1986 - 1987
(This is the lowest enrollment since 1970, possibly because of economic conditions and possibly because the brethren do not consider that Christian education away from home is of vital importance.)
Gift Night: $65,000
Forty years ago, on September 16, the first high school classes began at the college in its first building on the outskirts of Radville, Saskatchewan. On that first day, six students and one teacher comprised the charter group. The students were Kay and Beverley Johnson, Pauline Perry, Bernice Peterson, Harold Orr and Raymond Lock. I was the teacher. A few days later five more students joined the group. Thus we had 11 students enrolled in the four grades at Radville Christian College.
Now 40 years later, I am more convinced than ever of the vital importance of Christian education in a school situation.
Weston Walker has joined our staff this fall as teacher in the Bible department. He has just recently completed his second Master's degree from Abilene Christian University (Master of Arts in Bible 1985, Master of Divinity 1986).
His wife Judy has a Bachelor of Science in home economics from the same university and has been teaching in Texas during the past three years. Weston's parents live in Washington state while Judy hails from Denver.
Karen Peterson who has cooked at Western for two years assumed the position of cafeteria manager this fall. She has the honour of being the youngest cafeteria manager that Western has ever had, but rumour says she is doing very well.
At lectureship Dan Wieb inspired us with his dream of Western's future. "By 1990 we have a dream that the college will be occupying its new Student Life Complex, will be debt free and will have 170 students," he said.
To fulfil the dream, he had begun to organize a campaign among members of the church in the United States in April, 1986. Four Canadians, all alumni, living in Texas were persuaded to become the volunteer U.S.A. committee. They are Lynn Anderson '55, John C. Bailey '53, Walter Straker '53 and former president Glen Dods (1974-77).
The board of directors have authorized the retaining of Webco, an Abilene, Texas based public relations firm to inaugurate a campaign to raise the needed funds and to work with the volunteer executive committee. Dr. John C. Bailey '53 of Bedford, Texas is chairman of the executive committee; Shirley Lewis Straker '53 is secretary to Walter Burch of Webco.
During the summer, Webco and the committee have been enlisting other members to the U.S.A. leadership team. These included: Clinton Brazle, Mike Brazle, Reuel Lemmons, Dr. Howard Norton, Landon Saunders, Dr. John C. Stevens. Webco and the executive committee have also been initiating advance gift solicitation, producing campaign materials and planning a series of fall and winter nation-wide fund-raising dinners.
In addition to mapping out plans, Webco has produced a pamphlet, "Commitment to Canada, Campaign of Vision, Case Statement" (August 1, 1986), and a twenty-minute audio-visual show, "A Sun is Rising in the West" and a number of issues of "Canada Calls" (a news report to send to those on their mailing list).
The first meeting of the volunteer leadership team convened at the Amfac Hotel at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport at 3:30 p.m., on Thursday, September 25. Dr. John C. Bailey chaired the meeting and the speakers were Dr. Stevens, chancellor of A.C.U., Reuel Lemmons, editor of Image and Dr. Howard Norton, editor of Christian Chronicle.
In the evening at a dinner attended by 85 guests, it was announced that $135,000 in cash or pledges had been collected. This amount included the advanced gift solicitation done by Paul Brazle and others. Because this sum amounted to approximately $200,000 in Canadian funds, we considered the campaign off to a good start. At the dinner J.C.Bailey (Sr.) and I were presented plaques in appreciation of our roles in the founding of the college.
Lynn Anderson's after dinner speech was entitled, "A Call to Commitment." There was an air of dedicated purpose and a sense of walking into history as the activities of the evening called us to commitment to Christian education and to the campaign that will be a deciding factor in Western's future.
During my five-day sojourn in Texas, I enjoyed the gracious hospitality of Wayne and Janice Boatwright '71 Pringle. I even attended a Ladies' Retreat with Janice at Granbury, Texas where the main speaker was Rita Brown who came to North Weyburn in 1987 to speak at the college lectureship.
At the annual lectureship in October, 1986 that drew more than 1,200 people, the theme was "Never Give Up." On gift night, Dr. John C. Bailey '53 from Texas lectured on the topic, "Never Give Up On Christian Education." One important statement of his lecture was, "This is not the time to give up on Christian education. We just now found out that it works." Later he told his audience, "We're supporting your school. We want you to make a commitment to Christian education as well." The college received $65,000 in cash and pledges.
Lynn Anderson '55 with the topic, "Never Give Up On Yourself' and Walter Straker '53 with the topic, "Never Give Up On the Family" are two other members of the Canadian connection in Texas who spoke at lectureship.
When I recently read the Texas publication, "Commitment to Canada," I became aware of an interesting statistic about Western. The publication stated that alumni of the college have been or are spreading the good news of the gospel in more than 20 countries of the world. The publication listed only the countries but I am proud to include in this Diary the names of the students involved:
Some missionary apprentices - listed in Appendix
Blair and Susan Roberts
Roy and Rita Davison
Over thirty missionary apprentices - listed in Appendix
David and Heather McMillan
Cecil and Lavine Bailey
Dwight and Judy Morris
Eric and Pam Nyrose
Peter and Lydia Fawcett
Robert and Sharon Parker
Will and Nancy Hart
Elaine Start Hart
Scott and Cindi Roberts
Dean and Kay Hotchkiss
John and Jane Smith
Alvin and Bernice Johnson
Walter and Shirley Straker
Magnar and Joan Knutson
David and Shirley Lidbury
Bruce and Grace Tetreau
Ray and Elizabeth Lock
Glen and Nancy MacDonald
Betty Bailey Watts
Jim and Alice Williams
Ray and Ellen McMillan
Don and Diana Henson
Donna Kemp Cottell
Karen Bell Duffy
Roy and Rita Davison
John and Carolyn McMillan
Ray and Ellen McMillan
Robert and Sharon Parker
Roger and Helen Peterson
Magnar and Joan Knutson
Papua New Guinea
Bill and Vi Bell
David and Heather McMillan
Gordon and Ruth Goldsmith
Ray and Elizabeth Lock
Miriam Thiessen Kerr
Mike and Debbie Bolton
Mike and Carolyn Steiner
Walter and Shirley Straker
Jim and Alice Williams
Mabel Rogers Bailey
Betty Bailey Watts
Mabel Rogers Bailey
During this school year, the "privilege system" is being introduced into the "ticket" method of acquainting the dormitory directors with problems that may be arising among the students.
The practice of giving pink tickets for rule infractions has been in existence for at least 15 years. These tickets were of value to the dormitory director to discover a student's particular problem area or the degree of a student's cooperation. However the system did not encourage positive, cooperative living in the school community. With the introduction of the privilege system, the attitude of many students improved. I shall give you an example how the privilege system works. If a student receives no pink tickets during one nine-week reporting period, he/she will have permission to go to town during the week without consulting the dormitory supervisor, along with other privileges. In the system there are other categories besides the zero ticket one and each category carries its special privileges.
In a later report about the privilege system, Marge Roberts writes: "The students see clearly the relationship between their own acceptance of personal responsibility and their level of freedom of choices with their time and activity. There has been a drastic reduction in the number of tickets given. A large majority of the students are consistently in the privilege categories."
In addition to the privilege system two other programs were introduced to the students in the fall of 1986, by Marge Roberts, dean of student life. They are the Service Program and the Life Skills Program.
In the Service Program, all students are required to participate to the extent of two hours each week. They have a choice of participation in such categories as big brother/big sister, visiting the elderly, teacher helpers, cafeteria, church, and maintenance helpers. Each group has a staff sponsor and the sponsors report to the parents each semester. The students change groups each semester.
Under the direction of Marge Roberts the Life Skills Program is organized and administered by the dormitory directors. Upon request by Karen Close, the program was allotted a specific time on the time tables of the students. Although the dormitory directors do much of the life skills teaching, they also invite guest speakers and use films or videos. The curriculum includes topics of spiritual growth and emotional development. Some topics discussed: housekeeping, personal hygiene, appearance, respect for authority, courtesy, stewardship, sexuality, marriage, coping, and current issues.
Carolyn Kerr, a grade 12 student from Stoughton played in the flute section of the Saskatchewan Provincial Honour Band in October.
Randy Murray of North Weyburn was selected for the Provincial Midget Volleyball Team for the 1986-87 season.
Four students (Lisa Jacobs, Kathy Lidbury, Michael Muller, Nathan Pennington) dressed as Dickensian carollers and entertained in the Weyburn mall several times before the Christmas holiday. They also sang at the thirty-third Quota Club Carol Festival.
Walter Straker '53 of Abilene, Texas, has been chosen as full-time director for Western's U.S.A. campaign to raise the $1.5 million required for our Student Life Complex. His service experience includes more than 23 years as an evangelist in Canada and U.S.A., nine missionary trips to India, and 19 years on Western's Board of Directors.
It is interesting to note that the four alumni who are devoting so much time in this fund-raising campaign have all been chosen as alumnus/alumna of the year: Shirley Lewis Straker in 1972, her husband Walter in 1970, Lynn Anderson in 1964, and Dr. John Carlos Bailey in 1978.
Mr. Wieb has said, "Our board has agreed to sign the building contract if we can generate an additional $800,000 in gifts and pledges by January 31, 1988."
At the college talent show on February 27, the audience was intrigued by Norman Straker's wooden dancing puppet.
A perennial favourite at Western's talent shows is the pantomime, "The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter" presented this time by the Ensleys, Olsons and Walkers. My first contact with that skit was at Normal School in 1928-29, and possibly I have witnessed its performance 25 times since then and each time derived much enjoyment.
In addition to fund-raising dinners in the United States for the Student Life Complex, a number of fund-raising dinners have been held in the four western Canadian provinces to assist with the operational expenses at Western.
A series of eight dinners was given in Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia in the months of December and January. These were in Winnipeg, Carman, Brandon, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Burnaby and Nanaimo. Following the December-January dinners, $162,500 had been raised. This was 65 percent of the total required by the operational fund.
Six dinners in March and April were planned for Western's home province in Regina, Weyburn, Gravelbourg, Estevan, Saskatoon and Wawota.
Weyburn's dinner was held in McKenna Hall on March 27, with Garth and Cheryl Oberkirsch acting as hosts. At the Weyburn dinner 92 people donated or pledged $16,500 to Western Christian College, bringing the college to within $2,000 of its fund-raising goal for the 1986-87 operating expenses. This sum is the largest sum donated at any one dinner so far. With three fund-raising dinners in Saskatchewan yet to go, Mr. Wieb announced that the college will over-reach its goal and be able to start reducing its deficit.
So far each province has given more than targeted. Those goals include $30,000 from Alberta, $37,000 from British Columbia, $40,000 from Manitoba, $4,000 from the North West Territories and $120,000 from Saskatchewan.
The college slogan in the fund-raising campaign is "We have a dream to build the Student Life Complex, get Western debt free and to raise the student body to 170 by 1990."
Lynn Anderson, minister of the Highland church in Abilene, Texas and son of our own Lawrence and Mary Anderson was the guest speaker at the Weyburn dinner. Dreams were also his theme. "Human beings need dreams," he said, "and the school is on the verge of a great dream here in Weyburn. Everything big began with a dream" and then he mentioned people like Columbus, Edison and Beethoven. Speaking of the college, Lynn concluded, "It's a dream we cannot let die."
The jazz band under the direction of Sandy Ensley performed at the dinner.
Among the 18 college students honoured at graduation on May 8, was Shirley Russell, the first woman recipient of the Bachelor of Theology degree. In her comments at the exercises, she advised women to consider the value of taking the three-year Bible program. "Although many people think the program is only for men," she said, "women today have just as many contacts with non-Christians as men." Shirley soon begins work with the church in Regina.
The annual youth rally had a different feature this year too. There were the usual speeches (Kelly Carter from Victoria), bonfire devotionals, presentations by band, jazz ensemble, Sonshine and a musical (Finian's Rainbow directed by Cheryl Geiger and Karen Kristianson). In addition, there was an Alcohol and Drug Seminar for adults conducted by Lance Penny of Medicine Hat, Alberta. Many adults bring their teenagers to the youth rally and of late years many alumni have started returning to the campus that weekend. Youth rally has become almost a second homecoming. The seminar was well received.
Only two staff members are leaving this year in June. Karen Taylor Peterson '80 resigned as cafeteria manager because her husband Glenn had accepted a position with Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation in Regina. Dwight Willett '72 resigned because he plans to study toward his Master's degree in business administration at the university in Saskatoon.
James Willett retired officially from teaching but expects to continue teaching part-time at Western this fall. He started his teaching career 40 years ago in Texas and has taught all but three years since then. He taught in several schools across the south- central United States before coming to Western Christian College in 1967. At the annual superannuation banquet of the Weyburn Teachers' Association, he received an engraved school bell from the Weyburn Teachers' Association.
1987 - 1988
Gift Night: $40,000
High School Fees: $4,640
Bible & College Fees:
Tuition: $62 (per semester hour)
Room Rental: $385 (per semester)
Board: $760 (per semester)
Bill and Lynn Earnshaw are the new teachers in the high school department. They have recently been granted their B.A. and B.Ed. degrees from the university in Winnipeg.
Bill moved to Canada from Australia in 1983, and has spent most of his time at university or working in the library. Lynn is an English teacher from Singapore, who met Bill at university. They were married in Winnipeg, in 1986.
At Western Bill teaches physical education and Bible while Lynn teaches English and science.
Luci Gainer came from Campbell River, B.C. to work at the Morgan Cafeteria. At Campbell River she had operated a Respite Care Home for handicapped children in her own home. Luci has two children, Eroca, who graduated from grade 12 at Western this past June and Dougal who is in grade 10.
Matthew Jackson has been employed by the elders of the Weyburn church to teach in the college Bible department. Matt and his wife Pam with their children, Amber (5) and Shiloh (2) come from Minneapolis, where Matt has been working as a vocational missionary with the Metro Church of Christ. Matt has a Master of Arts degree in Bible and Missions from Abilene Christian University.
Vince Anderson, who is teaching at the college this semester, will become a full-time minister with the Weyburn church in January.
Jim Pennington has been granted a one semester leave of absence to attend classes in Regina at the university and at the Canadian Bible College.
Another of the pioneers of the college has gone to his eternal reward. Hjelmer E. Peterson, one of the five original members of the board of directors, passed away in the Weyburn hospital on September 18, in his 89th year.
Brother Peterson had served on the board for 10 years. As we had only student janitors in those early years of the college, we were pleased that he lived on a farm only 10 miles from Radville and could be called upon to make emergency repairs. He and his wife Margetta often entertained the entire student body at their home. Three of their children have been employed at the college: Ruth (now Bailey) cooked (1947-48); Robert was plant manager (1979-81); and Roger except for five years educational leave was on the teaching staff (1951-1979).
Brother Peterson's steadfast and loyal support in the pioneer years was much appreciated by the college.
Karen Close has organized a cope group among students who come from broken homes or homes where there has been alcoholism or abuse. At first she met only with the girls but upon request from the boys, they were later allowed to join the group. Karen considers her sessions with this group to be productive of understanding and healing.
In preparation for directing the cope group, Karen has studied short courses and attended conferences and workshops in those fields almost every year for several years. She has taken all of the counselling classes by Jim Hawkins and some classes from the Canadian Bible College, the University of Regina and correspondence classes from the University of Waterloo.
Although attendance at lectureship was slightly down from previous years, $40,000 was given or pledged at the annual gift night. This sum starts the college in its efforts to, raise $350,000 in donations for operational expenses this year.
For the second year in a row much of that amount will be raised through a series of dinners across western Canada, beginning November 12 in Carman, Manitoba and continuing through March.
The Canadian Band Week was marked by a concert at the college on Monday, October 26, at which the Camarata Brass Quintet from the Regina Symphony Orchestra performed. The W.C.C. jazz ensemble and concert band directed by Sandy Ensley entertained at the same concert.
During the past summer holidays I had heard rumours that Western might purchase the brick buildings of MacKay Residential School at Dauphin, Manitoba, that will be phased out and closed on June 30, 1988, but I had dismissed the rumours as nonconsequential. Then in January, 1988, I received a communication from Lowell Hodgson, chairman of the board, written to all shareholders. In the letter, Mr. Hodgson writes, "This very excellent facility might be available to us at little or no cost. I am presently pursuing this with Canadian government officials. However, I want to stress that this is very tentative at this point."
The next major event to change the course of Western's history was the closing down of the fund-raising campaign for development in the United States, on January 31, 1988. About $300,000 had been raised during the one and one half years of the campaign set up by Webco and directed by Walter Straker and the volunteer committee.
Two reasons especially contributed to the failure of the campaign to raise the necessary $1.5 million for the Student Life Complex: the economic decline caused by the sudden drop in oil prices from $80 a barrel to $12 or lower, and our college is too small and too far away when competing against well-known nearby institutions for the donation dollars.
The board of directors has decided to abandon development plans for the time being. This decision was a disappointment to all of us on campus. However, I was encouraged to learn via a telephone conversation with Shirley Straker, some positive results of the American campaign.
The college did become somewhat better known and the alumni in U.S.A. really rallied around the college during the campaign. There had been very successful fund-raising dinners in localities where alumni lived. Shirley mentioned the excellent response at Oklahoma City where Leila Andreas Carpenter and several other alumni are living, in Hutchinson, Kansas where Mike Brazle is preaching and in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Clinton and Delma Brazle live. In addition, she said that it was so good to discover with what high regard the alumni are held in their communities.
Is our dream for the North Weyburn campus finished or just on hold?
Our school athletic teams have always been very active and quite successful but we have had outstanding success this year because our boys' volleyball team won the provincials for the first time, our boys' basketball team won the provincials for the sixth time and our hockey team played in the provincials.
During the weekend of November 27-28 the boys won the 2A High School Provincial Volleyball Championship in Wynyard. The Mustangs defeated Lumsden to win the championship final.
Coach Dick Kirkpatrick said that the toughest match of the tournament and "the best volleyball game I've ever seen" came in the semi final round against Delisle which earlier this year won the University of Saskatchewan high school tournament.
There were 11 teams in the tournament. Western's previous best showing in volleyball was in 1976, when it came second to Meadow Lake in the provincial tournament played in Weyburn.
Team members are David Ellis, John J. Harvey, Quinn Moreau, Randy Murray, Darrin Pawlak, Pat Songer, Dan Clarke, Jamie Harvey, Steve McMillan, Curtis Parker, Brad Robinson, Leland Morris and Trevor Wise.
Lively fan support inspired the boys to a better than best performance. Alumni and parent turn out was tremendous as fans were present for the finals from Weyburn, Yellowknife, Regina, Saskatoon, North Battleford, Lewistown, Montana, Wishart and Wynyard. Western's boys enjoyed the largest cheering section of all the teams in the tournament.
Coach Kirkpatrick had promised his team members that if they won the provincials, they could shave his beard. On Saturday they won; on Tuesday the beard came off.
In March at Hoopla '88 in Regina, Western boys' basketball team won the 2A high school provincial title for the first time since 1980, ending a four-year winning streak by Birch Hills.
In their first game at Hoopla, the Mustangs played Lutheran Collegiate Bible Institute from Outlook and won 80-57. John J. Harvey led the team with 28 points; Quinn Moreau had 16 points and eight rebounds; David Ellis had 14 points; Pat Songer, 14 points; Scott Wise, seven points and 10 rebounds.
For the final game, the Mustangs then faced four-time defending champion Birch Hills and won 73-65, which Coach Kirkpatrick said was "a close game all the way" with Western trailing by six or eight points through most of the game. John J. Harvey led the team with 26 points and five rebounds while Quinn Moreau had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots.
The team members are Scott Wise, Doug Gainer, Quinn Moreau, Pat Songer, Doug Robb, Terry Jacobs, Dan Clarke, Larry Elford, Doug Nelson, David Ellis, John J. Harvey and Jamie Harvey.
James Willett had coached the boys to their other five victories in 1968, 1972, 1974, 1977 and 1980, although his son Dwight had been assistant coach in 1980 after Mr. Willett suffered his heart attack in January. Western's boys have made their name in basketball circles throughout the history of the college.
Mustang hockey players won the Red Coat Trail League this year. Other teams in the league were Avonlea, Milestone, Radville, and Yellowgrass. The Mustangs lost at the provincials that were held at Weyburn. The hockey coaches were Harvey Marr and Dave Stockham, volunteers from the city of Weyburn and friends of J.C.Murray, the team manager. The team members are Marlon Anderson, Dan Canfield, Derek McMillan, Leland Morris, Cory Vance, Scott MacKenzie (manager), Steven McMillan, Curtis Parker, Brad Robinson, Marvin Zorn, Eric Bailey, Wendall Elford, Randy Murray, Darrin Pawlak, Dan Penny, Grant Vance, and Trevor Wise.
Hockey award winners are Darrin Pawlak, the most valuable defenseman; Randy Murray, the most valuable player; and Trevor Wise won the most improved player award.
There was a new twist to youth rally again this year. Instead of the usual activities in the gym after dinner, a spring fair and picnic were held in the skating rink from 12:00 noon to 2:30 p.m. There were fun games and individual sporting activities. Both the concert band and jazz ensemble performed. As part of an art display at the Spring Fair, some Chinese students sketched the visitors. Also there was a booth where the visitors could get the inevitable cotton candy. Scott Roberts '78, preacher at Swift Current, was the main guest speaker at the rally and Ron Johnson '79, teacher from Bienfait was the song leader. You will note that they are both alumni. It is encouraging to note that alumni are assuming leadership roles at major events at the college.
The other special guest was Ben Zickefoose from Abilene Christian University. The musical was "My Fair Lady" directed by Melissa Hansen and Lisa Morgan.
Western Christian College combines its annual awards night with an Olympiad featuring events you won't see in Seoul. The annual year-end party for students given by the staff featured such events as Catch the Wave (sliding for distance on a water covered plastic sheet - a very popular event), My Cup Runneth Over (filling pop bottles from pitchers at a considerable height), Cross Country Ski (skiing without snow), the President Spoke (a bicycle relay race around the campus), Get Me to the Class on Time (a kind of hallway steeplechase), and Silicon Valley (attempting to scale a pole that had been lubricated with silicon).
The students were divided into teams according to place of home residence. Olympiad events were interspersed with the giving of regular year-end awards. The citizen of the year is Kathy Gruell and the four other citizenship crests went to Steve McMillan, Coralie Jacobs, Randy Murray, and Stephanie Olson...
Thanks to Eddie Willett of the Weyburn Review.
Because of the decreased enrollment and the large deficit, the board has decided that drastic changes should occur in staffing. Mr. Wieb felt that with the numerous necessary changes, a younger man should assume the reins of the presidency. Consequently, he took early retirement after 28 years in administration at Western.
Vince Anderson, minister of the Weyburn Church of Christ assumed the office of president on June 1 and on September 1, Dan Wieb will be the minister of the Weyburn Church of Christ. A unique exchange of office! Mr. Wieb is assisting Vince Anderson in the transition process.
During Mr. Wieb's almost three decades at Western Christian College, the institution grew from being mainly a high school to include a liberal arts junior college with one full year of accredited classes at the University of Regina and a Bible department awarding Bachelor of Theology degrees. As an administrator/educator, he has left an indelible mark on the staff and students of Western. He will be remembered for his faith, his understanding, his tolerance and his wisdom by a whole generation of students and staff.
Marge Roberts, dean of student life, has resigned her position, effective July 31. Mrs. R. has been with the college 20 years. She is responsible for developing the current student life program which includes an excellent peer facilitator program, a student service program, life skills program and a comprehensive counselling program.
She is not resigning because of burn-out but because she is brave enough and unselfish enough to realize that her resignation will give the board more freedom in making changes and in planning for the future.
Another long time employee, J.C.Murray has also resigned effective July 31, because development plans have practically come to a standstill, and at present there is little work for a development director. During his years of service since 1969, Mr. Murray has transformed the appearance of the campus, organized the hamlet of North Weyburn and has been responsible for the major renovations in several campus buildings.
Because of the reorganization in the administration office, Dennis Quilliams resigned as office manager and bookkeeper. It is reputed that Dennis had once said that the computers would soon take his place. He and his wife Karen and children Winona (grade 10) and Paul have moved to Enderby, B.C.
Stacey Anderson resigned as Morgan Cafeteria manager now that her husband is president. She is being replaced by Mildred Goodwin. Carrie Knight and Debbie Roberts Hodgson have been engaged as cooks for the 1988-89 year.
Will Hart resigns as dormitory director of Hanes Hall to be replaced by Doug Cox. Will and his wife Nancy and their son Jonathan are leaving North Weyburn to work with the Wawota congregation for six months and then go to Camrose, Alberta where they will serve the church.
Doug Cox, a 1972 graduate worked as a building contractor for six years in Calgary and then moved to Weyburn in 1980 to engage in the same vocation. In Weyburn, his wife Cheryl '70 operated Prairie Florists. At Western, Cheryl will be in charge of the student centre and canteen. Doug and Cheryl have two children, Jenny and Brian.
Loreen Husband, manager of the student centre, resigned in order to operate a play school in Weyburn.
Arbutus Tetreau has been employed by the administration offices since 1970 except for one year. She is to become a part-time employee with the post office being her chief care.
It is odd how accidentally some seemingly trivial event takes hold and from it a valued tradition develops. Traditions are valuable in a family and also in a school. The regular observance of a custom creates security, stability and promotes togetherness. The annual graduation class painting on The Rock, the night before graduation day is such a tradition.
In 1972, on graduation morning, we were surprised to discover a huge red "72" painted on The Rock, as the old firing range of the Commonwealth Air Force Training School is so called.
I understand that Jack Mooney and Doug Cox were the instigators. They painted the number by the use of car lights and tall ladders. I have heard that they were reprimanded for their daring. In fact, one person suggested that Jack Mooney was almost expelled, but I doubt the authorities had contemplated such severity.
The next graduation morning produced a huge red "1973" and so the tradition is established. In 1978, the grads painted the first picture in addition to the number. It was a raring black mustang against a glowing sunset. The 1981 logo introduced to succeeding classes the idea of an eye catching emblem often accompanied by its echoing motto. A huge Viking with sword held high and broad shield with the numbers "81" proclaimed the words "Fight the good fight."
This year the students painted a small white colt beside its large black mother raring into the sky with the caption "Power to Become" and also listed the names of all graduates. The main painters were Stephanie Olson, Brent Petersen, and John J. Harvey.
Dr. John Harvey has calculated that there is space on The Rock for the grad logos until the year 2021.
1988 - 1989
Enrollment: High school - 84, College and Bible - 9
Donations Required: $382,894
High School Fees: $4,726
College and Bible Program Fees:
Tuition: $64 (per semester hour)
Room Rental: $397 (per semester)
Board: $783 (per semester)
Classes began this fall with the lowest enrollment in high school for nearly 20 years and practically the lowest (tied with 1975) in the junior college and Bible department since they began in 1968. The total deficit had risen $116,604 last year alone. Because the student enrollment has decreased, the anticipated income is less; therefore, it will be necessary to find $382,894 in donations in order to balance the budget during the coming year without even considering the deficit.
Western is in dire straits as a Weyburn Review headline declares.
The stagnation of our economy because of drought in Saskatchewan is partly responsible for the low enrollment. In addition, there is the high cost of fees for attendance.
Possible a new generation of parents is not aware of the value of Christian education. Our brethren have become middle class citizens with middle class standards of living and find it difficult to save and sacrifice to send their children away for high school. Then too, there are more larger congregations where the young people have more association with Christian of their own age than they did in the pioneer days of the church in western Canada, and consequently parents do not feel the serious need to send their children to a Christian school. Whatever the reason, the enrollment is low.
The shareholders and members of Western Christian College received an urgent letter to attend the annual meeting in October to discuss the critical financial situation and to hear more regarding the possibility of relocating the college to Dauphin, Manitoba.
Next we received a news release from chairman Lowell R. Hodgson of Red Deer, Alberta indicating that the federal government had just announced that it is now ready to put the MacKay Residential School up for tender and that the board of directors will hold a meeting on September 19, in Dauphin and tour the campus there.
This news release aroused further interest in the annual meeting.
More than 300 shareholders and members of the corporation attended the annual meeting held in the church building in Weyburn, on Saturday morning, October 8. This is the largest attendance ever at a college annual meeting.
Chairman Lowell Hodgson outlined the present position of the college and the challenges of the future. He said, "There is need for some change in order to be a future...Without significant change, we are on a collision course...We cannot continue as we are...Our debt is choking us to death." Then he pointed out that it costs more than $40,000 in interest charges every year.
No time was given to open discussion on the possibility of a move to Dauphin but we did gain more information regarding the campus and its buildings.
The board has struck a committee to review the tender package and to consider making a bid. The buildings and equipment have an estimated value of $8 to $10 million.
Lectureship '88 was a history making event in Western's records because the college received its largest ever donation - $130,000. After Harold Hazelip, president of David Lipscomb College had delivered his lecture, "The Church: Its Present," on gift night about $70,000 was collected.
On Sunday afternoon, a challenge was issued by a group of thirteen men who among themselves collected about $29,000 and then appointed Ron Jacobs of Stoughton to challenge those present to dig deeper in their pockets. A second collection was taken. With the two public collections and private ones $130,000 was raised that weekend.
Also on Sunday afternoon, Roger Peterson spoke of the value of Christian education. He and his wife Helen have been paying tuition for their children for 24 years and consider that it is the best investment for the future that they ever made. After lectureship Roger and Helen sent a letter to over 700 individuals requesting assistance for the college.
The overwhelming response of the brotherhood during lectureship almost stunned a grateful and jubilant President Vince Anderson. Not only the generous gifts of money were welcome but also the aroused cooperative spirit assured him of broader support in the future when striving to solve Western's problems.
Surely a more optimistic atmosphere pervaded the campus when we discovered that previously dormant but very real interest in saving Western. The clouds did not seem to be hanging so heavily over Western anymore.
OUR SCHOOL SONG
I consider the words of our school song, written by Principal C. T. Bailey, among the most courageous and stirring lyrics in the English language of faith. The arousing first stanza reads:
Ho! my comrades, see our banners
Waving in the sky.
We are marching on to victory;
We cannot say "die."
Since 1958, these words have been sung at various school occasions here at Western Christian College with the result that staff and students have been lifted to new heights regardless of what the current threat may have been. These words continue to be the "paean" sung before the decisive battles of our school.
Equally as interesting and meaningful is the background of the Christian hymn from which Brother Bailey took the music for this school song. The original hymn has its roots in the American Civil War and the decisive march of General W. T. Sherman across the South.
Sherman planned to make a military drive from Chattanooga to Atlanta - a decisive venture. The Confederate government, impatient with General Joseph E. Johnston because of his evasiveness to engage in head-on encounters with Sherman, removed Johnston from his command and gave it to General Hood. Hood was an impetuous leader whose strategy was to march to the rear of Sherman's advancing army, threatening to cut off the army from its Northern supplies at Chattanooga and Nashville.
One important link in these communications was Allatoona, which commanded the pass through the mountains. At once this important post was attacked by General Hood's army. The air was tense - the moment was urgent. Sherman ordered Lt. Corse to march to protect Allatoona while he withdrew to Kenesaw Mountain to signal his communications. There, from that commanding height, on the clear October day, Sherman could see the smoke of battle while his flag officer made out the words which were flag-signalled from Allatoona, "Corse is here." That reinforcement of Union Troops saved Allatoona. In relief, Sherman heliographed back his famous message, "Hold the fort, I am coming."
A young Union officer, Major Whittle, later recounted this incident to the evangelist, song writer, P. P. Bliss who wrote the Christian hymn, "Hold the Fort, For I Am Coming." The song rehearsed the message of our Lord of Lords who sends encouragement to his beleaguered church on earth to hold out until His second coming.
This bit of historical information makes our school song even more meaningful at this time when reinforcements are sorely needed for our school's survival. In any war there may be a "D day" as well as a "V-day." "D-day" is the day of some decisive battle on which the tide of war turns toward one of the contestants. Other battles may follow, but the outcome is clear in its general outlines. Then, finally "V-day" arrives when the last battle is fought and arms are laid down.
October 9, 1988 may be seen as "D-day" in the history of Western Christian College. On that day, Sunday afternoon of our annual Bible lectureship, Brother Ron Jacobs came to the speaker's stand to announce the challenge of several men to the shareholders to raise the amount given the previous night to a new goal - and a total of $130,000 was given and/or pledged that day. Surely we can see this as the turning point for Western Christian College. Signal that victory to all others.
We are all encouraged that reinforcements are coming! Our Mighty General will lead us in victory in His own good time. However, we, the infantry, must keep on marching forward. We who are the shareholders of Western Christian College and members of churches of Christ in western Canada, can pay off this debt that hangs over our school like a death pall. We are not a helpless or hopeless brotherhood. Hearing the School Song again tells us that we can save this school.
Out there in the circles of friends and alumni of Western Christian College, keep singing this song and encouraging the gifts necessary to set us on our feet again.
(The information about the background of the song on which our school song is based was submitted by J. E. Pennington, with gracious assistance from Mike W. Brazle of Hutchinson, Kansas.)
THE SCHOOL SONG
Ho! my comrades, see our banners
Waving in the sky.
We are marching on to victory;
We cannot say "die."
So let the virtue of our mission
Roll from soul to soul;
'Keep the honour of our college'
This shall be our goal.
When in Life's great coliseum
Fades the victory flame,
Hear our coach's admonition,
"Up, and play the game."
What if life be melodramatic -
Courage almost gone!
Though our hearts be bowed and broken
Still, the play goes on.
In our studies, sports and drama
We will do our best;
Never shall we faint or falter
In life's crucial test.
In that day when our great Teacher
Rings the last school bell,
May we hear that gracious welcome,
"Child, thou hast done well."
(Words by C. T. Bailey)
On Saturday night October 8, Chairman Lowell Hodgson presented E.D. Wieb with a plaque in honour of the 28 years he served Western, while Marjorie Roberts received a plaque for 20 years of service and J.C.Murray received one for 17 years of service. The audience responded by giving the trio a standing ovation.
The bids on the MacKay Residential School at Dauphin closed November 16. The board had submitted a bid with six conditions in regard to accreditation, superannuation, agreement with Dauphin for use of town facilities and ratification of the transaction by the Western Christian College membership by March 31, 1989.
Before December, the board received word from the Public Works Department that it was recommending the board's bid of $200,000 to the Treasury Department of the federal government.
Until then I had not considered that the possibility of the college moving from the North Weyburn campus would become a reality.
To me, it is unwise to move to Dauphin. Why move away from your clientele? Since its beginning in 1945, the majority of students have lived in Saskatchewan and most of the necessary donations have come from Saskatchewan. There are supposed to be about 300 church families within a radius of 100 miles of Weyburn and only 30 families within the same radius of Dauphin.
Saskatchewan has one of the best teacher pension plans in Canada and private school teachers have been eligible for such pensions since 1965. In Manitoba, Western's teachers will not belong to the same pension plan as the public school teachers.
Our liberal arts classes have accreditation at the University of Regina while we have no guarantee when or if we can obtain accreditation at a Manitoba university. We obtain provincial grants not only for high school students here but also for our college students. Our college students are eligible for provincial academic scholarships.
We have a good skating rink at North Weyburn for recreation and for large gatherings. At lectureship we often have attendance of 1,200 of the estimated 3,500 membership in western Canada. At Dauphin there is only an outdoor rink and no auditorium to accommodate
The school plant at North Weyburn is practically tax free. We pay taxes only on the staff apartments. At Dauphin the taxes were originally to be an estimated $80,000 but it is hoped that the province will forgive the taxes up to 10 acres but we don't know if that change can be obtained.
The mayor of Weyburn, His Worship Ron Barber is making a great effort to obtain an alternative to the Dauphin move that will satisfy the board. Mr. Barber believes that Weyburn will suffer a great loss by the college moving away. Just financially, it will be a loss because the college staff, students, and visitors to major college events spend over $1 million annually in the community.
A plan has been worked out by Lorne Hepworth, Weyburn M.L.A. and Education Minister that has apparently been accepted by other cabinet ministers.
This plan will be for the college to move into the north-west wing of the Souris Valley Regional Care Centre. The complex is already on the government list of facilities to be brought up to 1988 standards, and if Western were to choose to use the building, the renovations can be completed and ready for the 1990-91 school year.
The renovations will be paid by Western at a cost of $177,000 a year and the base rent per year for the facilities will be $475,000. Meals will be prepared in the main cafeteria and served in the college dining room at additional cost.
A gymnasium will be built by the province and shared with the South-East Regional College. Other recreational facilities will also be shared.
The board did not look seriously at this option because of tenancy shared facilities and the added financial burdens. It would be more difficult for the college to maintain its separate identity with sharing facilities and no separately defined campus. I agree with the board on this decision.
In order to acquaint the membership of the college of the board's recommendation that Western move to the MacKay Residential School in Dauphin, the board arranged for town hall meetings to be held in various centres of western Canada during December and January. Such meetings were chaired by Bob Andreas '69, a member of the board who has been appointed Project Manager/Move Coordinator.
Such a town hall meeting was held on January 5, 1989, in the annex of the Weyburn Church of Christ building. It was well attended and discussions pro and con lasted for three hours. As a result of this meeting a petition was drawn up and signed by 24 shareholders requesting a general meeting of the membership prior to the issuing of the ballots on the proposed move to Dauphin. The request was for such an update informational meeting regarding the options available and recommendations of the board be held at homecoming in February.
The general meeting took place on Saturday, February 4, 1989, at the Weyburn Church of Christ main auditorium. In spite of the cold stormy weather, attendance was good.
The meeting lasted all afternoon and held the attention of almost all the visitors to homecoming.
The number of guests at the tea that afternoon was the smallest in the history of homecoming teas. Twenty signed the register and those signatures included the hostesses (Lydia Fawcett and Lillian M. Torkelson) and Queen Melanie Parker and her princesses Tricia Seibel and Rebecca Tucker. The Skylarks sang for the appreciative small group. The hostesses realized that other homecomers were concerned with more serious business than a tea.
Homecoming was unique in another way that year. Because of the intensely cold wind and blowing snow neither of the teams engaged to play Western's basketball teams arrived on Friday night. Consequently a change of venue occurred that night. The band concert and the homecoming queen ceremonies were held in the college gymnasium. After these activities a lunch was served by Weyburn alumni in Morgan Cafeteria. All alumni and friends enjoyed such a merry time of fellowship that I decided that Saskatchewan winter weather need not depress people when they are with friends.
At the banquet on Saturday, Bob Andreas '69 was the speaker and on Sunday Mike Brazle '69 of Hutchinson, Kansas preached both sermons.
John McMillan '66 of Spring Valley was named Alumnus of the Year. John is a teacher, a community coach and a church leader. He is the third member of his family to be chosen Alumnus of the Year (Ray in 1965 and Glen in 1983).
Mickel Jacobs from old Bible School days at Ogema-Radville-Horse Creek, received a recognition certificate for his generous support of the college. A comment in his acceptance speech is worthy of note: "I've never withheld support for the school even if I differ with what they're doing."
On Saturday night, at the program in the gym following the banquet, a performance was given by The Blue Moon Boys, so-called because it is reputed that one member (to remain nameless) would complete his French assignment punctually only once in a blue moon. This band (Charles Muller, Mike Brazle, Mark Brazle) sometimes entertained staff and students 20 years ago.
The Midnight Sun, a singing group from Regina received a warm welcome. They are all alumni: Dwight Muller, Howard Floyd, Keith Brankston, Mark Husband, Billy McMillan, Bill Coulter and Eddie Willett.
Several skits of 20 years ago were presented under the direction of Bob Andreas. The evening ended with the massed choir of alumni and students singing the usual thrilling "Hallelujah Chorus" and "Amen."
The ballots asking the 713 members of the Western Christian College corporation to vote "yes" or "no" on moving the school to Dauphin were mailed out the week after homecoming. If 75 percent of the ballots returned are marked in favour of the proposal, it means that the proposed move has been ratified.
The ballots were counted on March 1st. 0f the 638 ballots returned 86 percent (550) voted in favour of the proposed move and 13 percent (82) voted against. Six ballots were spoiled.
What does Western get at Dauphin for $200,000? (1) 14.28 acres of land completely fenced (2) 86,619 square feet of buildings erected since 1957 (a) most are concrete structures with brick exteriors (b) centralized fire alarm system includes sprinkler system, smoke alarms, fire exit doors with panic hardware (c) steam-heated with oil-fired boilers (top condition) (d) recently installed double pane windows (e) some redecoration required (3) Dormitories for 160-200; dining room seats 204; chapel capable of seating 204; several large classrooms; gym; recreation/game room; and miscellaneous other facilities (4) All equipment and furnishings throughout; 2 buses, van, truck with topper, industrial tractor with mower and snow blade, garden tractor with mower and snow blower (5) The town of Dauphin has approved a cash grant of $30,000 for each of the first three years in Dauphin.
During the past year, membership in the college corporation has increased from 443 to 750. It is to be hoped that these new members realize that their donations must exceed the annual $20 membership fee in order for the college to function. Because donations have been short, Western is nearly a half million dollars in debt.
I am not in favour of The Move to Dauphin, but many people, including myself, have prayed that the Lord's will be done in the matter. Therefore, I accept the decision and continue to pray for the prosperity of the college. Christian education is far more valuable than personal desires or opinions.
Staff members have mixed feelings regarding The Move. Some regret leaving close friends in the community or pension rights built up in Saskatchewan. Others consider the Dauphin buildings so superior to those at North Weyburn that the move will open up a bright future for Western.
Roger Peterson of North Weyburn has accepted the post of principal- academic dean on a year to year basis. It is good that he is in this position, because he believes that the move to Dauphin is necessary and that the better buildings will renew interest in the school.
Because I am now retired from teaching at Western, I have no plans to move to Dauphin. However, if I had been on staff, I would have likely planned to go there in spite of my opposition to the move. I have long maintained that if I have rewarding employment I can be happy and contented anywhere. That is a rather rash statement to make. Yet, I do recall that when I first moved to the Radville Christian College campus I thought I was in prison living across the river from town with no nearby bridge nor motor vehicle. But in time I grew to love the campus. Then when I moved to North Weyburn I was almost stunned by this broad, flat empty plain in which the campus is situated. Now I think it is a beautiful place!
Before Western says farewell to the North Weyburn campus, a note of appreciation should be given to the Weyburn organizations and businesses that have sponsored our students to various activities or extended other courtesies.
- In 1972 about 80 students were involved with local officers and merchants when they spent a day at various businesses and administrative offices throughout the city in a practical education experience called Youth-in-Action Day. In 1973 Western students participated in Weyburn's Youth-in-Action program again.
- The University Women's Club of Weyburn has presented book awards in art and French each year since 1970.
- The Weyburn Rotary Club has sponsored students in Adventures in Citizenship at Ottawa at least three times.
- The same club has sponsored students to the Model United Nations Assembly in Winnipeg three or four times.
- The local radio station CFSL has asked Western to share in a weekly radio broadcast with the Comprehensive School.
- The school unit director of education presents an annual academic award.
- Western students published a weekly article in the Weyburn Review entitled "Western Round Up."
- The Weyburn Review has given excellent comprehensive coverage for all major college events for over 30 years.
- Student groups have been frequently invited to sing at club meetings, nursing homes and senior citizen homes in the city.
- Students have participated annually in the Weyburn Communithon.
Because I gathered these items from available documents without thorough research, it is probably an incomplete list.
The final college and Bible department class recognition banquet on the North Weyburn campus was held in the gymnasium on May 12, 1989. Lowell Troy Hodgson received the Bachelor of Theology degree. He is the twelfth student to graduate with the Bachelor of Theology degree since 1984. Certificates of Biblical Studies were given Lowell Troy Hodgson and Kurt Steven Pippus.
The special award winners are as follows: Oral Reading of the Scriptures Troy Hodgson & Tim Pippus Janine Annita Farr Bible Stephanie Olson of North Weyburn Alumni Bible Award Tim Pippus of Moose Jaw Alumni Academic Award Troy Hodgson of Red Deer, Alberta Mickel Jacobs Bible Award Stephanie Olson Taylor Personal Evangelism Scholarship Tim Pippus Dean's Award Troy Hodgson
Velda Coulter received a certificate of recognition for having completed 37 hours of Bible classes during 15 years to improve her understanding of the Bible.
The address to the assembled students and guests was given by Dr. E.D.Wieb of Weyburn. He said that our young people are service- oriented people and that Christians should be involved in causes but if they consider the service aspect of Christianity to be its main aspect, then they have denied the Faith. Christians should put redemption in first place and then service to mankind will become an extension of God's love and a means of praising Him.
On the weekend of May 19-21, the college held its final youth rally on this campus. It was a successful rally with attendance nearing 200.
The function included a spring fair featuring a dunk tank, contests, performances by the chorus, the concert band, the jazz ensemble, the musical "Oliver" and guest speaker Michael Bolton.
Mike, an alumnus and former Weyburn Red Wing is at present youth minister at Marquette, Michigan. The theme for the weekend is "The Race - Running to Win." Ron Johnson '79 and teacher from Bienfait led the lively singing sessions.
Chandra Allen and Leah Rodriguez are the student directors of the musical. Oliver is a repeat of Western's first musical production in 1974.
On May 30, the college once again held its annual sports banquet in Morgan Cafeteria. The guest speaker was Cheryl Starnes Elford '82 of Mankota who had been voted the most valuable player the year Western's basketball girls won the provincials.
An award was presented to Judy Severson '79 of Weyburn in appreciation of her volunteer service as coach of the girls' basketball team for the past two years. Bill Earnshaw is the staff sponsor of the team.
In girls' volleyball, coached by John Harvey, the most improved award went to Andrea Bourassa, rookie of the year to Jackie Bellavance, and most valuable player award to Dawn Buckmaster.
In boys' volleyball, coached by Dick Kirkpatrick, the most consistent player was Curtis Parker (Saskatoon), the rookie of the year was Mike Reid, and the most valuable player was Brad Robinson. The team placed in the top six at this year's provincials at Kelvington.
Coach Bill Earnshaw presented the soccer awards. Western's soccer team hosted the regionals this year but lost. The rookie of the year award went to Michael McKinney, most improved player to Jim Williams, and the most valuable player award to Todd Jacobs.
Coach Dick Kirkpatrick presented the boys' basketball awards. The rookie of the year was Chris VanDyke, the most improved player was Dougal Gainer, and the most valuable player, Doug Robb. "Without Doug, we wouldn't have had the leadership," said the coach.
A new award was created in basketball this year. It is called the Iron Man! - For the player who runs over chairs, tables, fans and gets the ball in his face. Jamie Harvey supposedly did all that and still got 20 points in each game.
In girls' basketball the most improved player was Gigi Poon (never played before but a quick learner), the most sportsmanlike player was Jackie Bellavance, rookie of the year was Dawn Buckmaster, and most valuable player was Heather McMillan.
Team manager J.C.Murray (also a volunteer) presented the awards to the boys' hockey team. The team plays in the Red Coat Trail Hockey League. The award winners were chosen by the team itself: best defenceman was Marvin Zorn, most valuable player was Steve McMillan, and most improved player was Scott MacKenzie.
The final two awards presented by John Harvey were the spirit awards given to two students dedicated to uphold the ideals of the college: Geri Bird and Curtis Parker.
Several staff members are saying farewell to Western at the end of June.
Sandy Ensley, our first band director and my Scrabble playing friend, is joining the faculty at Great Lakes Christian College at Beamsville, Ontario within easier distance of her parents.
Michael Ensley is leaving the J.C.Bailey Resource Centre that he built up to become possibly one of the best libraries in the province for a school of this size, to work also at Great Lakes Christian College.
Mildred Goodwin, our good, long-time cafeteria manager will live in Weyburn with her husband to be near children and grandchildren in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Debbie Roberts Hodgson with her husband Troy will seek new adventures at Yellowknife, N.W.T.
Dick Kirkpatrick leaves his winning ball teams to coach and teach at Abilene Christian University.
Carrie Floyd Knight will live with her husband Nelson and small son in Weyburn and make beautiful corsages at the Prairie Florists.
Lorraine Murray, who has managed the principal's office so very well for 20 years, will have a well-earned rest and eventually go with her husband to Salmon Arm, B.C.
Roland Olson who pioneered the teaching of art at the college is retiring from the teaching profession to live at North Weyburn and enjoy his art studio.
Arbutus Tetreau who has greeted us at the North Weyburn post office wicket with a calm, quiet welcome will live in Weyburn and continue in the postal business.
Weston and Judy Walker will take their youthful vigour and faith to another field of service at Beamsville, Ontario.
James Willett has laid down his director's baton (figuratively speaking) after more than 200 performances to retire in Weyburn.
June 10 was high school graduation day. In the afternoon I walked over to The Rock to view the new grad logo. It is a brilliant sunset, a fitting symbol with a two-fold meaning, typifying the ending of high school life for the graduates and also the closing of the North Weyburn campus.
Does dawn always follow sunset? Yes, it is the consequence of the natural order of things.
As customary, the graduation banquet and exercises were held in the skating rink. Parents and friends had assembled from as far east as Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, as far west as Hong Kong and as far north as Yellowknife, N.W.T.
The guest speaker at the banquet was Matthew Jackson, teacher from our Bible department. "Today's dreams are the seeds. They're the foundations. They're the genetic code for what you are to become," he told the graduates.
Another speaker at the banquet was Lorne Hepworth, Weyburn M.L.A. and provincial education minister. Dr. Hepworth said that the evening was one of mixed emotions - sadness at leaving a place where roots go deep and excitement at seeing what lies ahead.
"Certainly we will miss you," he said. "May I just say, we wish you well as you relocate to Dauphin. Good luck to all of you and you will be missed."
Also at the banquet Dr. Harvey announced that the graduates had chosen Jackie Bellavance and Bradley Robinson as Miss Grad and Mr. Grad.
The grads had chosen J.C.Murray, former student and former employee to be their guest speaker at the exercises which followed the banquet. Mr. Murray chose the class theme as the theme of his speech, "Today's dreamers - Tomorrow's achievers." He reviewed some past history of the college and suggested that the achievements had been the result of dreamers making their dream come true and then he urged the graduates to have dreams but not just day dreams but dreams that translated into achievements.
"Work at your dreams. Some will come true and some you will never reach, but it may be that your dream can become someone else's dream too and you can help them reach the dream." Mr. Murray's closing statement was "May you never lose sight of your dream- heaven."
The evening concluded with a stirring performance by the college chorus. This was the "swan song" performance of director James Willett.
(P.S. The award winners are listed in the Appendix of this Diary.)
The final major school event of each year is farewell. Ever since 1949 when Doris Lewis (later Husband) and I served for the first course of a special supper an inch square of chocolate cake, one prune and four pieces of string beans because of the frequent occurrence of those foods on the regular menus during the year, the staff has entertained the students annually near the end of June at what has become known simply as "Farewell."
This year Farewell was held June 16 in the college gymnasium which was decorated to represent Fagin's Den. The staff members were all dressed to represent various members of the cast of "Oliver" which had been presented in May.
Between parodied scenes from "Oliver" and hilarious contests, the year-end awards were presented. The Citizen of the Year is Curtis Parker of Saskatoon, son of two alumni. The other four citizen crest winners are Bonnie McMillan, Mark DeYoung, Steven McMillan and Rebecca Tucker.
Following the final devotion on the North Weyburn campus the entire student body and staff participated in the memorable "Torch Run." This "Torch Run" is a symbolic leaving of the North Weyburn campus and going toward the new era in Western's experiences.
We proceeded from campus to highway singing favourite hymns while facing one of Saskatchewan's spectacular sunsets. As we marched toward this glorious sunset we were saddened by the thought of the sunset of the North Weyburn campus, but the flaming torch high in the sky indicated that Christian education is burning brightly in Western Canada and will light a new dawn in Dauphin.
Early on Friday October 6, 1989, after breakfast at Taylor Nooks and devotion around the bonfire at The Rock, the junior college students started their torch run in the form of a bicycle relay from the North Weyburn campus to the new campus at Dauphin, Manitoba. I passed the lighted torch to Steven McMillan who transferred the flame to a lantern attached to a bicycle. Steve then started the relay from the corner to which we had walked with the lighted torch at Farewell the previous June.
The route taken by the cyclists went through Qu'Appelle and Yorkton to Dauphin approximately 440 kilometres away. The cyclists rode all day Friday, through most of the night and arrived in Dauphin Saturday afternoon. From the Manitoba border, the bicycle rider was escorted by a member of the R.C.M.P. stationed at Dauphin. Bob and Sharon Parker ('64, '64) chaperoned the entire torch run.
The other participating junior college students were Chandra Allen, Geri Bird, Dawn Buckmaster, Mark DeYoung, Kim Dronsfield, Larry Elford, Cory Gunter-Smith, Curtis Parker, John Pennington, Tim Pippus, Brad Robinson, Leah Rodriguez, and Rebecca Tucker. From Roblin to Dauphin, a number of alumni from Saskatoon and a few high school students enrolled at Western shared in the relay.
Saturday afternoon October 7, on a warm, sunshiny autumn day, the official opening ceremonies of the college were conducted on the steps of the administration building in front of several hundred guests assembled on the college campus. Near the close of the ceremonies, I met the last rider of the torch run.
Then, followed by students singing the school song, I walked up the main driveway, holding high the lighted torch to present it to President Vince Anderson with these words, "May this torch light the way to a great future."
Sunset at North Weyburn; sunrise at Dauphin.