Monthly Archives: May 2014

Western Days this weekend in Unity – something for everyone

There will be something for everyone, as usual, at this year’s Western Days event in Unity, Saskatchewan.

Tonight, leave the cooking to the Westen chefs and enjoy a roast beef supper – all ages welcome – and find out who Unity’s Citizen of the Year is. 5:30 pm at the Agroplex.

Later on, take part in, or at least watch, the spirited bidding for the hats of the Local Celebrity Cow Riders and relax – or dance – to the music of HillBilly Blunt Revisited and Lonely J.

Tomorrow, Saturday, come on downtown for lunch. The Unity and District Chamber of Commerce will be manning the barbecue on 2nd Avenue, just east of Main Street, from 11 am on. Have lunch, check out the stores and then stake out your spot on the sidewalk for the annual parade, scheduled to start at 1 pm from the Unity Community Centre.

Unity Western Days parade

(See the Unity Credit Union ad on the last page of the May 26 Press-Herald for the parade route, but please note the parade will actually follow the route in reverse order!)

After the parade, you’ll have time for a siesta, some yardwork or shopping before the rodeo itself starts out at the rodeo grounds at 5:30 pm. This family-friendly entertainment will include cowgirls racing at top speed, directing their horses around barrels,  cowboys vying for the fastest calf roping times and the heart-stopping spills and chills of both bull and bronc riding.

The rodeo will include your friends and neighbours risking … well, maybe not life and limb, but probably limbs! … as they try to last eight seconds on an angry, bucking cow, determined to see its would-be rider face first in the arena dirt!

Unity Western Days, 2013

Participating in the Celebrity Cow Riding event this year are last year’s champion, Jaylon Kuhn, Miners’ Bob Davey and Michael and Adam Shirley, lady rider Shelby Ordynas and Trevor Senger, Cody Bosch, Kevin Martin and Dan Feser, along with some more of the Kuhn brothers.

Later leave the kids with a babysitter and come kick up your heels to the music of Longshot at the Western Days Cabaret Saturday evening, 9 pm to 2 am.

And don’t forget to buy your tickets from one of the four girls running for Rodeo Queen.

You don’t have to cook much this weekend! The Unity Baptist Church is providing a free pancake breakfast out at the grounds Sunday morning. Entertainment starts at 10:30 am, followed by breakfast at 11:45.

The weather forecast looks wonderful for the weekend, so chances are you can bask in the sun Sunday afternoon as you take in the second day of rodeo events, including the finals for the local Celebrity Cow Riders. Grab supper at the booth and you won’t even have to cook when you get home from the fun Western Days weekend!

Unity SK Western Days




First paper in June

Yes, June already!

As the 2014 graduating class at Unity Composite High School prepares for final exams and graduation, principal Maureen Robertson is also preparing for a new chapter in her life. After starting her career in education over 40 years ago, “Mrs. R” will be retiring at the end of this school year. Read about her career, plans for the future and the retirement event held for her at UCHS May 23 in the June 2 issue of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald.

Also in the next Press-Herald:

  • a story and photo from the big farm safety day held for area Grade 4 and 5 students at the Unity SK Agroplex;
  • results from the UCHS Junior High Track Meet;
  • the latest, and possibly last, SSAI newsletter; and
  • photos, ads and employment opportunities galore!

Below, Mrs. R , along with husband Don, stands to acknowledge the standing ovation given in recognition of her many contributions to education and the students of UCHS.

Don and Maureen Robertson

RCMP Reports for May 13 to 19, 2014


Police are investigating a complaint of uttering threats.

There was a vehicle rollover on Tako Road. Two of the five passengers sustained minor injuries. Poor road conditions were a contributing factor to the rollover. No charges were laid.

RCMP received a report of a missing youth. The youth was later located by his father.

Police attended an assault between two intoxicated males in Unity. A 29-year-old Medicine Hat man was charged with failing to comply with an undertaking.

A traffic ticket was issued to the driver of a semi that rolled east of Unity as speed was determined to be a factor in the rollover. The driver did not sustain any injuries.

A 20-year-old Saskatoon man was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle when police initiated a traffic stop as he was leaving a drinking establishment.

RCMP received a complaint that a sunroom lining was cut.

Police are investigating a fraudulent bank transaction that occurred through online banking.

A member mediated an argument between two neighbours in Landis.

A yellow bike was located in a resident’s yard in Unity but was later removed.

A white and black bike was found by Sperle’s Tire & Battery.

RCMP attended a house fire in Unity. The resident received burns to his arms, hands and face.

Adrien Dillabough of Unity, age 19, was charged with two counts of failing to comply with an undertaking when police initiated a curfew check after a vehicle was found abandoned with liquor inside in the town of Unity.

RCMP received a report of a vehicle colliding with a sign in front of the Bargain Shop. The vehicle driver agreed to pay for damages.

Police received a complaint of a male threatening suicide.

A vehicle was impounded following a traffic stop where police discovered the vehicle driver had a suspended licence. The driver received a warning and a traffic ticket.

There was a report of a theft of a bedroom suite from a residence. This matter is still under investigation.

There was one noise complaint and one false 911 call.

Persons with information about crimes being committed in the Unity/Wilkie/Macklin areas are urged to call the Unity RCMP detachment at 306-228-6300; the Wilkie RCMP at 306-843-3480; or the Macklin RCMP at 306-753-2171. If you wish to remain anonymous, you may also call Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or *8477 on the SaskTel Mobility Network. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $2000 for information which leads to the arrest of person(s) responsible for any serious crime. Crime Stoppers is anonymous and does not subscribe to call display, nor are your calls traced or recorded.

You can also submit a tip online at

Brewers to meet Cardinals in Unity tomorrow, May 27

The Unity Cardinals will host the Wilkie Brewers for their first baseball game of the 2014 North Saskatchewan River Baseball League season. The game will also be the first of the season for the Brewers.

A couple of familiar faces will be missing from the Cardinal lineup. Ryan Greenwald is recovering from shoulder surgery but hopes to be back as a contributing member of the team before the end of June. Keith Heitt’s new job will make it difficult for him to get to most of the games so he has elected not to return this year.

While they didn’t play last year, Daniel Feser, Scott Greenwald, Mike Ganter and Thomas Duhaime have all worn the Cardinal uniform before. Player/coach Regan L’Heureux says they “are back working around Unity so they are going to be suiting up.” Rhett Feser also hopes to be a more frequent contributor this year.

Rhett and Blake Robertson are both playing on midget teams out of town but with most of their midget games on weekends, they will join the Cardinals in NSRBL play when they can.

L’Heureux said, “Every year we set two goals. In league our goal every year is to qualify for playoffs, then take it round by round and go as deep as we can. In provincials our goal is to qualify for the provincial tournament, then we’ll challenge ourselves to repeat our championship performance from last year.”

The Brewers are coached by long-time player/coach Bye Braun.

Both teams are looking forward to the May 27th game, each anxious to get the jump on their rivals right off the bat.

Here’s a photo from last year’s season opener between the two teams:

Unity Cardinals hosting Wilkie Brewers

Monday’s paper

If you are not already a subscriber, you will want to be sure to pick up a copy of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald sometime the week of May 26. With Western Days coming up May 30-June 1 in Unity SK, the paper has all the details you need – time and locations of event, the parade route, prices of rodeo admission, etc.

Of course, that’s not all that’s in next week’s newspaper. You will also find:

  • coverage of the talk Holocaust survivor Eva Olsson made to high school students May 15;
  • details on Unity’s fifth annual Walk for Dog Guides;
  • information on zoning changes and a proposed digital billboard sign for Unity;
  • a list of contestants in Unity’s second annual Celebrity Bull Riding competition;
  • concerns of the Unity Health Care Auxiliary; and more.

Pictures too, of course, including some from the Revolution Dance year-end dance recital.

Revolution Dance far and away

African children’s choir here Monday

Helping Africa’s most vulnerable today so they can help Africa tomorrow

Can you imagine being on tour in a foreign country with 18 children between the ages of nine and 11, for an entire year? Nate Longstaff of England is in just that position, as a chaperone with the African Children’s Choir who will be performing in Unity, Saskatchewan, May 26 at the Unity Baptist Church.

Longstaff and his wife hosted two girls and a chaperone when one of the choirs was touring the U.K., 18 years ago. The Longstaffs sponsored one of the girls as she moved on to finish her education and they saw how her life changed. When the girl came back, now a chaperone herself, Nate felt a calling to work with the organization more closely.

Now he is riding a bus throughout Canada and the United States, with the 18 children who are this year’s outreach choir. The children themselves, Longstaff said, are well behaved and cause very few problems, although it is important for host families to know the children come from damaged backgrounds and so some topics of conversation need to be avoided.

Although there are some cultural differences, the bigger challenge is simply the logistics of being on the road for that length of time and liaising with the various churches who host their concerts. They perform at four or five different churches each week. Organizing all that, Longstaff said, is “a massive feat.”

african children's choir

The first choir was formed in 1984 when human rights activist Ray Barnett was struggling to help thousands of orphaned, abandoned and starving children during the civil war in Uganda. Ultimately he and his team decided the only way to cope was to simply help one child at a time.

On the African Children’s Choir website, Barnett is quoted as saying, “Inspired by the singing of one small boy, we formed the first African Children’s Choir to show the world that Africa’s most vulnerable children have beauty, dignity and unlimited ability.”

The proceeds from the tour of that first choir provided for the members’ own support and education as well as funding the building of an orphanage in Kampala. Longstaff said, in the intervening 30 years, some 60,000 African children have benefitted from a variety of life improving programs, including education, paid for from choir tour proceeds.

In a press release, the purpose of Music for Life – African Children’s Choirs is described as “to help create new leadership for tomorrow’s Africa, by focusing on education.”

Children selected for the choir are ambassadors for thousands of other vulnerable African children. The organization has scouts who go to various regions, to slums and to rural areas in seven different African countries.

In selecting choir members, the first criteria is need. Which children need help if they are to survive or thrive? Then, Longstaff said, the children are interviewed to determine who has “the greatest hunger to learn and to better themselves.” And finally, there are auditions to determine talent – singing, drumming and dance.

As for the concerts themselves, “People do not go home the same,” Longstaff said. He added attending an African Children’s Choir concert “changes your perspective on life. It provides the hope that is missing from Western culture.”

An older African Children’s Choir group performed in Unity two years ago. Resident Tomi Watt said, “It is difficult to put into words just how delightful and uplifting this concert really was.”

african children's choir

Longstaff said concert goers can expect an exciting performance with a variety of entertainment – singing, drumming and African dance as well as testimonials from the African chaperones on what the program has done for them.

To see the charming smiles and hear the beautiful voices and lively music that has been shared with such notables as Queen Elizabeth II and artists such as Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Michael W. Smith, be sure to attend this unique evening of entertainment, at the Unity Baptist Church, May 26, 7 p.m.

There is no charge to attend but a free will offering will be taken. By supporting these children, whether simply by your attendance and appreciation for their talents, or by making a donation, you can help this non-profit humanitarian and relief organization help Africa’s most vulnerable children today so they can help Africa tomorrow.

RCMP Reports, May 6 to 12, 2014

NOTE: Cut Knife RCMP are requesting the public’s assistance in solving an oil field theft of eight Weatherford hydraulic skids that are valued at approximately $4,000. The skids were stored on a farmer’s field near Baldwinton, Saskatchewan and theft occurred on or between November 2013 and April 2014. The hydraulic skids would only be useful in the oil patch and a picker truck or trailer with picker would have been utilized to move the skids. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cut Knife RCMP detachment at 306-398-3500 or Saskatchewan CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


RCMP received a report of an intoxicated female walking on the highway by Wilkie, Saskatchewan.

Police attended a truck fire on Highway 29 north of Wilkie. The vehicle had been reported stolen. North Battleford RCMP detachment is investigating.

There was a complaint of public mischief. This matter is still under investigation.

Members acted as mediators in an argument about material possessions between ex-spouses. This was deemed a civil matter.

Police received a report of four suspicious males attending a rural residence.

There was one false 911 call and one false alarm.

Unity/Wilkie/Macklin RCMP members, along with the North Battleford Police Dog Services, executed a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrant on a residence in the Brentwood Trailer Park in Unity, the early morning hours of May 8.

As a result of this search, three Unity residents, a 41-year-old female, a 35-year-old male and a 22-year-old male, are facing various drug possession charges, including possession of methamphetamine (crystal meth), possession of cannabis marihuana and possession of cocaine. The 22-year-old is also charged with possession of a prohibited firearm. The three Unity residents were released on conditions and are to appear in provincial court in Unity June 16.

Unity RCMP detachment hosted a training exercise for members of the North/Central District RCMP Containment team in Unity May 12.

training exerciseUnity was selected on this occasion as members from the local detachment are part of this team. This training scenario selected for this exercise was that of a hostage-taking. The training exercise involved the deployment and tactical operations of containment team members to result in the successful resolution of the event.

The Unity RCMP would like to apologize to any residents of the community who were alarmed by this training exercise. The purpose of the training is to ensure the policing services provided by the local RCMP detachment is maintained at the highest standard.

training exercise

Tentative agreement received with Saskatchewan teachers

The Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee and the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) have reached a tentative provincial collective bargaining agreement, according to a press release issued by the Government of Saskatchewan May 15.

The offer includes a total compensation increase of 7.3 per cent over four years as well as a $700 pro-rated payment in the first year.  There will be funding for teachers in years three and four of the agreement in recognition of associated fees upon the establishment of a new teacher regulatory and disciplinary body in Saskatchewan.

“The Saskatchewan School Boards Association and government representatives have worked hard on this agreement with the STF,” Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee spokesperson Connie Bailey said.  “We are hopeful that this agreement will be ratified by the parties involved.”

The agreement deals with articles that are required by legislation to be bargained provincially by the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee and the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation.  A commitment has also been made to address other important matters that fall outside of the agreement and bargaining process, including issues such as student and teacher time and developing a common understanding of the expectations put upon teachers.

Unity’s Rodeo Queen contestants

Unity Western Days is fast approaching – May 30, 31 and June 1 – and that means our rodeo queen contestants are out and about selling tickets.

Each ticket you buy is a vote for the girl of your choice to be the 2014 Rodeo Queen. Tickets are only $1 each and will also be entered into a draw for $500, $300 and $150 Chamber bucks to spend at any store in Unity which is a Unity and District Chamber of Commerce member.

This year’s rodeo queen contest is a little different – only one girl from Unity SK is running, Sharlee Zazalak. Joining her are Shawna Meier from Tramping Lake, Luseland girl Philmena Evans and Cut Knife’s Tiffany Rea. Look for your opportunity to buy tickets in these communities, as well as from the contestants themselves. In Unity, tickets can be found at Our Drug Store and the Press-Herald office.

Rodeo Queen Contestant

Sharlee is 16 years old and in Grade 10 at Unity Composite High School. Her sponsor is the Unity branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Although she has seven older siblings, she’s the only one left at home, living on an acreage between Unity and Wilkie with mother Helena Long and step-dad John Gottschalk.

She’s  grown up around animals and loves spending time with them, including the current  goats, chickens, cats, dogs, horses and a duck.

In her spare time, she enjoys drawing, listening to music, snowboarding, playing basketball and spending time with horses. Sharlee wishes the other contestants luck, and hopes to see you all at the parade and the rodeo.

Rodeo Queen ContestantPhilmena is 19 years old and lives on a farm outside of Luseland. Her sponsor is Luseland Wild Life. She works at Luseland Family Foods. Her parents are Tammy Schroh and Craig Evans. She grew up in Ruthilda with three siblings, moving to Rosetown at 15 and Luseland when at 18. When she turned 19, she worked on a cattle ranch for the summer.

In her spare time, Philmena enjoys riding her horse and training horses. She saved her horse, Lucy, from a meat buyer when Lucy was four and trained her for barrel racing.

Philmena also wishes all the other girls good luck!

Rodeo Queen ContestantShawna attends Luseland School. She is 18 and lives on a farm just outside of Tramping Lake. Her father is Patrick Meier, a full-time farmer. She is “super excited “to be running for Rodeo Queen on behalf of Luseland OK Tire.

When not working part-time at the Golden Prairie restaurant in Luseland, she is at home, nursing sick calves or tackling one or two for an ear tag or needle. She spends lots of time in the months of April and May working with her 4-H calves. If not busy with the cattle, she’s working with her two horses.

Off the farm Shawna is the president of her school’s SRC, captain of the volleyball team and she referees volleyball games when needed.

Shawna loves rodeos and her dream is to one day be able to barrel race in rodeos. She wishes all the other contestants good luck and looks forward to seeming them at the rodeo!

Rodeo Queen ContestantTiffany and her fiancé farm just south of Cut Knife. They have a grain farm and are very active in the Cut Knife Community. Sponsored by Red Leaf Landscaping, she is a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful children and has also worked as a special care aid at Battlefords District Care Centre. She loves sharing lively discussions with the elderly who “have a wealth of knowledge to share.”

She believes she is meant to work with horses and has been active in 4-H, both as a member and a leader, and takes part in team penning with Rocky, her blue roan quarter horse.

Tiffany has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in Saskatoon and Search and Rescue in the Battlefords as she believes giving back to your community is tremendously important. Excited about running for Rodeo Queen, she too wishes the other contestants good luck.


The May 19th Press-Herald

As always, the next issue of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald will keep you informed about what has been going on AND what will be going on in your local Saskatchewan communities! Check out the May 19th issues for:

  • local recognition of National Police Week;
  • an opportunity to help those with Crohns and colitis;
  • details on Delta Co-op’s latest expansion plans; and
  • a look forward to the Cardinals’ 2014 NSRBL season.

Then there’s the police report, a review of St. Peter’s School dessert theatre evening, the top 10, an editorial about using children’s pictures online and of course ads – ads for events, ads for specials, ads for important information such as changes to zoning bylaws.

And yes, we think perhaps spring has truly sprung, at last! Found these pussy willows last Friday, May 2, while out enjoying a sunny day.

Signs of spring