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Local artist records original song for Remembrance Day with video showcasing Red Deer’s military history


4 minute read

Editor’s note: This article was published in 2020.  It was extremely popular in the Central Alberta region so we wanted to circulate it again this year, now even more poignant with the war in Ukraine. The video uses many images that are familiar to Central Albertans and pays tribute to Central Alberta soldiers who have deployed internationally over the years. 

This spring, a singer and songwriter friend of mine from Red Deer, Shelly Dion, came to me with a song idea that had, in her words, been “knocking around in my head for the past 30 years”. She said that she really wanted to pay her respects to the people who sacrificed their lives and livelihoods to go to war.

The song is called “Lay Me Down”, and it’s a very fitting song for this time of year. We decided to get together and record a simple version of the song.  Then I sent her off to see musical wizard, Red Deer’s Heath West of Medodius Design.  Heath came up with some excellent improvements and we recorded it in his studio this fall.

As Honorary Colonel of 41 Signal Regiment in Alberta, I’m always looking for opportunities to promote the military, our Regiment’s members, and of course at this time of year, to acknowledge the sacrifice made by the men and women who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces. “Lay Me Down” hit all the right notes.

With some help from Counsellor Michael Dawe, long-time archivist for the City of Red Deer, I gained access to some wonderful historic photos that helped me to tell some of the stories of Red Deer’s military history. At the same time, I wanted to help the members of our Regiment honour the many local members who have volunteered to put their lives and careers on hold to deploy internationally to places like Afghanistan, Golan Heights, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and more recently Ukraine and Latvia. This project allowed me to both profiles some local history and recognize our more modern history. Thanks to WO Drew Adkins of 41 Signal Regiment for his help in coordinating photos from our wall of fame inside Cormack Armoury.

The above video is the result. Take some time to learn about our local military history. Do you know who Cormack Armoury is named after? You’ll also learn about local members of 41 Signal Regiment (2 Sqn), many of whom actively serve in the Armed Forces today. You may even know some of them as neighbours, friends, and co-workers.  Please take a moment to acknowledge their service, and on November 11th, attend a service, and at the very least, take a moment at 11 AM to be silent and consider how lucky we are to be at peace in our country.

“Lay Me Down” is written and performed by Shelly Dion and produced and engineered by Heath West. Musicians: Bagpipes Glenn MacLeod, acoustic guitar Heath West, electric guitars Lloyd Lewis, drums Phil Liska, Bass Doug Gagnon.

Click to read more on Todayville.

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Director Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) musician, photographer, former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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Test of Halloween candy at Rocky Mountain House reveals Fentanyl

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From Rocky Mountain House RCMP News Releases

While examining Halloween candy this week, a parent in Rocky Mountain House discovered an open package with three pieces of a dark substance that looked suspicious.

Concerned, the parent turned over the package to Rocky Mountain House RCMP. Early tests from the Alberta RCMP Forensic Identification Section have identified the presence of Fentanyl.

The substance has been sent to the RCMP Lab for further tests.  While Rocky RCMP try to discover the source of the package, they’re reminding parents to take extra precaution in examining their children’s Halloween candy.   Remember that any unsealed candy should be thrown away immediately.

If you find anything suspicious in your candy, contact your local Police.

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‘Over so fast’: Alberta man killed in Las Vegas stabbing remembered by widow

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Ponoka – The wife of an Alberta man who was fatally stabbed in a random attack on the Las Vegas Strip last week is remembering him as a kid at heart.

Brent Hallett, 46, had been travelling the world since April 2021 with his wife, looking for their forever-home. They had been to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore before landing in Las Vegas, a favourite destination the two had been to many times.

“He loved Disneyland, so he was kind of a kid at heart, but he was also an old soul,” Carmelita Hallett said Friday in a phone interview from Ponoka, south of Edmonton.

“His favourite musician was Elvis Presley, so he had both qualities in the same body.”

She said her husband loved animals, especially rabbits, which they had had as pets since they got together 28 years ago. After they found a place to settle down, Hallett said, they planned to get more rabbits to add to the family.

“It was always something we were going to do.”

She said her husband easily made friends on their travels and had a gregarious disposition.

He was a businessman and was involved with a variety of entrepreneurial endeavours, including an ice cream shop.

The couple was walking past the Wynn Las Vegas Resort in Las Vegas on Oct. 6 when the midday attack happened.

Police in Las Vegas have said a man asked a group of showgirls outside the resort to pose with him for a photo, then he took out a chef’s knife and began stabbing people.

Brent Hallett and another person were killed and six others were wounded.

Yoni Barrios, 32, has been charged with two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder.

A defence lawyer in the case has raised questions about the suspect’s mental health. According to an arrest report, Barrios said after the stabbings that he had “let the anger out.”

He is being held without bail pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for January.

“It was over so fast,” said Carmelita Hallett, adding she was right beside her husband when he was stabbed.

“I didn’t see anything until I looked at him after it happened, and he fell to the ground.

“My message to everyone is to live every second to your fullest, because you never know when it’s going to be over.”

She said she plans to organize a charity called “Jumpy” in honour of her husband’s life and love for animals.

“I don’t want him to be forgotten and I don’t want this horrible thing that happened to be forgotten.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2022.

— By Angela Amato in Edmonton, with files from The Associated Press


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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december, 2022

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