 September 2022 08:05

Bringing home silver

Another silver medal banner for this year's SVRSS Tigers Girls’ Golf Team. Pictured (from left to right) are Coach Marni Zamzow, Aaliyah Cochrane, Crystal Zamzow, McKenna Gray and Laina Leadbeater.

Tuesday, 27 September 2022 07:21

Professors at BU make lasting impression

By Ed Stozek
For the Herald

Graduating from a traditional rural high school setting and then attending classes at Brandon University from 1970-74 proved to be an educational and a social experience.

The faculty included a fascinating group of academics with many accomplishments in their area of expertise, as well as their other varied interests.

For my first university class I was greeted by professor “Doc” Hannah, a very friendly elderly gentleman with a large mustache. He generally wore a white lab coat and instructed our Zoology course. He was also the trainer for the Brandon University Bobcat hockey team, so sports-related stories were often integrated with his lectures.

Dr. William Norman Hargreaves-Mawdsley, a distinguished looking British gentleman sporting a three-piece suit, imparted his knowledge of European history with three one-hour lectures per week. Published in 1963, his book, A History of Academic Dress in Europe Until the Eighteenth Century, still remains a standard work on the subject.

One of our term assignments included an essay on the history of universities in Europe. In an era before computers and spellcheck I had misspelled the word university by adding an extra “n” throughout the whole essay. Dr. Hargreaves-Mawdsley noted that error in one of the classes and wanted to see the person who misspelled it. Since then I have never misspelled university again.

In 1962, a new Department of Geography at Brandon College was initiated by Dr. John Tyman.

“Three years later, there were five geography course offerings and Dr. John Welsted became the second full-time faculty member. When Brandon College achieved its university status in 1967, the Department began to set its own path. The first bachelor’s degrees with a major in Geography from Brandon University were offered in May 1968. Dr. Tyman served as Dean of Science from 1973 to 1975 and then moved to Australia.” (Brandon University Alumni News 2012)

Dr. Tyman, often started off the first Physical Geography class of a new term by giving a lecture on the history of the evolution of the outhouse.

Some freshmen took detailed notes thinking that this was part of the course and that this was very important information. At the end of the class Dr. Tyman indicated that it was just a joke. Throughout the term we appreciated his wit.

I ended up taking several geography courses. One evening in 1973 I accepted an invitation to bring my guitar and play some music with two of the faculty from the Geography Department.

One of the lecturers, Larry Clark, had a “get together” at his home. He was an excellent jazz musician who played as a solo act or with a band at various Brandon night spots. He had also played with the Country Gentlemen, a band that included Bill Hillman and Barry Forman.
Several years later, Clark took on the role of city planner in Brandon. He really changed careers when he became a forest ranger sitting at a fire tower for a record number of summers near the Big Whiteshell Lake.

While spending a great deal of time looking out for forest fires he occupied himself by playing guitar and composing songs. Those songs became part of a 1982 album entitled, Uncle Smokey Sings Folk Songs for the Summer Crowd with toe tapping tunes such as “Ode to a Wood Tick” and “Oh Boy Do I Love Bears.”

Dr. Richard Rounds also brought his guitar that evening. He was interested in pursuing some coffee house gigs.

We practiced singing and playing “Abilene” and a host of other classic country and folk songs.

Dr. Rounds had joined the Geography Department at Brandon University in 1970 and became the Founding Director of the Rural Development Institute (RDI) at Brandon University in 1989, a position he held for 10 years. He then became a member of the newly-established Department of Rural Development at Brandon University where he served as a professor until his retirement in 2002.

Educators make lasting impressions in a variety of ways.

Knowledge gained from their class time instruction is important, however, playing music one evening still stands out as one of the memorable highlights from attending university. I still occasionally strum the chords to “Abilene.”

Tuesday, 20 September 2022 07:16


Dauphin’s Boyd White and Kevin Thiele lost to Anthony Lee and Souk Xoum of Winnipeg in the doubles final at a tennis tournament in Clear Lake, Sept. 10 and 11.

White and Thiele had finished first in their pool, including a win over Lee and Xoum.

In the playoffs, they defeated another Dauphn duo, Patrick Furkalo and Kent Wiebe in the first round, then defeated the defending champions, Katherine and Sam Lee in the semifinals.

By M.A. Nyquist
For the Herald

The Dauphin’s Culture Days (DCD) committee kicked off its celebration of the 10th anniversary of Dauphin’s Yardfringe and another year of Culture Days activities, with a creative presentation to city council, Sept. 12.

Dauphin’s Yardfringe turns community yards into venues for the arts, where participants travel around by bicycle to actively celebrate culture in unexpected and obvious areas of the community.

Committee member Jean-Louis Guillas noted the group is quite excited about the milestone, adding it has been over a decade the community has participated in the national arts and culture event.

“We are really proud of coming up with a genuinely grassroots festival and celebration of local culture and talent,” he said.

Using a pechakucha format of 20 images of Dauphin’s Yardfringe each projected for only 20 seconds, the presentation celebrated the many people who have been involved over the years, ranging from dance groups, and artists, to community groups and members of the Watson Art Centre (WAC), Dauphin Public Library (DPL) and Fort Dauphin Museum.

“It really was a great chance to celebrate the number of people involved with our organizing committee,” Guillas said.

While all members of council congratulated the committee for the work it has done highlighting art and culture in the community, councillor Kathy Bellemare noted it has a broader role.

“Art goes a long way to uniting people and bringing joy,” she said.

Guillas reminded council Dauphin’s Culture Days 2022 will begin with Yardfest, Sept. 24.

Described as a moving musical adventure where participants are invited to once again travel by bicycle, Yardfest begins at 7 MacLeod Ave. W for some smooth jazz by Johnathon Pacey and friends at 4 p.m. A cycle to 311 Wellington Crescent at 5:15 p.m. that same evening will offer The Fret Shredders with Gary Procyshyn and Chris Flett.

Inspired by Dauphin’s Yardfringe, the event is designed for cycling the city to enjoy musical talent in a casual venue.

“We go around to backyards and meet culture where it lives,” Guillas explained, inviting people to pay a suggested $5 per concert.

The music does not stop that evening, he added, as the WAC is hosting a tribute concert of George Harrison’s music by the Route 10 Collective, at 7 p.m.

This is the first time the Route 10 Collective has made it up to Dauphin, Guillas noted, pointing out the group has been offering great tribute shows in Onanole for a decade, featuring many different artists from the area. Two locally connected musicians, Marc Clement and Bill Acevedo, known as The Handsome Fatties, will be part of the show.

“It’s nice to have local boys featured in the Collective. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to hear great music. They had nearly sold out shows for three nights in Onanole and are also going to Brandon. For the first time, they’re bringing the show to Dauphin and people should absolutely catch that, because there’s amazing musicianship. And it’s a really, really good show. I saw it earlier this summer,” he said, noting the tribute to Harrison will feature some Beatles music, Harrison’s solo work and music he did with British-American supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. Tickets are $30 each and are available at the WAC.

This is the second year of Yardfest with musicians who have been active in the community in leading, or encouraging other artists.

“And we wanted to give them a feature for that and also just remind people that Yardfest leads into Yardfringe the next day, which is our signature event. People love the surprise of Yardfringe that brings some kind of new activity each year,” Guillas said.

Part of the enjoyment of Yardfringe, he noted, is to join the bike cavalcade, discover new and creative activities or events in the community, with a fun group of people. This year the cyclists will not be divided into two groups and will move together as one group.

Get the FULL STORY in this week's Dauphin Herald!

Tuesday, 13 September 2022 07:43

New arena a big deal for Dauphin

By Ed Stozek
For the Herald

On the evening of July 29, 1951, a fire of unknown origin burst into flames and burned Dauphin’s skating rink to the ground.

The fire broke out at 9 p.m. and in 15 to 20 minutes the rink was totally engulfed in flames. In less than an hour the structure was reduced to a mass of twisted steel girders.

The rink was located next to the powerhouse on Front Street. (former liquor commission site) Owned by the municipality, it had been constructed in 1927 at a cost of $19,000. With a seating capacity of 1,500 the arena hosted a variety of hockey games, carnivals and other rink associated activities.

Immediately after the fire, members of the Dauphin town council met in an emergency session to discuss the building of a new arena in time for use for the upcoming winter and the ways and means of financing the project.

“Resolutions were passed by the Dauphin Town Council and the Dauphin Agricultural Society at a special meeting on Friday and Saturday and have opened the way for placing $86,000 into a fund this year for the construction of a livestock and skating arena with the organization being responsible for the building of the Dauphin Memorial Community Centre property for the centralization of community activities including new agricultural fair grounds.” (Aug. 9, 1951, Dauphin Herald)

At this time the agricultural society decided to postpone the moving of the fairgrounds to the DMCC property for a period of two years in order to give priority to the building of the arena.

It was interesting to note the progress of construction of the arena as reported in the Dauphin Herald.

The laying of the foundation started in early September. By mid-September preparations were being made for the initial delivery of the 33 wooden laminated arch shaped trusses manufactured at a factory in Boissevain.

The first two shipments, each carrying four complete trusses, were shipped in halves and arrived on Sept. 18.

The unusual trailer used to bring in the trusses, itself was made of parts of the arches to fit its load.

To raise the heavy arches, a supervisor from Boissevain, Jack Harvey, noted tripods almost as tall as the building were constructed. Tractors were used to pull the arches up by means of the tripods. Harvey anticipated that under ideal conditions a crew could erect four arches per day.

Near the end of September, a snow storm impeded the building progress as it was too muddy and wet to work. On Oct. 18 the last arch was lifted into place as work continued in the interior of the arena.

An appeal was made in early November to raise an additional $20,000.

“If money was not raised only a few seats may be constructed and large portions of the crowd would have to stand.” (Nov.r 1, 1951, Dauphin Herald)

A report on Dec. 6 revealed workers busy at all sections of the arena. The 15-member DMCC board was confident that the arena would be ready for the Dec. 10 official opening with seating for 2,000 hockey fans.

Tickets for the opening night program were being sold throughout the district. Plans were to have one of the doors open for ticket holders to expediate not having to wait in line behind patrons buying tickets on game night.

Prior to the game, players lined up on their respective bluelines for the official opening.

Al McKee served as the master of ceremonies. For the cutting of the ribbon he introduced Mayor Bulmore, Reeve Potoski, Howard Campbell, the president of the Dauphin Agricultural Society, and William Cruise, the chairman of the DMCC board.

The fans were also treated to a skating exhibition by figure skating club instructor, Joyce Clinton. A moccasin dance was also performed following the game.

“Playing their third game of the young season, Dauphin’s new livestock and skating arena rang with the cheers of the largest crowd ever to see a hockey game here Monday night as 2,652 screaming fans saw the Brandon Wheat Kings skate to an exciting 9-5 victory over the Dauphin Kings in an exhibition hockey match which marked the official opening of the arena.” (Dec. 13, 1951, Dauphin Herald)

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 07:03

Safeway has a long history in Dauphin

By Ed Stozek
For the Herald

In 1929 Safeway opened its first five Canadian stores in Manitoba.

Stores typically encompassed 1,000 square feet and customers bought only several days’ worth of food as quick-melting ice blocks were the standard source of home refrigeration. Customers provided a list to the clerks behind the counter who selected the items and bagged them. The cashier would then ring up the total and hand the customer the groceries and a carbon copy handwritten bill.

In the July 11, 1929 edition of the Dauphin Herald and Press an announcement confirmed that Safeway Stores Limited, an American chain store with headquarters in Oakland, California and branches all over Canada and the United States, was in the process of negotiating the purchase of a vacant lot on Main Street between the Burrows and the Malcolm Blocks.

Safeway’s policy included the construction of its own stores, “standardized for service and convenience and ten contracts for such have already been let in the city of Winnipeg.” By mid-September excavation had commenced by local contractors, the Craig Brothers, as they had secured the $15,000 contract to build Dauphin’s first Safeway store.

The official opening of the new store occurred on Friday, January 31, 1930.

“They are large immaculate, conveniently arranged, ultra-modern and complete food stores. Business is transacted on a strictly cash and carry basis. Stocks are complete and widely varied, consisting of known brands of highest quality and every item sold carries a money-back guarantee should it fail to satisfy.” (January 30,1930, Dauphin Herald and Press)

It was interesting to note some of the prices with Chuck roast at 15 cents per pound., a 24-pound sack of flour at $1.14 and three cans of pork and beans sold for 23 cents. Orders amounting over $3 included free delivery. At this time Safeway was promoting the buying of Canadian products to help solve the unemployment problem caused by the Great Depression.

“A purchase in a Safeway store is your contribution toward keeping men and women of Canada employed.”

Ad Balcaen started his career with Safeway in his hometown of Selkirk in December 1929. One year later he transferred to Winnipeg where he worked for nine years as a store manager. In July 1939, Balcaen was appointed manager of the Safeway store in Dauphin.

In 1959 he left Dauphin and spent 10 months at the Portage la Prairie Safeway supermarket. This proved as a valuable time to gain experience before coming back to operate Dauphin’s new Safeway supermarket location.

An investment of more than $300,000 had been made into the construction of the building featuring “new store equipment with wide, spacious aisles, automatic opening and exit doors, equipped with six modern check stands to speed customers on their way.” (July 13,1960, Dauphin Herald and Press)

The grand opening of Safeway’s new store location on the northeast corner of Main Street and Fourth Avenue North occurred on Tuesday, July 12, 1960. Shoppers were welcomed at the store with free gifts and many advertised specials.

Some of the free gifts included penny banks, needle kits and balloons. As advertised, “savings galore” included 10 tins of Taste Tells peas, beans with pork or Townhouse corn for $1. The meat sale included t-bone, sirloin and wing steak at 79 cents per pound.

In December 1967, after 28 years as manager of the Safeway store at Dauphin, Ad Balcaen retired. He continued as a member of the town council, as well as being involved with community activities including association with the Rotary Club, the Boy Scouts, and an advisory board member for the St. Paul’s Personal Care Home.

Eugene Derhak, who had completed 14 years of service with Safeway, was appointed as the new manager and Nick Chita became the assistant manager.

There have been many changes since 1929 in shopping habits, however, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, many customers avoided in-person shopping and reverted to phoning in their lists to the grocery store. Store personnel filled the lists with the needed items and readied them for deliverey to the customer’s residence.

We even started using good old-fashioned recyclable paper grocery bags again.

Where's my carbon copy handwritten bill?

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 08:54

On the podium

Dauphin’s Breken Brezden, pictured with Canadian men’s champion Keegan Messing, has had a busy and successful summer.

After competitions in Kitchener and Montreal, Brezden won a silver medal at an event in Mississauga this past weekend, recording a personal best in the process.

She is now preparing for the Sask Skate competition in Regina in October.

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