June 15th, 2024

Noteworthy: Judging by its youth, the future of Medicine Hat is quite bright

By Bruce Penton on June 5, 2024.

The solid future of our city was on display Saturday when 22 Grade 6 students were honoured with Chief Gordon Earl legacy scholarships during an open house at the Medicine Hat Police Service.

Chief Earl passed away in 2008, but his memory is kept alive with the annual scholarships, which honour Grade 6 students who exhibit the best in integrity, respect, courage and accountability. In other words, good, solid citizenship.

Sometimes the ‘bad’ kids get more attention than the ‘good’ kids, but the ‘good’ kids – our city’s and country’s future leaders – always outnumber the others. You just don’t always hear about them. The Chief Gordon Earl scholarships, which consist of a small cash prize, a certificate and a gift card, is one way to recognize that the ‘good’ kids are out there and helping to contribute to a better city.

While the number of recipients in past years has been sporadic, the group this year consisted of one student from every Grade 6 class in the city. So who are these good kids? Ginger Shearlaw, Abby Andrews, Drew Cahoon, Rayelle Catiis, Raimyel Tablan, Isabella Marshall, Amelie Desgagnes, Abdullah Faisal, Lukas Thompson, Ayden Bentley, Aiden Fowler, Emmy St. Peter, Lexi Kleemola, Paityn Blenner-Hassett, Cameron Getz, Sophia Angeles, Avery Zadorozny, Lea Ponce, Abigaile Poncsak, Nepoleon Venkatesan, Nathanael Dyck and Naiyah Wright.

A great honour for some great kids. Hats off to the local police officials for carrying on the memory of Chief Earl with this outstanding program.

• Plans to visit Spectrum, a Sunshine Festival at Kin Coulee Park last weekend, got interrupted but a couple of times I drove up or down the College Drive hill, the congestion caused by people and cars was proof the event was well attended. Food trucks, bouncy castles, music and the chance to mingle and visit are always enough to attract a big crowd.

The weather was decent, which is not always the case for the Sunshine Festival. Not sure what year it was, but I remember a few years ago, Medicine Hat received a hefty dump of snow on the festival weekend.

• One event I did attend, however, was the documentary Your Cinema Needs You at the Monarch Theatre. Local filmmaker Luke Fandrich did a terrific job of telling the story of the history of theatres in Medicine Hat. I had no idea there were as many as six of them in the Gas City through the years, some built for vaudeville, some for motion pictures, some for touring performances, some for all three. The Monarch, built in 1911, is believed to be one of the oldest surviving movie theatres in Canada,

There was a crowd of more than 100 people the night I was there, and one of the people I bumped into at the popcorn stand was three-time Emmy award winner and Hat native Craig Wilson, a producer and writer for CBS News in New York.

• Short snappers: Hot news in the Hat lately has been about balloons – the Rise Up hot-air balloon festival, and the discovery by Global Helium, a Calgary firm, of a helium deposit near Medicine Hat. Until I read Collin Gallant’s story about the helium discovery, my knowledge of what the gas was used for started and ended with party balloons that flew away to outer space if let go, and making funny voices. But now I know that helium is used in the manufacturing of computer chips. … Another interesting fact in that helium story was that the value of 1,000 cubic feet of helium is several hundred dollars while the same amount of natural gas “fetches … several dollars.” … Has any business been built and opened quicker than the Straightline Volkswagen dealership al the corner of Thirteenth Avenue and Trans-Canada Way? Wow, from an empty field to the finished product in a flash. … Thousands of Alberta hockey fans – except for those who live in Calgary and area and only have love for the Flames – got their wish when the Edmonton Oilers advanced to the Stanley Cup final Monday night. It says here, though, that the Stanley Cup final loss suffered by Florida Panthers last year will work to their advantage this time around. But, I’ve been wrong before. … If somebody asked me what my favourite use of AI is, I’d offer a blank stare. … Drought threat reportedly still lingers, but it’s sure nice to see the area creeks flowing so robustly. … A sendoff for Vicki Sjolie, who is retiring as general manager of the the Medicine Hat Curling Club, was held last Sunday. Her replacement will have big curling shoes to fill.

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

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