The Page

It’s not every day you get home and find a game of cricket going on in your back yard. Not exactly the back yard, but in the park behind. Srini Jayaraman and a bunch of other cricket lovers were out there bowling and batting and catching. Watching was Mr. Bala, an Indian gent, recently retired from a career as a history teacher and here visiting his daughter and her family. He had all sorts of interesting observations on the game of cricket, on how and why it is so popular in certain parts of the world, on South Asian politics and more.
In cricket, it turns out, a ball hit beyond the outer perimeter of the ground is good for six runs. This is automatic, so the batter doesn’t actually have to do the running. If the fielder crosses the boundary line to catch the fly ball, it’s still six runs. If the ball lands fair and rolls out, it counts as four runs. Unless we got that wrong…..
Two rules down, a few hundred left to learn…..
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Spend some time on the banks of Lesser Slave River above the weir on a warm, relatively calm long-weekend day and you get an idea of how popular it is. Boat traffic to and from the lake is pretty much non-stop at times. And that’s just from the three campgrounds on that short stretch of river, plus the public boat launch. Canyon Creek and Spruce Point are crammed to the gills at the same time, not to mention Big Fish Bay and the provincial park campground.
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Lisa Russell at the Town of Slave Lake showed us a collection of newspaper clippings on local history that Gordon Conrad had dropped off. These will likely end up in the library’s archive collection, but in the meantime, we are having fun going through them. There’s lots of stuff about ‘Mr. Slave Lake,’ Charlie Schurter on the occasion of his 100th birthday in 1987.
Another item is a memorable issue of The Leader from June 26, 1996, showing an aerial view of the William Karpa farmstead near Kinuso, completely inundated by water. Flooding was happening up and down the lake after something like six inches of water fell in the Swan Hills. ‘Rent a plane!’ came the order from HQ, so we did that, and took photos of flooding from Slave Lake west to High Prairie and back.
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Make that ‘pencils for Zambia.’ Our dumb mistake in last week’s Leader was to confuse the two African countries whose names begin with the letter ‘Z’. Moses Garaba was collecting school supplies to take with him to Zambia, where he plans to spend the next year helping with the education of rural kids.
“I’ll be working with teachers there,” he says. “In pedagogy and curriculum. In southern Zambia.”
Moses is from Zimbabwe, which is probably why we got the two places mixed up. He’s taking a leave of absence from his position as principal of Lakeside Outreach School in Slave Lake.
“The response has been quite wonderful,” he says, adding that the school supplies dropped off by Slave Lakers were not just used stuff, but new materials purchased by individuals or donated by local businesses.
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Most people play by the rules, but there are some who think rules are for everybody besides them. These include the ones who ignore catch limits on fish in lakes around here. You don’t have to go far to hear stories about people exceeding the one walleye per day limit for Lesser Slave Lake. Thanks to them, the day when Lesser Slave will be catch and release only is coming sooner rather than later.
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Here’s something from the tail end of our town council notebook from the July 4 meeting that didn’t make it into that report:
Wrapping up the meeting with a review of recent mayoral activities, mayor Tyler Warman spoke in glowing terms about the effort made by town staff for Canada 150 celebrations. Those efforts included a lot of flags painted and flying around town. One that not many people saw was on the roof of the town’s water treatment plant by the airport.
“Outstanding job,” he said.
Another good job was by the folks at Al Ameen Mosque, who put on a pancake lunch and gave tours of the mosque on a recent Sunday. Warman called it “very interesting.”
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That may or may not have been noted competitive fisherman ‘Big Mike’ Wojcik in the Cornerstone shopping centre parking lot last week. He approached the two long-distance cyclists (probably appearing in next week’s Leader) and handed them a $20 bill and wished them well.
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Congratulations to Shauna and crew at Random Thoughtz for being first and best among the Rock The Block outdoor booths set up on the first day of Riverboat Daze on July 7 in a traffic-free downtown Slave Lake.



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