June 22nd, 2024

Noteworthy: Tip of the cap to those who saved the Monarch Theatre

By Bruce Penton on October 25, 2023.

A true definition of a service club is undertaking projects to improve one’s community, and that’s precisely what the Rotary Clubs of Medicine Hat have done with the purchase, restoration and big future plans for the Monarch Theatre.

Frank Devine is president of the Monarch 1911 Society, which purchased the Second Street theatre from the city for $100,000. It was owned by the City Centre Development Agency until the city took it over when the pandemic hit. Devine said the planned restoration will aim to bring the theatre back to its glamour and status of the 1940s.

A reopening date hasn’t been announced, but a big tip of the cap to the Rotary folks for taking on this important project. Public support will be there, I’m sure. And the popcorn will be delicious.

– Who gets the credit for the S3 Group coming to Medicine Hat and setting up a plant to assemble motor and drying equipment for grain bins? Up to 100 people could be employed. Was it the Hat’s city council? The city’s economic development group? The generally favourable business conditions in Alberta? Wise thinkers around the S3 Group board table and CEO Richelle Andreas? My late father used to say, “It’s amazing what can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit” and he lived that motto to the fullest.

– Overheard in the Desert Blume pro shop last Thursday, as a foursome was paying for its round. “We came all the way from Regina, our courses are all closed there.”

Quick figuring said these four guys spent over $300 on golf, likely more than $100 on post-round food and beverages, and $75 for gas to return to the Queen City. That’s in the vicinity of $500 for Medicine Hat’s economy just because we have nicer weather than Regina.

– If you enjoy the sport of curling and wish to see it thrive in Medicine Hat, you won’t want to miss the Caring 4 Curling Fundraising Event on Nov. 18. There has been no curling since the end of the 2021-22 season due to brine line problems.

The city has since purchased the building and provided a no-interest loan to help the club return to operating status. The Nov. 18 event at the curling club features a steak supper, silent auction, a 50-50 draw, entertainment with two local bands (The Fox and Hounds and the Warehouse Cats). Tickets are $50 for everything, but $20 for the concert only ($25 at the door).

– It’s nothing short of a human tragedy to read that opioid overdose and drug poisoning deaths in Alberta totalled 937 through June and that 21 of those occurred in Medicine Hat. Shockingly, Lethbridge’s six-month drug-related fatality total in 2023 was 81.

– Gleaned from the news stories about the auto workers’ strike in the U.S. is that truck sales – especially the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado and the Dodge Ram – drive the industry by producing a per-truck profit of around $15,000.

– I love the City of Medicine Hat’s ongoing reminder that the less fortunate in our city can be helped by those citizens who really don’t need public aid, such as the $200 monthly rebates on upcoming utility accounts. The city’s website says “residents who do not need this support are encouraged to donate their relief amount to the Community Warmth program to assist those in need.”

I’m assuming some Hatters cringe at such a suggestion while others do it with a smile of satisfaction and love for their fellow man.

– Still can’t wrap my head around the thought that millions of Americans would apparently vote for U.S president a guy who suggests forest fires could be prevented by soaking the floors of forests.

– Surnames of the Doobie Brothers, who perform in Calgary tonight, are Toth, Pia, Simmons, Russo, Johnston and McFee, so no, I don’t think they’re really brothers. Just like the 1960s folk singing group, the Brothers Four, who were related not.

– It’s no secret that Costco’s corporate strategy is to continually move products around the store so customers, theoretically, have to scout every aisle looking for their favourite item, and might be tempted to buy something else they happen to see. But I was in a hurry last week, and my product of choice was not in any of its usual locations, and after a quick stroll down two aisles, I gave up and conceded defeat. So they lost a sale and annoyed a customer. Nice going, Costco.

Bruce Penton is a retired News editor. He may be reached at brucepenton2003@yahoo.ca

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