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Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

Ossie Sheddy - a pillar of the community

    As The Mail celebrates its centennial it would be remiss if it didn’t feature the man who guided the direction of The Drumheller Mail for many years.
     In many ways, Ossie Sheddy also helped to guide the town through some of its lean years and helped to put many of the pieces in place that the community has built upon and achieved success.
    While the family homestead was in Wardlow, just 80 kilometres east of Drumheller, it wasn’t until 1940 that Ossie came to make a home in the valley. At just 22, he moved from Edmonton and worked as a salesman for Canadian Packers, and roomed with Dr. Brummie Aiello for some time.
     While he was only in the valley for a couple years, he did manage to woo Florence Durrant of Rockyford, and the young couple moved to Edmonton where he went to work on a wartime US military oil project. Around this time he was also called up to serve in the military and was stationed in Calgary for a short time.
    After he was discharged the couple made their way back to the valley, and began raising their family.
    Rather than go back to his job with Canadian Packers, he had a calling to be an entrepreneur and with no restaurant experience he bought the Crystal Café, which he operated for nine years.
    Toward the end of the 1940s, he and a small collection of businessmen in the valley were able to purchase mineral rights on some land in the Munson area. In 1952, Mazel 1 struck oil. He didn’t stay in the oil industry very long, however, and he and friends Sammy Robb and John Anderson bought The Drumheller Mail from the Clark Brothers. He eventually bought out his partners’ shares and became the full owner and third publisher in The Mail’s history.
    Known to be outspoken, he never shied away from getting into the thick of issues and his columns “With Malice Toward None” and then the famous “Roundabout” became legendary.
 While busy with the newspaper he remained active with a number of service clubs and served as a City Councillor for 19 years.
    In the early sixties Drumheller was struggling as coal mining revenue dried up. He was a part of a clutch of civic leaders that spearheaded bringing the Drumheller Institution to the community. This secured the financial viability of the valley for years to come.
    His experience lobbying government paid off again two decades later when he and another group of civic leaders bent the ear of then Premier Peter Lougheed and set the groundwork for the Royal Tyrrell Museum.
     Ossie owned the newspaper from 1954 to 1993 and worked there up until his passing in 2000. Even while he was in the hospital for the illness that eventually took his life, when he did get a day pass he used it to sell advertising to the chairman of Health Authority 5.
    Through the years, whether it was on his regular sales calls, on the golf course, on the curling rink, or in heated debate around the council table, he left an impression on those with whom he worked and loved, and the valley has been better for it.

Trial date set for Institution supervisor charged with theft

    A trial date has been set for a Drumheller Institution corrections supervisor who has been charged with theft.
    Nathan Shandera appeared in the Drumheller provincial court through an agent for himself and his counsel on Friday, December 16. He has been charged with theft under $5,000, possession of stolen property, and possession of the proceeds of crime.
    May 25, 2012 was set for a trial date for Shandera.
    Drumheller RCMP laid charges following an investigation regarding missing money and video cameras from the Drumheller Institution. Video cameras matching those missing ended up for sale on eBay.

Facility completion date now set for early 2012

    While no firm date is set, or is planned to be set, the Badlands Community Facility is now slated to open some time  early in the new year.
    The most recent date for completion was set at December 30 of this year. Mayor Terry Yemen concedes that this deadline will not be met.
    “We are looking very early in 2012,” said Mayor Yemen.
    He said one of the issues recently is that over Christmas there are not any inspectors available to approve work as it moves forward.
    “They (contractors) said it is their intention to keep working through Christmas but there will be some challenges because you can’t cover up the work without it being inspected,” said Yemen.
    The Badlands Community Facility broke ground last fall as residents heard the piles being driven. Today the building has taken shape and is an impressive sight. This fall the cenotaph was relocated from Centennial Park behind the curling arena to the front of the building.
    To get that far however, has taken longer than anticipated. The original opening date was slated for August of 2011. This was pushed back to November and then finally December. Yemen said they would not publicly set a new date for opening.
     According to CAO Ray Romanetz, the construction of the facility is roughly $650,000 under budget at this time.


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