Through the years: Gilwood adds a bar, new aquatics program, and other news

Snippets from April 13th and 14th Lakeside Leaders


Gilwood Golf Club was renovating its clubhouse. The changes included two new bathrooms, a storage space and bar, and lots of cedar panelling.
At the AGM, the board decided to apply for a liquor licence and approved the renos and slightly higher golf membership fees. These were men $50, women $40, families $100, students over 16 $30, and under 16 $15. The daily green fees remained the same and weren’t listed.

Someone at the Gilwood Golf Club counter likely in the late 1980s or early 1990s. A six-pack of beer was $13.50.
The back of this photo says ‘Bob Chute president of Gilwood Golf and Country Club shows tentative plans for new club house.’ The year wasn’t stated.

There was a different speed limit for semis than for other vehicles. This now also applied to RVs, which weighed over 8,000 lbs.

One of the mills in the Slave Lake area was up for sale. This was Alberta Aspen Board Ltd. The deadline for bids had passed, with no takers. However, there were a few interested parties, so there was a likelihood of an extension.

Canada had a population of 23 million.

Electrical companies were warning of potential restrictions, brown-outs, and other issues, if Canada did not develop an energy policy.

4-H clubs across Alberta were going to take part in ‘Pitch-In ’77, an Outdoors Unlittered.’ They were going to be paid $8 a mile to pick up garbage in the ditches May 9 to 15th. The clubs kept any returnable bottles and cans.
Outdoors Unlittered was a nonprofit founded in 1967.

One article was called ‘The Kinuso Update.’ Kinuso Ag society voted to buy a metal building to house a new curling rink.
This followed a fact-finding trip by Josephine Samuelson, Anton Kirtio, Nick Tanasuik, and Elvin Samuelson. They went to Elnora, AB in late March to check out a metal building that community was using for a curling rink.
The Ag Society agreed on a smaller building than originally proposed, because of lack of funds. The original idea was to build something big enough to house rec-rooms, a library, and craft rooms, as well as the curling rink.

The fine for drunk driving was $150 and a six-month driving prohibition. Failing to produce a driver’s licence was a $5 fine.


School boards had tough decisions to make about Kindergarten. The government of Alberta was only going to fund 200, instead of 400 hours of Kindergarten.
In Slave Lake, there were schools run by High Prairie School Division and St. Mary of the Lake Roman Catholic Separate School Division. Neither had decided how to proceed. The two school divisions used the same buses, which would cause conflict if they made different decisions.

There was a proposed new health region, called Region 13. It would include High Prairie, Kinuso, Slave Lake, Wabasca, Smith, Flatbush, Red Earth Creek, and Peerless and Trout Lake. While geographically large, the population estimate was around 25,000. This was much less than the suggested population of 100,000.
Slave Lake Mayor Peter Moore was very pleased. He assumed that the smaller size was due to advocacy done by Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pearl Calahasen.

The road to the Grizzly Ridge Ski Hill near Slave Lake was under construction. To protect the road, Alberta Transportation, the Town of Slave Lake, and Improvement District 124, proposed closing the road during spring thaw and freeze up. The portion in question was nine km long.

Water and sewer rates in I.D. 124 were set to rise. The biggest change was in Flatbush, which would increase by 50 per cent. There were only 12 customers using the service, which was designed for 50.

Slave Lake had lost its only physiotherapist, so there was even fever opportunities than previously, for kids with disabilities to exercise. Two locals approached the Northern Lights Aquatic Centre to fill the gap. The result was an Adapted Aquatics Program.

There were plans to form a joint Slave Lake and Smith speed skating club. Proposed board members were from the two communities, but skating was open to anyone in the area. There were 25-30 skaters signed up. Registration was to be in August, with a 22-week season starting in the fall.

A paid bird bander and assistant were going to start banding birds in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park. The hope was also to start a permanent banding station.

Slave Lake’s 10th annual trade show was coming up. There were lots of businesses signed up, with only three spots left. It was to be April 29 to May 1.

The fine for drunk driving was $550 and a six-month driving prohibition.


The business scene in Slave Lake was shifting. The Brick was the newest business to be confirmed. It was expected to open in October.

Construction on a dialysis unit in Slave Lake was expected to start within the week.

A family dog in Sucker Creek unearthed and dragged home an unexpected package. It was about $10,000 worth of cocaine. At $100 a gram, this was an expensive drug which was becoming common in the area.

Slave Lake Fish and Wildlife had some fencing from the provincial government to be used by farmers to keep their cattle out of creeks, wetlands, and riparian areas. This in turn protects vegetation, habitat, and lessens erosion.

Mary Brown from Slave Lake received an Esquao Award from the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women. This was for her volunteer work with the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre.


Spring runoff was in full swing.
Three Northern Lakes College employees exaggerated the flooding situation by rowing a canoe across 100 metres of water near the student residence sign. By the next day, the Town of Slave Lake had pumped the water out.

The wildfire season started on April 1. Even with lots of snow in the winter, the Slave Lake Forest Area was experiencing a drought.
The current hazard was low, but was expected to be moderate through high in the summer.

There was a federal election. At least three, candidates had confirmed that they would attend the Slave Lake candidate forum.

Stage North Association was a new thing in Slave Lake. It planned to bring musical and other performers to town starting in the fall. They were to perform at the new St. Peter’s Ecumenical Church in southeast Slave Lake.

The Slave Lake Legion held a darts tournament. Kevin Gouchie (Slave Lake) won the men’s and Jenny Lafleur (High Prairie) the women’s. In doubles, Slave Lake branch took both – Clayton Proulx and Terry Parsons for the men’s and Carol Baker and Beth McDonald for the women’s.

Nick Borchert had self-produced an album. In a few months he was graduating from Roland Michener Secondary School. In the fall, he planned to study jazz and popular music at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton.

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