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Last updateFri, 18 Sep 2020 8am

Dragons start development season

dragons at the goal

While the future of Junior A Hockey this season remains unknown, the Dragons have transitioned into the development season and were busy last week with their fall camp.
As the province is currently in Stage 2 of its relaunch program, the AJHL regular season was postponed on August 14. It however has begun its development season. This allows individual teams to carry up to 50 players and prepare for the upcoming season by engaging in meaningful training and inter-squad scrimmaging.
“We have to stay focused on the here and now and be careful looking forward because it is so unpredictable,” said head coach Kevin Hasselberg.
On Thursday, September 3 the Dragons held the Miners Cup, its annual conclusion to its fall camp. This time the Orange team won 7-1.
“It was a bit of a runaway,” said Hasseleberg noting they have finalized their development season roster. The new reality is a challenge for the organization and the players.
“They have to persevere and make sacrifices, and our players have done that and our staff has done that,” said Hasselberg.” It is promising that way, there is buy-in to make changes. It has been a really good week, they are a really good group of kids here, so they make it enjoyable to come to the rink and work.”
He says they have filled all the spots they were looking for and secured about 25 players for the development season. This will allow them to put two small rosters together to play.
“We will be competitive, but in a different way. We are not going to have a lot of older guys, but we’ll have young guys that are here to learn,” said Hasselberg. “Our strength isn’t what you are going to see immediately on the ice, it is going to be the character of the players and that is going to shine when the pressure is the highest. We have to grow through those times.”
He says over the next two months they have eight inter-squad games scheduled and they will adjust in November when there is more information on what will happen with the season.


Flag at half staff to honour fallen firefighters

fallen-firefighter-adolffallen-firefighter-lefebre

This Sunday the community will be honouring firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty.
The Second Sunday of September is set aside to honour fallen firefighters and the town flags will be flown at half staff on September 13.
In Drumheller’s short history, the Drumheller Fire Department has seen two tragedies where men fighting to protect the community were killed in action. They were Harry Lefebre in 1937 and Adolf Guterson in 1951.
Last year the Drumheller Fire Department celebrated its centennial and the Mail had the privilege to speak with Tony Lefebre, the son of Harry Lefebre, who was the first Drumheller firefighter who was killed in the line of duty in 1937.
Tony was only about 12 years old on February 2, 1937, when he was coming home from playing hockey, walking up Centre Street. The department was responding to a fire at the Vickers store. That was the last time Tony saw his father alive. An explosion from the back of the store where the coal oil and gas were stored, shot debris in the air. Harry Lefebre was killed when a brick struck him. He was 42.
Tony was in Drumheller to mark the centennial last October.
Harry was the brother-in-law of Fire Chief William Guterson, and tragically the second fatality of a firefighter in action also struck his family. This time it was in1951 when the Napier Theatre caught fire.
Adolf Guterson was one of 11 of Chief Guterson’s children. His youngest daughter Mary recounted to the Mail the story of when her older brother perished at the young age of 23.
On December 5, 1951, Mary was working as a telephone operator and was working the night shift the fire call came in at 5 a.m.
According to Mary, it may have been a cigarette that was improperly extinguished, and it smoldered near the horsehair seats in the balcony. She passed her father on the street on the way home as the theatre burned and saw her brother at home as he headed out to fight the fire.

Adolf was battling the blaze when a wall of the theatre fell on Adolf right in front of William.
He was taken to the hospital by Allard’s Taxi and then by train to Edmonton for medical attention. He died on December 16, 1951.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Firefighters Annual Memorial Ceremony has been cancelled. However, Drumheller will be recognizing the fallen by flying the flag at half staff this Sunday, September 13.
The Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation was created to honour and remember firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty and to support their families.

Dear COVID-19

Dear Covid Sept9

Dear CoVID:

During a home visit last week, one of my patients who lost her husband during CoVID said: “I always look forward to your COVID piece. Can I make a suggestion?” I’m always open to suggestions so I assured her she could. Here’s what ensued.

We hear a lot about death during CoVID. Those who died of CoVID. Those who died during. But what about those left behind? How has CoVID changed grief? How many missed the chance to say goodbye because of visitor restrictions and public health regulations?

Grief during CoVID is two-tiered: the grief of the world we’ve lost and the devastation of losing a loved one.

My patient had a terminal cancer diagnosis so one might argue that it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. But it did. The morning of his death, I sat at his bedside, his caring eyes between my hands trying to provide reassurance, but all he said was: “you get me home.” His family was home, of course, restricted from visiting at the time due to policies.

He quickly went downhill that morning and his wife did have the opportunity to come and be by his bedside, despite restrictions. I’m not sure that would have happened in a bigger centre. Yet she can’t help but wonder if it hadn’t been for COVID, would she have already been there that morning. Probably.

All the new rules and policies put pressure on patients, families, and hospital staff. Patients died alone. Family members struggled to understand and grieve. Deaths were further complicated by rules of no memorials or funerals due to number restrictions. The opportunity for closure and goodbyes virtualized, minimized.

Then around the world and on social media, people mocked COVID. Created parodies and skits. Others dismissed it as a flu - something not serious and over-exaggerated. But for those who suffered through illness or the loss of a loved one - or continue to suffer - CoVID isn’t a joke. The absence echoing through a house ten times worse than the silence of isolation.

The UK and Germany announced memorial services to honour coronavirus victims. But all deaths during this time are due to coronavirus, whether directly or indirectly. We watch the numbers rise but we must remember that these deaths are worth more than a tally.

There’s a double ache. A double loss. A weight we will take years to truly understand, but never forget.


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