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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 1, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta People of the south By Chris Stewart A job isn't work when you love it nacamocr int LCI npmuuc H 9 THE VOICE OF ONE Dr. Frank S. Morley Who is this keen woman at the 1930 Underwood whose facts and figures are as rapid as her typing You reason she must be a graduate in Municipal Management she knows so much about City administration and somehow you imagine you've met before her voice sounds so familiar. Helen is a graduate of the school not one of degrees and classroom exposure but 45 years as clerk-stenographer and managerial secretary at city hall She probably took your distress call the day you phoned in to report your power lines were down. never forget January when as a timid 16 year I went to city hall then above the No. 1 firehall at 4th Street and 2nd to be interviewed by electrical Arthur Reid. When he told me to hang up my coat and take dictation I was so nervous I could hard- ly hol'd my she recalls. After three days when he asked if she would like to Helen answered would love if you would put up with nothing to put up with. We would be happy to have was his reassuring reply and with that this Siovakian fresh out of the Garbutt Business became the city's fourth clerk-stenographer in a day when office women were rare. Her 45 year career at city hall was to include 29 years as secretary to the city manager. Landing a monthly city hall job was the lift Helen's struggling family needed. Her Michael and Anna Vaselenak had emigrated from Nizni Slovinki now in 1881 to Union where her father had mined before opening a store and saloon in Ohio. Broke in the Vaselenaks headed west to Lethbridge and were among the first Slovaks to set- tle here. Jobs were due to a but with wage agreements finalized positions in the No No. 2 and No. 3 mines opened up at the riverbottom. Coal was hauled up the steep incline to the tipple at the coulee top An experienced European Michael Vaselenak was sent back to Pennsylvania to recruit miners by Collier's William Staf- ford. He returned with a dozen and when asked how much he wanted for his services he modestly give me a The Vaselenaks settled in one of the coal company's row houses on First Avenue on top of the coulees and later moved to 8th Street when Mr. Vaselenak switched to the No. 3 collieries. He homesteaded a quarter section across the river when the mines were closed for the summer of 1904. Oldest obtained an adjoining homestead and later obtained a preemption adjoin- ing the 300 acre riverfront property they subsequently purchased. They farmed summers with the elder Vaselenak working winters as a check weighman in the No.-3 mine. Anna Vaselenak com- muted between the farm and her Lethbridge as needed The hardships faced by these early immigrants is evi- dent by the fact only six of Mrs. Vaselenak's 15 children survived. Nine died in infancy with four of her newboTn sons buried in St. Patrick's cemetery between 1882 and 1900. Homesickness for Czechoslovakia persuaded the Vaselenaks in 1893 to use their hard-earned savings to return to their homeland. Helen was born there two years later but by 1898 they were back in Lethbridge this time for good. She credits her training in spelling and provided by the.Sisters of the Faithful Companions of Jesus during tier years at St. Aloysuis for much of her success at city hall. Her introduction to the lublic utilities department nas as exciting as the year 1912 was for the city. The nauguration of the city's itreet car system coincided with the July opening of the Dry Farming Congress. One Helen's duties was unlock- ng the street car money box- and counting the fares. Vith forms of civic govern- nent changing periodically iclen was to learn the value if adaptability. During her engthy career she served un- ler mayors George W. 1 I David Horton Alfred W. John A. Judge L. Sherman Turcotte and T. Russell Haig and under com- mission and managerial governments. In the city adopted managerial then unique in western which included a council of seven aldermen who ap- pointed their own mayor plus a city manager engaged to handle the city affairs. Robert the first mayor under this served as city manager from July 1st to September when J. T. Watson had resigned as chief engineer of the power house the previous year in protest over the Calgary Power Company's attempt to purchase the Lethbridge power was named the first city manager. With his appointment the public utilities' department Helen had such long ex- and the park's department amalgamated with the managerial department. Helen was nam- ed manager's secretary a position she held for 29 years. Adaptability in adjusting to new quarters was just as necessary as adapting to changes in government. Offices above the No. 1 firehall became too congested in 1916 so four of the city's departments mayors' and city clerks' were moved to the Donnan block from the fire and two and moved to the Keen block the Hungarian An additional move to the Chinook Club building from the Marquis Hotel and since demolished to make way for the Royal was necessary in 1918 where city offices were housed until the new city hall on 4th Avenue was opened in 1948. The Fritz Sick pool and the Civic Ice Centre were also opened that year with a dinner honoring retiring city manager J. T. Watson the first activity stag- ed at the centre Helen remembers her monthly raise following her first year's service as one ot the highlights of her long career felt so insecure I was expecting to be given my notice with every pay check but instead I opened my envelope to find a raise. was I She also remembers the 18 per cent salary cut during the First World War and the establish- ment of the relief department in the street railway car barns in 1930. It was thought the department and the depres- sion would be short-lived but as hard times continued it was necessary to appoint an office two investigators and twn clerk-stenographers to handle the applicants. City hall wasn't the only interest in this young secretary's life. George a cigar-maker from Church Nova arrived in Lethbridge in 1908 to join Mr. N. F. Supina in his cigar shop on 2nd Avenue South. He had gone north to Alaska in 1913 to pan for summer returning to Lethbridge in winter. It was love at first sight when he met Helen Vaselenak in 1916. When they were married on May in the basement of St. Patrick's church Helen quit her city hall job and helped her husband raise Holsteins on the riverbottom farm rented from Mrs. Jane Lewis the Stafford homestead and now the Valley Feed lot owned by Richard married women worked in those so I was reluctant to consider she recalls. But two years when she learned her successor was leaving for she set a precedent at city hall by deciding to go back. She learned city operations from the roots up from weighing bus issuing electrical recording handling costs for the city's power taking dis- tress calls when 50 mile winds downed power lines and even hiring personnel. She rememlitirs the grim days of 1913 when the city's finances got so low the city hall staff weren't paid for three months and the banks foreclosed with Mayor George Hatch paying the employees out of his own bank account. This was in sharp contrast to the extravagance of Joseph commissioner of in- dustry hired in Chicago by Mayor Hardie whose hand- some salary and luxurious of- fice maHp the financially-pinched staff gasp. His five-year contract was terminated after three years when the only industry he was able to finalize was that of the Catelli Macaroni company. Retired on December this ambitious woman purchased from city hall her 1912 desk and 1930 Underwood when the city switched to electric is as busy today with the dozen organizations she supports as when she worked full time as manager's secretary. Her She loves everything she puts her hand whether it's double check- ing the city's light expen- ditures or assisting pen- sioners. Her success in raising funds for the carrara marble statue erected in the niche fronting St. Patrick's church shows her ambition. AS a tribute to the parish pioneers Mrs. Belliveau contacted remaining family scattered across the who supported her cause with sizeable donations. The marble statue of St. Patrick arrived from Italy a year after the official church opening with a bronze plaque bearing the names of the 35 honored pioneers located in the vestibule. Widowed in 1965 Mrs. Belliveau resides with her son Robert. She is dedicated to improving working conditions for but refuses to be identified with any group en- dorsing abortion on demand. Each day finds her busy at her checking files and supplying facts for the causes she supports. She considers it a strange coincidence that her Mrs. H. V. Rhine of worked Northern Pacific in St. Paul for 43 years and her brother served as teacher and principal at St. school in Lethbridge for 42 was an alderman nine retiring at age as Mrs. Belliveau did. She has a Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Swidinski and a brother Vic- both of Lethbridge. She disagrees with the view that one gets rusty if on the job too long. grow with your providing you en- joy she claims. you love your work it is 90 per cent of the battle. Instead of asking what we can get we should be thinking of what we can give. This at- titude incites enthusiasm and She offers a word of admonition to immigrants forgetting her early days in the bite the hand that feeds you. We have the best government in the especially here in Helen Beiiweau embodies the philosophy she espouses. Mrs. Helen Belliveau Photo by Walter Kerber Book reviews Engaging story of America Cooke's A. x 400 dis- tributed by Random House of Canada Alistair Cooke won acclaim for his TV series on he is certain to receive abun- dant praise for this expansion of the scripts. Seldom does one encounter a history so engagingly recounted. No doubt readers might be tempted to quarrel with Cooke here and there through his book the pedant mention- ed in the acknowledgements who characteriza- tion of Mr. J. will not I was disappointed at the outset to find a perpetuation of the error that Mormons are committed to the belief that the Indians are descended from the Ten Lost Tribes of wanderers of The Book of Mormon came from Judah not But a short time a good- natured comment about bypassing the scholastic brawls about the earliest visitors to America got me back on his wave-length and I read through the book happily. There is just the right touch in toning down the idolizing tendencies to be seen in many treatments of the famous figures in American history. The fact that most of these people had feet of clay is no reason for savage debunking in the opinion of it he is willing to accept reality with good grace and a touch of humor. Seldom does Cooke's good hitmstr Him fWtA places his prose is unrelieved by it is in the grim and frightening account of America's elaborate preparedness against the possibility of surprise nuclear attack. Another is his pessimistic appraisal of race relations. But most of the lime he can be counted on to delight the reader with a felicitous as in the dis- cussion of the people who tried living in idealistic com- munities and made maddening discovery that they had more than a taint of human One of Cooke's specialties is the giving of explanations for familiar expressions. Why does an American often refer to his signature as John Because the first signature on The Declaration of Independence is that of John Hancock written large said that King of England can read it without his Why do some people describe dying as having Because when the early pioneers ventured into the western lands they frequently were killed or disappeared This delightful book is abun- dantly illustrated by full-page paintings and drawings of great historical interest. A splendid book. DOUG WALKER Return of the Puritans World of advertising Wonderful World of American by L. de Vries I. Van Amstel Canada 143 pages Advertising is big business and an important part of the North American way of life. This fascinating collection of advertisements from 1865 to 1900 shows that the technology of advertising has advanced tremendously but the hard sell approach was just as decep- tive yesterday as it is today. Claims w TC not modest. Be it or satisfaction was guaranteed. Cures were offered for all kinds of serious health problems including physical poor Electro-magnetic belts and rubber feet and wheel- chewing gum and a multitude of other items were advertised on the understanding that the purchasers would find life more successful with their new possessions. My favorite advertisement is one in which a group of buxom ladies are gazing upwards as two angels descend from heaven carrying a gift of Dean's Spinal A very delightful and amus- ing book to browse through. It also provides a nostalgic look at American society in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The Chinese have brought the Puritans back into favor. Once it became respectable to recognize the Chinese a general admiration society for things Chinese has developed and the Chinese are puritanical in a way Americans have not seen in a hundred years. the Chinese Puritans are so because they are dedicated to the the New England and British Puritans were devoted to living a life responsible to Almighty bringing all and into divine approval. Life was a constant struggle for every person to walk in the way of righteousness in a hostile environment. Whereas the Chinese Puritan considers that this world is his home and the only hell or heaven he will ever the British Puritan considered that this world was transitory and only significant in that h-. had an opportunity to show himself a good steward and workman and by a life of usefulness be approved by God. Work for the British Puritan was a a and not to work was dis- graceful in rich or poui. This idii directly against the Greek ethic that work was degrading and the occupation of slaves. The Chinese consider work as their patriotic duty to the state. To the Chinese sexual license is civic disloyalty. One reason for the return to puritanism has been the emptiness of leisure and the per- vasiveness of a chronic boredom. Another has been the sense of a degradation of life. Ger- many now has legalized group pornography. Here again is a sense of a feeling that nothing is and a feeling of sadness and desire for death. Without commitment and a faith to guide even dictatorship is preferable to freedom. Self-respect and the sense of having stretched talents and muscles to their fullest purpose and productiveness can alone satisfy a truly human being. Work is essential for human the only way to a happy the key to peace of a cure for and a basic requirement for a prosperous country. Early retirement can therefore be a sentence of death. Many a man faces it with a sense of dread. Increasingly people are recognizing the therapeutic value of self-fulfilment. Do the majority of people have no talent for Must most people be turned into beasts by Is it not possible to develop in the human race generally what is found in a very namely a capacity to use leisure for inner satisfaction and The Puritans for that art must be co-related to the creative activity of that the artist must feel attuned to the divine principles of beauty and truth Thus the ex- ternals must not be elaborated in architec- but all art must be kept simple and sincere. Without this severity music would become lascivious and as Palestrina contended. Leisure thus provides a person with an opportunity to realize Pindar's fine what you are It is a frightening fact that the words of Jacob Boehme are exterior is the signature of the So finally it is There is a definite swing to Puritanism in the rejection by youth of a standard of living measured in material of material wealth as a sufficient drive for good of television and its ghastly succession of advertisements as a clue to the use of and indeed to the whole concept of passivity and lack of individual initiative and involvement in a total life pattern of work and play. Parental control and schoolroom dis- cipline are .being demanded by more and more people as essentials to a healthy childhood. Surely this is far more preferable to the Chinese Marxist but if youth cannot get guidance and authority one way they will in another The permissive society is on the way out or Western civiliza- tion is faced with self-destruction. SATURDAY TALK By Norman Smith Odds and ends Having closed the made passes at cleaning the garage and put up the winter birdfeeders I must now clear up my desk. It's got so there isn't even elbow room. But as there are things on it I just can't throw away I'll put 'em in with the sly hope some of you will find some of them hard to throw The cartoon in the New Yorker with the minister concluding the service at the altar now pronounce you man and wife have a nice A headline in the Los Angeles earnings set Firm cites need for price Harry vice-chairman of the saying last are talking more and saying less than ever before on the i Greg Clark to the Globe and we the people were not all in what on earth would the poor souls who invest in us do for a A paragraph of Neville Cardus' tribute in the Manchester Guardian to the late Otto one of the last of the great symphony conductors nurtured in the 19th a rehearsal the first determined to let Klemperer know that time was up and everybody was anxious to get away to enjoy Saturday kept pull- ing out his watch and very pointedly looking at it. For a while Klemperer took no then it Morley all about the words 'identity' and just never mention them. Seek only excellence and in good time people all over the world will ask about Mordecai auarrel with the nationalists is that they obviously thinking very little of us would put barriers above creating a great cultural wall of jamming the sealing off the fron- sheltering us from all things in the slender hope that something something distinctly our would emerge from the airless land we would be left to linger All perhaps I might say a few things now of my Or does anyone ever say or write anything truly his Thoughts come from the from the company one listens to and doesn't listen from the pleading paw of a from the question of a child. I think Americans and Canadians are too concerned about whether the Nixon tapes of bugged conversations will reveal a lot or a little. What was said on the all or part of the won't lessen the multitudinous revelations that there has been wrong-doing and rot in and around the White House for a long giving America and Americans a rooted sickness that will take a still longer time to heal. George Mason told the Convention of the founding fathers of the American point is of more importance than that the right of impeachment should be continued. Shall any man be above justice9 Above shall that man be above who can commit the most extensive Closer to and is that 30 of 100 Quebecers voted for the Parti Quebecois but got only six of 110 seats. Old Plato in 400 B.C is a charming form of full of variety and And more recently General Wavell skeptical- ly discounted democracy as head- counting But we mustn't laugh too nor depend too much on the fact that it is probably the best system yet devised I doubt proportional representation is the but Quebecers and all Canadians should be vigilant from now to see that we all treat Levesque's party with the knowledge that six is not 30 per cent of 100. The delegate for Lebanon once said to the U.N. Assembly is a security which is Canada's security will be preserv- ed in showing that our country and our confederation is alive and not in gloating that separatism is dead about this turning down of lights and furnaces Our are now telling us not only that we must but that it will be good for us. I suspect it will. But voluntary or imposed rationing will present some curious questions. If they turn the lights down any lower in some bars and restaurants we will be drinking in the dark and is that Will some whose places brass monkeys already find very use the crisis to save still more On the cheery is it possible the crisis will persuade cities to im- prove their bus services and the government to get the railroads back into the passenger lest someone write that I am treating this situation too coolly or without sufficient light let me add that while it is all a hell of a nuisance I don't think the world will end if we have to wear sweaters or take a bus. Come to think of three quarters of the peo- ple in the world don't have furnaces or air conditioners or a jolt like this may even remind us all that we're one of the luckiest countries in the world. Let's ask for just two things. that government restrictions be devised so as not to bring hardship and dis- comfort to those who already know hardship and discomfort that our international leaders keep mentally as well as so as not to justify the following truly disturbing anxie- ty presented by that fine war correspondent and Drew in the current issue of The and on what terms will nations com- pete for the earth's diminishing will nations respond to the inevitable dis-equilibrium which must occur when one power retains access to cheap sources of a vital like while rivals and competitors are forced to reach for expensive responsible nations stand idly by while others plunder and upset delicate en- vironmental balances for short-term economic but with long- and border-jumping there is the most complex ques- What are the political and social conse- quences of economic inequality in a world of exhaustible Oscar the coyote By Doug Walker In recognition of the attention that D'Arcy Rickard got as a result of his story on the' Claresholm coyote the fellows in the news room presented him with a stuffed cloth coyote. It has been perched above his desk The other dav it became apparent that Warren Caragalii was getting some flack for A ho written When he put down the telephone receiver D'Arc called out. Hoing. von got the covolt- next ;