Monthly Archives: December 2013

Miners Update

Unity Miners

Unity Miners senior men’s hockey team celebrate a goal in a game December 18 against the Luseland/Dodsland Mallards.

Although the Unity Miners lost three of the four games they played in December and are only in fourth place in the standings of the six teams of the Sask West Hockey League, they have three players in the top 10 on the scoring leader board.

Mitch Nuemeier of the Luseland/Dodsland Mallards has 37 points and is the top scorer so far this season. In second and third place are Unity Miners Behn Robertson and Adam Shirley with 34 and 30 points respectively. Also in the top 10 is Michael Shirley, sitting in eighth place at 22 points.

Recap of December results

The Miners beat the Eatonia Huskies 4-1 December 6 in Unity. The next night they lost to Kerrobert 11-5. After a week and a half off, the Miners hosted the Luseland/Dodsland Mallards December 18, also losing that game 11-5. They travelled to Eatonia two nights later where they went down 7-3.

Unity Miners Dec. 18, 2013In most games, the Unity senior men’s hockey team outshoots their opposition – 38-34 in the December 20 Eatonia game, 34-29 in the December 18 Luseland/Dodsland game and 43-37 in the December 7 Kerrobert game. The goaltending for the Miners will have to improve if they are to move up in the standings in the New Year.

Gilbert Agencies

Gilbert Agencies sponsored a $10,000 Shoot to Win at the Miners’ December 18th home game. Shooters Scott Henning, Brayden Klein and Leah Anne Srigley were unable to hit the board, let alone the small hole in the centre. They had to take their shots from 114 feet, which was well past centre ice, beyond the opposing blue line.

Upcoming games

The Miners travel to Kindersley to take on last year’s champions and this year’s league leaders, the Red Lions, January 3. The next night, they will host the Kerrobert Tigers, who are currently at the bottom of the standings. Game time for the January 4 game in the Unity Community Centre is 8:30 p.m.

No paper Monday

Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays! Although there will not be another paper until January 6, 2014, the December 23, 2013 issue of the Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald has lots of reading in it and should carry you over the holidays! We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you all an exceptional 2014.

lights luther

Christmas issue Monday

‘Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!’ And Happy Holidays too,” so say the staff of the Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald. The offices in both Unity and Wilkie will be closed from December 24 to January 2nd, 2014. After Monday’s paper, the next paper will not come out until January 6th, 2014.

In the December 23rd issue, you can expect to see:

  • people sharing Christmas memories;
  • greetings from friends and neighbours who own or work at local businesses;
  • a children’s story and colouring pages;
  • a story on a Swedish farm trainee from the 1970s who returned to Unity for a visit earlier this fall; and
  • just for a change of pace, some thoughts on buying lottery tickets.Happy Holidays!

Provincial government launches

The Government of Saskatchewan’s new website,, is improving access to information and services for Saskatchewan people as well as those considering visiting or moving to the province.

The previous Saskatchewan government website at was created in 2006, before tablets and smartphones were commonly used. It has since grown to more than 400,000 pages of content and its size and complexity make it hard to find information and services.

Research with Saskatchewan people found that grouping information by related topics under the headings “Live,” “Work,” “Play” and “Government” will make the new website more user friendly, as it will be organized by Saskatchewan people’s interests rather than by government ministries. This change also reflects what Saskatchewan has to offer visitors, potential investors and people considering moving to Saskatchewan.

The new website uses analytics to track and promote frequently visited pages like the Highway Hotline, or where to find day care so the most sought after information can be highlighted and kept current.

The first phase of the website project was completed between June and December 2013. The $1 million cost of the project came from existing government website and IT budgets. is part of an overall program to enhance online services to citizens. The web project included planning for the new digital program, gathering citizen feedback into their wants and needs, selection and implementation of a new content management system, reviewing more than 400,000 pages of content on the current website, design for the new site including a more accessible and mobile-friendly site; build of the new website and testing of the new site.

Government will continue to transition content and services from to over the coming year. Both and will operate until the transition is complete.

Monday’s paper

The second last edition of 2013, articles and photos in the Monday, December 16 issue of the Press-Herald include:

  • a heart-warming story on a local boy awarded a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation;
  • a story on Unity’s long-standing Secret Santa program;
  • story and photos from the busy downtown activities at Unity’s Winter Wonderland event Dec. 5;
  • a look at this winter’s weather; and
  • the UCHS drama nights, the Miners’ report and more.
  • Displaying ww spa.jpg

The Singing Grandpas: Peter Sieben of Kerrobert, Ben Schneider of Tramping Lake and Gabe Kohlman of Major provided cheerful background music for the pleasure of Sunrise Wellness Spa visitors and shoppers during Winter Wonderland events in Unity Dec. 5.

Warriors’ year-end football banquet

Year-end awards for the 2013 football season were handed out at the UCHS football banquet Dec. 2. Team members, parents, coaches and other supporters of the Unity Composite High School Warriors football team attended the banquet and awards presentation.

The Warriors had what Coach Pat Orobko called a “very successful” year. The team made it into provincial playoffs as one of the top eight teams in the province in their category.

The students played a video with each player introducing himself and giving his number and position or positions played. Many players made the most of their opportunity to ham it up a little in front of the camera.

A video of highlights from the Warriors’ 2013 football season followed. Coach Pat Orobko commended Jonah Kopp and Darby Bisson on putting the video together.

UCHS football

Blake Robertson, Darby Bisson and double award winner Nick Anderson, in the back row and Ryan Donald, Jonah Kopp and double award winner Justin Gerein show off the awards received at the UCHS Warriors year-end football banquet.

The first award handed out went to Darby Bisson as most improved player. Orobko said Darby “took his game to a new level this year.”

The top offensive player was quarterback Blake Robertson, who was commended for his “football sense” and the use of both his arms and legs.

There were two recipients for the Heart & Soul award. Orobko listed qualities of “leadership, desire, motivation and the ability to inspire others” before he called up Justin Gerein and Nick Anderson to receive the award.

Justin returned to the stage to receive the MVP award. Orobko said he was “the player you need on the field as much as possible and the player you miss the most when he’s not on the field.”

Coach Martin Berg went to the microphone to announce the defensive awards, calling up Nick Anderson as the top lineman of the year. Berg noted Nick won the same award in 2012 and said he was “a noticeable presence in every game.”

Ryan Donald, a Grade 11 student, was named rookie of the year, with his versatility particularly noted. In the final game, Ryan was on the field not only with the defence as a linebacker but also filled in on the end of the o-line when the offence was on the field.

Jonah Kopp won the top defensive player award, with Berg saying Jonah had “really stepped up his game the last two seasons.”

After the awards, graduating players Ridge Klotz, Adam Wallace, Nick Anderson, Jonah Kopp, Darby Bisson and Justin Gerein, were recognized for their contributions to the team.

Heitts Plumbing and Heating

“In 1961, Uncle Ben Knorr started a plumbing and heating business in a small shop”, said Glen Heitt. Although long since outgrown, that building is still used today by Heitts Plumbing and Heating, for cold storage.

Brothers Glen and Larry took over the business in 1981, and today have 12 employees, including themselves. Stan Weber, a journeyman plumber, is the longest serving employee and a shareholder in the company.Heitts Plumbing and Heating

Glen’s and Larry’s wives, Wanda and Sheila can be found at the front counter, looking after customers and the books.

Glen and Wanda are avid curlers, competing each year in events that could lead them to provincial competition. Wanda has even competed nationally in senior women’s curling. Glen is president of the Unity Curling Club.

Larry and Sheila are also curlers but prefer the more recreational role.

The business offers residential and commercial plumbing, as well as all kinds of heating – forced air, boiler heaters, floor heating, radiant garage heating, unity heating and propane and natural gas heating. They also do residential and commercial air conditioning. They deal with farm well septic pumps and constant pressure pumps, water conditioning systems, whole house RO septic and have a complete line of service equipment for drain cleanings with a roto-rooter.

Heitts Plumbing and HeatingA variety of barbecues and accessories can be found in the showroom. They carry many “do it yourself” products to help out the handy man. They also carry, or can access, a full line of plumbing fixtures, taps, showers, tubs and steam showers.

One of their greatest strengths is personal contact with customers. They pride themselves on jobs well-done and seeing satisfaction from the people they work for.

They’ve been commended for the promptness of service calls – no matter the hour or day – when a furnace quits or a water heater stops working. Customers remark on the minimal impact their work has on a household, as Heitts’ staff are dedicated to ensuring as little disruption as possible.

Along with running their service-oriented business, the Heitts are known for sponsoring many community events and activities.

199 2nd Avenue East, Unity, Saskatchewan – 306-228-2441

Heitts Plumbing & Heating

Typhoon Haiyan – Unity rallies around the Filipinos

With the many smiling, friendly Filipino faces around town making this tragedy seem a little closer to home than half a world away, it didn’t take long for the citizens of Unity to respond to the crisis in the Philippines caused by typhoon Haiyan Nov. 8. The typhoon killed thousands of people and has displaced millions.

Some of Unity’s Filipinos were spearheading drives to assist people in their homeland, but their efforts were supplemented by many other individuals and organizations stepping up to help out.

Clothing, bottled water, blankets and other physical goods were collected and are on their way to the affected areas.

at Unity Public School

Mary Ann Cojuangco, collecting money for the babies of her Philippine hometown, poses with Morag Riddell, UPS teacher who organized a coin drive at the school.

Mary Ann Cojuangco lost her uncle in the storm, and her hometown of Catalogan in Samar province was hit. Tacloban is the largest city wiped out by typhoon Haiyan and much of the relief efforts are focused there but Catalogan is a long way from Tacloban.

She was worried about the babies of the town. With no milk available, the babies were being given coffee and so Mary Ann started to ask people for money that she could send to her common law to buy milk and other necessities for the babies and children of her home community.

Unity Public School students collected enough coins to spell out the word Philippines across the gym floor.

Unity Public School students collected enough coins to spell out the word Philippines across the gym floor.

Unity Public School held a coin drive and collected enough money to spell out the word Philippines in large letters on the gym floor. The Unity Credit Union sent staff to the school to sort and roll the coins, Nov. 22. The total amount collected and donated by UPS students and staff was $1,072; $300 of this was given to Mary Ann for the babies.

Mary Ann and her friends also organized a garage sale at Parkview Place Nov. 30. Staff and students from St. Peter’s School collected and donated many garage sale items for the event, as well as giving the proceeds from their November sub lunch sale to “help the babies.” Garage sale donations came from Parkview staff and other community residents as well. They raised $1,205.

garage sale

The garage sale organized by Filipino residents for typhoon relief efforts had a little bit of everything – Christmas items, clothing, household goods, toys, etc.

Mary Ann was able to send $1,750 to Catalogan Dec. 2.

Myrma Balagdas is another Unity resident whose family was affected by typhoon Haiyan. She knew her family might be in trouble when she was unable to reach any of her family for the first week after the storm. “I was very worried,” she said.

Thankfully Myrma’s family is all right but seven members and their families lost their homes, seven homes. There is nothing left; everything is broken. These family members, including Myrma’s nieces, nephews, two brothers and a sister, have moved into two remaining homes of relatives – making 21 people living in one house and 17 in another.

They’ve been told it will be three to five months before power is restored, which Myrma says makes it very difficult to communicate. Sometimes they make a trip to another city to charge their cellphones. They are using candles and gas for light.

Water is not a problem in Roxas Capiz but obtaining enough food to feed everyone is difficult. Although the government provides relief rations, it is limited per household. With all the extra people in the two houses, the food handed out is not enough. Meanwhile food prices have doubled.

Myrma said people in Unity, “Canadians and Filipinos both” gave her money to send to her family. She has already sent that money to the family and it was much appreciated as they try to survive and rebuild their lives.

Besides sending money directly to affected family and neighbours of Unity residents, community members and organizations have been making donations to the Red Cross, specifically targeted for Philippine disaster relief.

Unity Composite High School students organized a hotdog and cupcake sale, generating close to $900, which they sent to the Philippines through the Red Cross. Student fundraising for relief efforts is continuing through the sale of Knitwit toques.

St. Peter’s Parish had a special collection. The Knights of Columbus are also raising money to help out. The UCW, United Church Women, made a donation and held a well-attended stew luncheon Nov. 29 with proceeds marked for Philippine relief. The regular long term care monthly fundraising barbecue at the Unity Health Centre, also well-attended, donated their Nov. 29 proceeds.

Other groups, organizations and businesses along with many individuals also have helped with money and item donations. These examples are only examples – to show how the long-time Canadian and newer Filipino communities of Unity have rallied to help.

Donations for the Red Cross, specifically directed to Philippine typhoon relief, are still being accepted at the Unity Credit Union, as well as Luseland Credit Union in Luseland and Innovation Credit Union in Wilkie. The Canadian government will match all such donations made before Dec. 9, and the credit unions will continue to collect donations until Dec. 13.