March 4th, 2024

Noteworthy: Book the welcome wagon, we hooked one!

By Bruce Penton on December 20, 2023.

There are plenty of fans of our city, but most of them live in Medicine Hat. One of them who doesn’t, however, is Jocelyn Holden of Chilliwack, B.C., who loves our city so much she and her husband Miles are considering moving here.

After her mother-in-law moved to the Vermilion area, the Holdens visited her and then did a tour down south, which included Medicine Hat. They stayed at the Gas City Campground, “And we’ve been hooked ever since,” she said. Jocelyn said she loves Medicine Hat’s “history, architecture, amenities, parks, golf and bike paths.” She especially loves the bike paths because in an email to described them, she used capital letters.

To cement her love of the Hat, she ordered an online subscription to the Medicine Hat News and says she loves the “wonderful mix of local and national stories, sports, humour … compared to our local paper. … I believe a good local newspaper helps keep the community well informed and level headed as it can speak about the facts and multiple perspectives on those facts (Collin Gallant does an amazing job!).”

The plan, says Jocelyn, is to sell their acreage in Chilliwack and move in a couple of years to Medicine Hat, “assuming your premier/MLA doesn’t prohibit BC’ers from doing so AND you have enough water and doctors!”

“Time will tell but I hope we can make the move … there is so much to enjoy in your area.”

Maybe Mo Cranker, the project co-ordinator at Tourism Medicine Hat, could sign up Jocelyn and Miles for a promotional video.

– Not surprisingly, many people were upset – no, a better word would be enraged – when SafeLink Alberta, a harm reduction organization, had a booth at a health fair at Medicine Hat High School last week that made available to students pamphlets on various drug issues, such as the safest way to smoke crack or methamphetamine. To say it was ill-advised is an understatement.

Angry school division authorities felt blindsided, saying they had no idea about the content and insisting that in the future they be apprised in advance of all content at such events. In this case, the pamphlets were removed within an hour. However, the percentage of high school students who know absolutely nothing about crack or meth is close to, oh, about zero, so the pamphlets were rightfully aimed at those students who have made what society’s vast majority thinks is a poor choice: To experiment with a drug lifestyle.

It’s highly unlikely any student would look at those pamphlets and say, ‘Yippee, I can do meth, or smoke crack safely. Finally, they’re giving us guidelines.’

To put the blinders on and say drugs are not prevalent in our society – a scourge, but prevalent nonetheless – is similar to the ‘don’t say gay’ movement in Florida, where any references in books, pamphlets, speeches, etc., regarding LGBTQ is outlawed. Oh, and don’t tell high school students about condoms, either, because it might lead kids to start having sex. But you might wonder what’s next: Pamphlets on the safest way to rob a bank? The best way to cheat on exams without getting caught?

– Good luck and loads of happiness in retirement to Rita Bessant, moving on from her position after 43 years as executive director of Medicine Hat’s CORE Association. CORE supports adults with disabilities and their families with various programs and resources, so it’s safe to say Bessant and the CORE staff have positively impacted an untold number of individuals and families in Medicine Hat since the 1980s. A tea was held Monday to properly say so long and good luck to Bessant.

– Today’s a great day, because from today until the third week of June, our daily hours of sunshine start to get longer. The sun sets today at 4:23 p.m. It doesn’t slip past the horizon on June 20 until 9:36 p.m.

– Another musical treat at the Esplanade helped to brighten my weekend. After the Mahoney and Friends concert 12 days ago, Medicine Hat Concert Society’s two bands – Andante and Allegro under the respective direction of Mark Ward and Curtis Perrin – staged their annual Christmas performance (titled ‘On a Cold Winter’s Night’) Saturday evening. More than 500 music lovers took in the show, which is becoming a Gas City staple of the Christmas season.

Bruce Penton is a retired News editor who may be reached at

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