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Red Deer’s Boer War Soldiers

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  • As Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of 41 Signal Regiment, I think it’s important that we learn about our military history, especially one as rich and meaningful as our local military history.  Here in the 2nd of 3 local stories, Michael Dawe tells us about the soldiers from our region who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Boer War.

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    Lionel Page and his troop of men after the turn of the last century.

    When the Red Deer Hospital opened in 1904, it was dedicated to the memory of three young men from the Balmoral District east of Red Deer who had been killed in the Boer War. They were Angus Jenkins, Archibald McNicoll and Charles Cruickshank.

    Angus Jenkins was born in Fredericton New Brunswick in 1877. He moved with his parents, brother and sister to a homestead about three miles east of Red Deer.  A big strapping man, more than 6 feet in height, he became a “cow puncher”.

    In February 1900, he went down to Pincher Creek with his friend Charles Cruickshank and enlisted in the Lord Strathcona Horse. He then departed for South African and the Boer War.

    On July 1 (Dominion Day) 1900, he was proceeding with an advance party near Waterval, South Africa. They encountered a group of Boers flying a white flag in a farm house.  When the Canadians proceeded closer, they were ambushed by unseen enemies who were hiding in a small orchard. Trooper Jenkins was killed instantly when a Mauser bullet hit his bandolier and two cartridges exploded.

    Angus Jenkins was the first member of the Lord Strathcona Horse to be killed in action. He was buried in a garden at Wuuchaut Spruit. The Earl of Dundonald and Colonel Sam Steele attended the funeral.

    Charles Cruickshank was born in 1877 in Pembroke Ontario. In 1891, he moved with his family to Red Deer, homesteading in Balmoral.  Charles originally worked in the construction business with his father, but later became a cowboy. In February 1900, he enlisted in the Lord Strathcona Horse with Angus Jenkins.

    On September 4th, 1900, near Badfontein, South Africa, he was part of a small group of soldiers sent to assist an observation post which was coming under enemy attack. Trooper Cruickshank and Sergeant Brothers were in the front of the relieving party. When their company was forced to withdraw, they were found to be missing. Later that night, when the observation post was recaptured, the bodies of the two men were found.

    Charles Cruickshank was buried by Rev. Webb Peploe, formerly of Calgary, in a grave at the headwaters of the Crocodile River.

    Archibald McNicoll was born in 1876 in Bruce County Ontario. He moved with his family to the Balmoral district in the spring of 1891. The McNicolls started Red Deer’s first market garden. Archibald later became a cowboy, In February 1900, he responded to the call to serve “King and Empire” and enlisted in the Lord Strathcona Horse in Calgary.

    In June 1900, he became severely ill with enteric (typhoid) fever. He died at Newcastle, South Africa on June 19th. He is buried near the site of the army hospital.

    There was a large plaque at the Red Deer Regional Hospital which commemorated the fact that the Red Deer Hospital was originally dedicated to these three young men who lost their lives while serving their country. When Alberta Health Services took over the management of the Regional Hospital, it was taken down. It now resides at the Red Deer Museum.

    Read more from Todayville.


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    President Todayville Inc., Former VP/GM CTV Edmonton, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Past Board Member United Way of Alberta Capital Region, Musician, Photographer.

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    Red Deer Rustlers first home game Saturday night at Penhold Multiplex

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  • From the Red Deer Rustlers.  Photo Courtesy Dennis Berg

    RED DEER SENIOR RUSTLERS SET FOR HOME DEBUT

    The Red Deer Senior Rustlers ready to play in front of home crowd for the first time on Saturday night.

    With their first ever North Central Hockey League game, and win, under their belts, the Red Deer Senior Rustlers are set for their home debut on Saturday night.

    After edging the Devon Barons 5-4 on the road last Saturday, the Barons come to Penhold Saturday night for a rematch, the first time the Rustlers will skate in front of a home crowd.

    “We can’t wait to see the community come out (to Penhold) on Saturday night and cheer us on for our inaugural home game,” said Rustlers President and team captain Mike Dempster. ” It’s amazing how many people have already rallied behind us – family, friends, businesses, you name it. Now we have a chance to thank them for their support by going out and getting our first win at home, and that’s pretty exciting for us.”

    Saturday’s home game kicks off a string of four straight for the Rustlers at the Penhold Multiplex – the team’s home rink for the 2018-19 season.

    “A lot of work has gone into this moment, and it’s going to be really special for everyone involved,” said General Manager Ted Emmett. “Our board members, players, families, friends and sponsors have all invested a lot into this team, and what we’ve already accomplished is no small feat. For the team to finally hit the ice in front of a home crowd is just the cherry on top of what’s already been an incredible experience for all of us.”

    Doors open at 7pm at the Penhold Multiplex, with puck drop set for 7:45, following a short ceremony at 7:30. The first 100 fans in attendance will receive a free Rustlers cowbell.

    Tickets for the game are $10 at the door, children under 12 are free. Season tickets are also available as well for $65 each, which includes all eight Rustlers home games.

    For more information on the Red Deer Senior Rustlers, contact rdsenioraarustlers@gmail.com, or follow the team on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


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    GoFundMe campaign for Red Deer FireMedic facing long road to recovery

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  • From GoFundMe campaign for “Big Ben” 

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    On October 1, Ben a 42 year old firemedic from Red Deer was faced with an unexpected event.  In a split moment, Big Ben (aka friendly giant as some of you may know him) needed the help of specialized surgeons. Due to the swift response of the firemedic dept, he was taken out of city to have emergency surgery. The surgery was successful, however he did sustain a stroke post op. Ben has a long road of recovery ahead with the potential for lifelong changes.

    Currently Benny is out of cardiac intensive care and remains in hospital. His family, children (3), grandchildren (2), colleagues and close friends have been supporting him from near and far. He is recovering well but all of this will take time.

    Ben has a large network of people who extend far and wide from childhood friends, clientele from the good ol’ ‘Mort’s’ days, his involvement with charities and schools that have been close to his heart, his team on the fire departments, fashion show peeps (yes he actually has graced the runway for many many charitable causes) and the list goes on.

    If you have met Ben, you will have had that intimate knowing that he is ‘that guy’ who IS “hard to forget” not only because of his sheer size (6’5) but because he has that genuine and calming nurturing ability to touch our lives in so many ways.

    Since his hospitalization, many people have reached out asking “how can I help?”, “what can I do?”.  Well this page will be one of the ways you can help Big Benny.

    We do not know the amount of his future expenses. At this moment, we are cherishing his daily progress and flowing one day at a time. With saying that however, we know that unexpected costs will arise.
    Ben has a strong work ethic. He worked extra shifts, working at a second job to support himself, the lives and future of his children. Because of this change in life circumstance, he will not be able to leverage on these extra sources of income.

    We are hoping to have a fund set aside to alleviate his burden.  Should down the road if the funds aren’t required and as Ben would have it, he can choose to donate the extra money to a charity dear to his heart.

    Again, here is a link to the GoFundMe campaign.


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    october, 2018

    wed3oct - 7novoct 310:00 amnov 7RentSmart - CMHA10:00 am - (november 7) 12:00 pm

    thu11oct - 29novoct 115:45 pmnov 29Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) - CMHA5:45 pm - (november 29) 8:15 pm

    thu18oct - 20oct 189:00 amoct 20Westerner Dairy Showcase9:00 am - 6:00 pm (20)

    thu18oct7:00 pm- 10:00 pmThank You Canada Tour7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

    fri19oct - 21oct 1912:00 pmoct 21Red Deer Home Renovation & Design Show12:00 pm - 5:00 pm (21)

    fri19oct - 21oct 195:00 pmoct 21The New Earth Expo5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (21)

    fri19oct7:00 pm- 9:00 pmLibrary Libations Local Brews7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    sat20oct - 21oct 2010:00 amoct 21Carswell's Annual Red Deer Christmas Antique, Vintage & Retro Show & Sale10:00 am - 4:00 pm (21)

    fri26oct - 28oct 2610:00 amoct 28Our Best to You Craft Sale10:00 am - 5:00 pm (28)

    sat27oct10:00 am- 2:00 pm2018 Red Deer Healthy Smiles Halloween Half Marathon10:00 am - 2:00 pm

    sun28oct10:00 am- 3:00 pmCVMGCA Motorcycle Fall Swapmeet10:00 am - 3:00 pm

    tue30oct - 4novoct 3010:00 amnov 4Canadian Finals Rodeo10:00 am - (november 4) 11:45 pm

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