Prince Albert Tales
Sunday, June 24, 2018 was a day of tears, memories, laughter, great music, and hope. Wesley United Church, on the corner of 11th Street East and 1st Avenue East, held its final worship service. After 138 years of existence the Church’s congregation was officially disbanded. The church was full as many gathered to say goodbye. As stated above, tears and memories filled the sanctuary. A significant part of Prince Albert, seemingly, was about to cease to exist.
Readers of this column may recall swimming in a river or a creek and using a tree branch or a makeshift diving board to heighten the fun. But, how many have used a historical artifact as the base from which to project themselves into the water?
Well Dale Mcleod, a resident of Buckland for many years, did just that. In fact he used a ‘Fire Canoe’ for his diving board.
Carla Matheson, figure skater, issued this challenge to the Green and Gold Raiders as they stood along the end boards of the Communiplex Rink. What caused this throwing down of the gauntlet?
The last WHALE OF A TALE was prompted by Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond’s figure skating bronze medal at the recent Winter Olympics. As I marveled when Kaetlyn stood on the podium, I remembered that Prince Albert has its own skating Gold Medalist - Carla Matheson. How and when did this come about?
Fay and I sat mesmerized, as did countless other Canadians, watching Kaetlyn Osmond skate to a bronze medal at the Olympic Games. One could only marvel at the perfection, the intensity, and the skill demonstrated, especially, as the commentators pointed out, that Kaetlyn had suffered a broken leg in 2014, which at the time could easily have meant the end of any Olympic dreams. It did not. The Newfoundland/Labrador skater’s determination to overcome any and all adversities, had brought her to this moment.
I wasn’t very old. I don’t know how she managed it, but she did. My mother had a flair for recognizing an historic moment. There were six of us, ranging from 2 to 15 years old, but my mom got us all dressed up in our finest, herded us to Dewdney Avenue and loaded us on to the Streetcar. It was not just any Streetcar; it was the last Streetcar to make the circuit from Westend Regina to Albert Street South and back again. We all sat in the semicircle rear seat of the car, very well behaved, as our mother warned us within an inch of our lives to be so. Why? She told us that this was the end of an era - end of the streetcar era - and she wanted us to mark the event and remember it. It was a fun ride, a memorable ride. Good for you mom. I remember it!