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Last updateTue, 17 May 2022 5pm

Darwin Durnie honoured by Alberta Public Works Association


    Drumheller’s Darwin Durnie has been presented with a Leadership Award from the Alberta Public Works Association  (AWPA) for his distinguished service and excellence  in public works.
    Durnie received the award at the APWA  Conference at the Wednesday night gala in Red Deer on October 7.
    “I was very pleased and surprised to be honoured by the receipt of this award at the banquet on Wednesday night at the GALA. One does not get into this game seeking awards and it is great to be recognized by my peers for efforts made on their behalf,” Durnie said.
     According to the nomination, Darwin’s passion for public works stems from his desire to create strong, healthy communities. Darwin has been in the public works industry for over 25 years and his resume is marked with a number of successful projects and initiatives that have all had a drastic impact on a number of Alberta’s communities. Darwin’s more notable accomplishments include his work with the Town of Drumheller, his committee work - serving in a number of high profile positions with the American and Canadian Public Works Associations, and his work with the Alberta Public Works Association. Darwin’s innovative leadership style has been the driving force for a number of North American initiatives that have enhanced the profile and efficacy of the public works industry across North America.
    Currently he is serving as past president on the APWA Executive and is working as a Registered Engineering Technologist for Stantec in Red Deer.
    “I firmly believe that you get out of an organization what you put into it and the myriad contacts I have made over the years are testament to that. Thanks again all - as I would not have received this without the collective of all of you. The mentors and coaches I have had over the last 25 years in the business have taught me a lot and paved the way forward for me to always remember to help the new members be their best in our industry,” he said.

Clozza retires from bench


    A man who spent 30 years making decisions, has made his final one at the Drumheller courthouse.
    Judge Gordon Clozza had his final day in court on the bench last Friday, October 9. Clozza, has presided over the Drumheller courthouse for more than three decades. His parting words were a tribute to the many he has worked with over the years.
    "I enjoyed the work, but  more than the law, mostly I will miss the people I work with; the clerks, the counsel, the bar, the Sheriffs the RCMP,” said Clozza. “I think we ran a good, organized court.”
    He added the efficiency of the court had a lot to do with the cooperation of the crown and counsel.
    Defense counsel Bill Herman, in his last appearance in front of Judge Clozza, thanked him for his service and said Clozza, “should be commended for the administration of justice for more than 30 years.”
    Clozza, originally from Drumheller, was called to the bar in June of 1967. He began practice with Bob Ross, and spent 10 years working as a prosecutor and then two years as defense.  He applied for the judge's vacancy, and on May 1, 1979, he took the bench. He was just 35 at the time.
    He says he feels it was helpful that he was from Drumheller. He had insight into some of the people and where they came from, and it helped him appreciate the problems. He says he rarely disqualified himself due to conflicts.
    He originally retired in 2002, but has been working as a supernumerary judge, and continued to preside over the Drumheller courthouse, the Hanna courthouse and help with Calgary circuit court dates when he was needed. This amounted to working half time.
    He quipped when entering a reception in his honour put on by court staff and colleagues, “don’t you remember we did this seven years ago?”   
    While the hours were only half time, he says the keeping up to date with decisions and procedure are important and cannot be dealt with lightly.
    After almost 45 years he is outright retiring from law and is not planning to practice privately. Law will still be a part of his life as his wife is a lawyer, and invariably dinner conversation will often include the topic.
    “I’ve enjoyed my time here, and now I’ll have more free time to do more, and hopefully let someone else take this on," he said.
    Drumheller is a part of the Calgary Regional Court Operations. Without an appointed judge in the community, the court will be serviced as one of the circuit court locations and have a judge come from Calgary to preside.

Valley tourism efforts recognized



    After a stellar season, it is no wonder institutions in the Drumheller valley are being recognized for their  contributions to the tourism industry.
    Travel Alberta announced its list of finalists for the annual Alberta Tourism Awards (ALTO) and The Canadians Badlands Passion Play and the Town of Drumheller were both on the list.
    The Passion Play was nominated in the Alberta Pride Category and the Town of Drumheller was nominated in the Friends of Tourism category.
    “We were pleasantly surprised, we didn’t know a thing about this,” said president for the Canadian Badlands Passion Play, Wilf Golbeck. “This is the  first I can remember us being nominated.”
    The Passion Play won an award from Canada Tourism in 1999 for being Alberta’s top cultural attraction. They also won an award from the American Bus Association for being one of the top North American Attractions.
    “A lot of credit goes to the staff and the hundreds of volunteers at the Passion play,” said Golbeck.
    He says the Passion Play is coming off one of its best season ever.
    “It is a reflection of Drumheller, everyone is working together. Kudos go to Canadian Badlands who is pulling it all together,” Golbeck said.
    The Town of Drumheller’s nomination comes from its “Visitor Friendly” project. Economic Development officer Ray Telford explains Drumheller’s Economic Development Task Force partnered with the Province of Alberta to develop a “Visitor Friendly” template that could be used in the valley as well as other locations. It was from this the “Tourist in Your Own Town” promotion was developed.
    “The town made this report available to various organizations such as Community Futures Big Country and the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce and those organizations followed through on some of the ideas from the template,” said Mayor Bryce Nimmo. “Those organizations did a great job and continue to do a great job in the community.” The Visitor Friendly template suggested that Drumheller consider using a mainstreet program, encouraging improvements to building frontages, reviewing visitor signage, customer service training and many other visitor friendly ideas.”
    The Awards will be presented at the ALTO Awards Gala at Fairmont Banff Springs on October 25. This year, Travel Alberta received 7 per cent more nominations compared to 2008.
    Also nominated along side the Passion Play in the Alberta Pride Category is GPS Tour Guide Inc. – “GyPSy Guide,”  and Banff Metis Crossing, Smoky Lake.
    Drumheller is in the company of  the Jasper Discovery Trail Interpretive Project and the The Whitecourt Trailblazers in the Friends of Tourism Category.


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