Monthly Archives: February 2015

Positive first impressions of Unity

What do visitors think of Unity, Saskatchewan? What’s the first impression our town makes on those just passing through or popping in for a quick visit? Are there things about our community — positive or negative — a traveller or guest notices that we have become so used to seeing, it’s no longer on our radar?

Answers to those questions were sought in August, 2014, when the Town of Unity and the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce took part in the Saskatchewan Economic Development Association’s “First Impressions” program. “Volunteers from two somewhat similar communities agree to do unannounced exchange visits and then report on their findings. Participants become ‘secret shoppers’ for the day to discover what they can about their sister city,” explains SEDA’s website.

Under the guidance of Carey Baker, economic development officer for the Town of Unity, Unity and Maple Creek were partnered up and one sunny day towards the end of August, eight individuals from the Town of Maple Creek descended unannounced upon the Town of Unity.

A comprehensive written report on their “first impressions” has now been received from the Maple Creek visitors. In this first of a three-part series on the First Impressions program, we will look at what these visitors saw as strengths and positives about Unity.

For the most part, the First Impressions participants were impressed with how clean and tidy our town is, along with the green space we have.

Some comments along this line included: “lots of green space & wide streets;” “town was very neat and tidy — streets, houses, yards;” “drove every street, only two residential lots were unkempt;” “despite being overwhelmingly the first thing one experiences upon arrival in Unity, the industrial areas and facilities are remarkably well maintained and landscaped;” “residential parks are peaceful & well maintained;” and “Parkview Place seniors’ housing impressed me in a positive way because of its beautiful grounds which includes benches, flowers, vegetable garden, & fruit trees.” Although school was not yet back in session, it was noted the grass was mowed in all the school playgrounds.

Of course the regional park with our ball diamonds was also referenced. One person said, “I was blown away by the ball diamond complex. It is vast and elaborate with amazing infrastructure from bleachers to scoreboards & announcer’s booths, to concession stands. The quality of everything was exquisite. Given the scale and immaculate condition of the baseball diamond complex, it appears as though Unity takes its baseball very, very seriously.”

Town of Unity ball diamonds

Another site which garnered a very favourable reaction was Pleasant View Cemetery. “The cemetery was spectacular! The setting amidst the wheat fields, the metal gateway arch, the landscaping design, the perimeter spruce rows, and the grooming. Easily the most beautiful, best landscaped, and most amazing cemetery I have seen.”

Pleasant View Cemetery

Along with the praise for the cleanliness of the town and the green space, our downtown murals were enjoyed by the visitors. One person said, “The murals made the downtown very striking, especially those on the fronts of buildings like the Funeral Home.”

In the report summary, four items were listed as the most outstanding feature of our community: community pride, murals and green space, the cemetery and the baseball diamonds.

Along with those things, positive feedback was received about residents’ access to health care. It was noted Unity has a resident dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, massage therapists, doctors and “seniors’ housing for all levels of care.”

The availability of other professional services in town such as banks, credit union, accountants, lawyers and financial planners was also commented on.

Other highlights mentioned in the evaluation by the volunteer visitors were the dog park, KC Rescue — “what a fantastic undertaking for a community of this size” — the “OpportUNITY” slogan and signage, the Courtesy Car and the cenotaph — “extraordinary!”

Cenotaph, Unity, Saskatchewan

Businesses of note included Country Pantry, Found Treasures, Wildeman’s Sports Excellence, Chase Pilates and “the crystal store,” most of which were referenced in several parts of the report including in answers to questions such as “what … would bring you back?”

Another noteworthy business was Maljan’s Shoe Repair. “The cobbler’s shop on Main Street was like stepping back in time. What a great business to still have operating within the community!”

The North American Lumber store building was a highlight: “Loved the lumber yard! What an incredible example of that era of lumber yard architecture with the central hardware shop and the two drive-through lumber sheds on either side … Modern tin aside, the building is a gem.”

Prior to the visit, the Maple Creek people had checked out the town and other websites. The town website received a number of favourable comment, including specific mention of the business directory and of the website in general being “easy to use.”

One person’s wrap-up comment about Unity was “It was different than I expected. I had expected it to look much  more tired and rundown, and it was crisp and clean.”

Perhaps these fresh eyes looking at our town will remind us all to stop and consider ho much our community has to offer both to residents and to visitors. That being said, no town is perfect, of course, and Unity is no exception, according to our “secret shopper” visitors. Stay tuned – next week we will post a summary of their suggestions for improvement.

Another jam-packed paper

Not only will the February 9 issue of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald feature a wide variety of stories, it includes the always popular Babies of 2014 feature! Along with three pages of cuteness, you’ll find:

  • a story on a local weightlifter setting new provincial records;
  • photos and details from the Luseland wildlife dinner;
  • a piece on the beginnings of the Unity museum; and
  • the second article on visitors’ “first impressions” of Unity – where there is room for improvement.

Then there is the RCMP Report, hockey news, more movie reviews, a special Valentine’s Top 10 and more. Don’t miss one of our most popular editions of the year!

Babies of 2014

Nominations open for Premier’s Service Club Award

Nominations are open until Tuesday, February 17 for the second year of the Premier’s Service Club Award.

“Service clubs and fraternal organizations make our communities better places, which improves the quality of life for all Saskatchewan residents,” Premier Brad Wall said.  “I encourage all citizens to nominate one of these dedicated organizations which are so deserving of our gratitude for the work they do.”

This award was launched in 2013 to recognize service clubs and fraternal organizations which are ineligible to receive group recognition under other current provincial honours and awards programs.  Up to four awards will be given annually.

For a nomination form and a list of eligible organizations:

The inaugural recipients of this award were the Balgonie Elks No. 572; the Kipling and District Lions Club; the Meadow Lake Kinsmen and Kinettes; and the Young Fellows’ Club of Weyburn.

RCMP Reports for January 13 to 19, 2015

UNITY SK RCMP REPORTS for January 13 to 19, 2015

A cellphone was located by an individual. RCMP confirmed the owner was contacted and the phone was returned to the owner.

RCMP received a report of a traffic collision with a stopped train on Cemetery Road by Unity, Saskatchewan. The collision was caused by icy road conditions. No charges were laid.

Police received a complaint of a break and enter at a residence but it was unfounded.

There was a report of a suspicious person by the fibre optic box near the train track on Vera Road. Members patrolled but the individual was gone on arrival. CP Police did not report any damage to equipment.

RCMP received a request to locate an individual. Individual was located safe and unharmed.

There were also two traffic complaints.

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 $2,000 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

Can the Unity Miners repeat?

With the regular Sask West Hockey season over, playoffs are set to begin February 6. Finishing in sixth place in the league, the Unity Miners take on the third place Kindersley Red Lions in the first round of playoffs.

Last year, similarly sitting near the bottom of the league standings, the Miners pulled off a surprise upset and knocked out the then reigning league champion Red Lions. They then carried on through the playoffs, ultimately winning the SWHL 2014 championship. Can they repeat?

The Miners travel to Kindersley SK Friday, February 6 and play at home Saturday, February 7 at 8 pm.

Below are scenes from Unity’s last home game of the regular season, co-incidentally also against the Kindersley Red Lions. The game, played January 24, ended with a 3-1 victory for the Kindersley team.

Unity Miners, seniors men's hockey miners boards miners puck battle miners around the net miners faceoff puck miners pushing and shoving miners shoot or pass miners surrounded