News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3202
Last updateFri, 09 Jun 2023 3pm

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.

Tyrrell Museum continues to evolve


    Charles Darwin once said: “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
    He’d hardly think of a day at the Royall Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller to be a waste. You’d have to read On the Origin of Species to get more.
    The world-renowned museum features more than 120,000 specimens, but with the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s iconic work and the 200th anniversary of his birth, a few in particular are receiving special attention.
    Meet Sarcosuchus. No, it’s not a Greek philosopher but rather the largest crocodile ever to walk the Earth. Known affectionately as Super Croc, its skull measures 1.7 metres long and houses 140 teeth. That makes it bigger than Tyrannosaurus rex or Albertosaurus. The carnivorous dinosaur discovered by Joseph Burr Tyrrell in the Canadian Badlands in 1884.
    A rare cast of the skull highlights the “I think…” exhibit at the museum, which pays homage to the man whose theories are the foundations of modern biology. Darwin scribbled those words in 1837 atop a sketch of what is now known as the first ever depiction of an evolutionary tree.
    Super Croc is the biggest example of evolution, but dozens of others will have you alternately gasping in amazement and learning about the theory of evolution. From a range of skulls depicting human ancestry to the fossil of Archaeopteryx, a prehistoric bird, you’ll get a sense of how and why life adapts.
    But that’s just one exhibit in a marvelous museum with many more. From fun interactive displays to the window where you watch new fossils get prepared, every corner of the 120,000 square foot facility is full of wonderment.
    Just driving in to the museum is enough to give you goose bumps. With hoodoos and sandstone cliffs, the six-kilometre route northwest of Drumheller features little development as discoveries are still being made. One rare exception is the Dinosaur Trail Golf and Country Club, which has nine of its splendid 18 holes constructed around the desert-like landscape. A trip into the valley wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Horsethief Canyon, noted for its spectacular views, hiking trails and hoodoos galore. Standing atop the cliffs you can easily envision the shallow waters that covered the area 100 million years ago. The Bleriot Ferry and Atlas Coal Mine are also nearby, with stories of more recent history ready to be told.
    The Canadian Badlands would have been a veritable playground for a man like Charles Darwin. Now it’s your turn to discover.


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