Weyburn was busy working and growing in 2012. Here are some highlights of the year.
On January 12, the Turner Curling Museum celebrated its grand opening at a new location, having been made part of the newly renovated Tom Zandee Sports Arena. Since November 1990, the collection, which includes more than 18,000 curling pins and plenty of curling treasures from across the globe, was formerly housed at the Weyburn Leisure Centre. The museum's original contents were once the personal collection of Don and Elva Turner of Weyburn.
Mayor Button welcomed Inspector Marlo Pritchard as Weyburn's new Chief of Police at a press conference on January 20. Chief Pritchard was sworn in on February 29. Pritchard has a very broad range of police activity spanning 30 years, including experience with SWAT teams and major crimes units.
Weyburn was on a Precautionary Water Advisory (PDWA) from February 8 to April 1. The city had briefly lifted the advisory, but quickly re-issued it on February 25 after low levels of cryptosporidium and giardia, which are pathogenic microorganisms, were detected in the drinking water system. The advisory was not lifted until it was verified that the water was completely safe for drinking.
At their meeting on April 23, Weyburn City Council approved the concept plan by Nicor for the development of the Souris Valley Land area. The concept plan is a three-phase development that includes smaller lots for single family homes and multi-family homes. The plan will also allow site cleaning, tree removal of old underbrush and dying trees to begin preparation for new underground services.
Nicor presented its concept plan to the general public on April 12, for the 52-acre development, which will border the Souris River and the Tatagwa Parkway system, integrating pathway connections, a central park and walkable streetscapes. Saskatchewan Drive would serve as the entryway to the new development, as it did for the Souris Valley hospital.
"It's a wonderful site," said Nicor's president Ross Keith. "It has a lot of history and it's a site that we want to do justice."
The Triple C Centre fundraising committee made great strides this year. On January 6, a generous but anonymous donation of $500,000 was given with the condition that the commons area be called 'Colleen Weimer Hall'.
"This donor is honouring a well-known, loved and respected member of our community," said Isabelle Butters, Triple C Fundraising Committee chair. "This woman has gone above and beyond the call of duty in sharing her musical talents in Weyburn."
Many businesses stepped up to contribute to the Triple C Centre this year, but the other big highlight is, of course, the naming of the centre.
On June 23, Ken and Jo-Anne Cugnet revealed that their family had purchased the naming rights for the Triple C Centre last year, with a $1 million investment portfolio.
"We have chosen the name 'The Kenney & Jo-Anne Cugnet Centre'. We put our names on at the behest of our children, but we wish it to be simply called the 'Cugnet Centre' to honour our family and those who came before us and stayed, as did we and now our children and their wives, who have also decided to stay. We are proud to call Weyburn our home," said Ken Cugnet.
"Nothing would give us greater satisfaction than to give back to our community, Weyburn," he added. "We are building on the foundation of those who came before us."
The Triple C Centre construction is set to be complete later in 2013.
The Cugnets also contributed a $1 million portfolio to the Weyburn and District Hospital Foundation.
Ground was broken this spring for a new football field for Weyburn Minor Football, which will be located just west of Darrold Kot Field.
Graham DeLaet returned in July for another Charity Golf Tournament, raising $370,000 for the W&DHF.
The Weyburn Wor-Kin Shop Corp. acquired the land for its new Day Program facility this year, but fundraising must be complete before they can start to build the facility.
Brendon Labatte was welcomed back home to Saskatchewan this year. LaBatte had been a Winnipeg Blue Bomber since he was selected in the 2008 draft after his outstanding University of Regina football career. The Saskatchewan Roughriders held a news conference on February 16 to announce the signing of the six-foot-four, 300-pound Labatte.
"Brendon has proven that he is one of the best players in the CFL," said Mayor Button. "Those of us in Weyburn who had the opportunity to watch him grow up here and play for the Weyburn Eagles couldn't be prouder of him and his performance."
Labatte spent four seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after being drafted by the team in the first round in the 2008 CFL Canadian Draft. He was named the team's nominee for Rookie of the Year in 2008. He earned an all-star nod in both 2009 and 2010. Last season, his dominating play earned him his third consecutive East Division All-Star nomination and his first CFL All-Star recognition.
Instead of living in Regina, LaBatte chose to make Weyburn his home, where he is raising a family. He can be seen driving a customized Chevy truck from Barber Motors, dubbed, 'The LaBatte-mobile.'
A grand re-opening ceremony was held on May 15 at the Weyburn Courthouse. Representative officials from the City of Weyburn, the Provincial Court and the Government of Saskatchewan gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Work on the court house started in the spring of 2009, so for three years, Court Services were relocated to the Auburn Pepper building in City Centre Mall.
Court resumed the week of June 18 in the restored historical red brick colonial-style building.
The total budget for the upgrades was $8.4 million.
"The historical value of this building plays a prominent role in the community," said Government Services Minister Laura Ross. "This restoration and relife ensures that the facility will remain a vibrant part of Weyburn for many years to come."
St. Dominic Savio School closed its doors permanently after classes ended in June. All students from St. Dominic have been included within the walls of the newly renovated St. Michael's School.
On September 13, dignitaries, including Education Minister Russ Marchuk, Mayor Debra Button and MLA Dustin Duncan, joined students and representatives from the Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division at St. Michael's School to celebrate the school's official grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Construction included renovations and upgrades to the facility, including six new classrooms, the addition of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten space, as well as the completion of a performing arts area and fully equipped stage in the gymnasium.
"We are proud of our new facility and the positive environment that helps us build our Catholic Learning Community, from pre-kindergarten to Grade 9," Holy Family School Division Board Chair Bruno Tuchscherer said.
More than a thousand people visited Weyburn in September for the Canadian Student Leadership Conference. Weyburn Comprehensive School hosted students, advisors, presenters and trade show vendors from across Canada.
From the 25th to 29th of September, 650 students were billeted and more than 400 other participants, including faculty advisors, presenters and vendors, were lodged in Weyburn's hotels.
WCS faculty advisors carefully selected 86 local students to be spirit leaders. In addition to the conference attendees, 325 kids from the school donated at least six hours of their time to assisting with various duties. The legacy of leadership that has left its permanent mark on these students will indeed benefit the community of Weyburn well into the future.
On October 12, the Family Place presented its first Royal Ball - a formal, red carpet gala experience for children ages two to 12 years. The event is set to become a regular fundraising event for The Family Place.
Even though it takes months and many hands and hearts to plan and prepare for the event, the joy the kids experienced that evening made it all worthwhile. Children attended the ball dressed as little princesses, princes or pirates who explored themed booths, rode on a stagecoach, made wishes on the magical Wish Fountain - and even got to walk the plank in the pirate's lair.
Until this year, The Family Place has held two main annual fundraisers, the Gargantuan Garage Sale in April and the Festival of Trees in December. The employees are hoping that, by adding a third fundraiser to the roster, covering expenses at the centre will be made a little easier.
The Family Place also had their most successful Festival of Trees in 2012, raising $60,000.
On October 24, voters in the City of Weyburn elected two new City Councillors and re-elected each of the four incumbent Councillors, as well as Mayor Debra Button. In total, just over 2,100 ballots were cast.
Mayor Button received a total of 1,683 votes out of the 1,945 that were cast, which was 86.5 per cent of the vote.
Councillors Rob Stephanson, Winston Bailey, Nancy Styles and Dick Michel returned to Council Chambers, joined by newcomers Laura Morrissette and Mel Van Betuw.
Each of the elected officials will serve a four-year term. Mayor Button will, in fact, become the first Mayor of Weyburn to serve for ten consecutive years.
Queen Elizabeth II created 60,000 Diamond Jubilee medals in honour of her sixtieth year reigning as Queen. Dozens of Weyburn residents received the medal, which was presented in recognition of those who have contributed to community enrichment.
Although there were many events worth noting, these were the major points of interest for Weyburn in 2012.