Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 1, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
I 'Everybody is here to make a dollar9 Td get about if I sold tomorrow7 He spent to collect in Lethbridge Step right up, a dime will get you 15-cents By JIM LOZERON Herald Staff Writer It's no secret Henry Mehrer loves money and with a few dollars set aside now he is able to hoard it. Mr. Mehrer, a 42-year-old former contractor from Prince George, B.C., was in Lethbridge this week to hoard a little more, about worth. No Mr. Mehrer is not a miser, he's a coin collector "I made myself a cabinet 16 inches high, four feet wide and 22 inches deep and it is pretty well full of coins." "It's a capitalist country we're he says "Everybody is here to make a dollar." But few are able to save it let alone be in a position to hoard it. With Mr. Mehrer, however, it's a little different. He places his assets at and has turned his hobby coin collecting into a profession. As a coin collector and dealer he feels he can make a little more. With money affording the independence he needs the former resident of Lethbridge, who left school in Grade 4, travels around the country dealing in silver, a metal which is rapidly becoming a precious commodity. The price of silver has risen on the Chicago stock exchange 25 pet cent since November from an ounce to an ounce and from in July, 1S72, and last March. Persons who have dabbled in coin collecting for years are dealing in coins for their silver content, cashing it in as they would stocks and bonds. For Mr Mehrer coin dealing is a business and with more men like him hoarding silver the business is becoming more competitive. You have to be a bit of a horse trader in the coin business, says Mr. Mehrer. And horse trading he does. The prize coins minted in 1966 or before. The price for Mr. Mehrer is 50 per cent over face value and if the coin is precious substantially more. Coins minted up until 1966 were made entirely of silver, those a year later were half silver and half nickel and a year later some coins were purely nickel. "The bottom is dropping out of so many things, reasons Henry. "Silver and gold are a good investment." "I haven't made any great fortune on coins. I guess I've made or he says. Mr. Mehrer says it is difficult to tell how many coins he owns but "if I turned around and sold them tomorrow I'd get about he says But Mr. Mehrer says he isn't selling as he used to, and few dealers are with the price of silver going unless he has a surplus of a particular kind of coin. "Right now it's a good investment." Since turning his hobby into a profession two months ago, Mr. Mehrer has made the rounds from Montreal to Medicine Hat to Calgary to Creston and then back to home base. "Silver really took a jump a month ago and I decided to try Lethbridge out." In most places his office is a motel, his advertising is an add in the local newspaper. Coming to Lethbridge, he says, was like returning home, the place where he was raised and worked as a carpenter's helper at the age of 13. He has spent since Saturday to collect in coins. Mr. Mehrer plans to leave this weekend, but he says he could have purchased many more if all the callers had been willing to sell. V BILL GROENEN photo Sizing up the loot coin dealer Henry Mehrer of Prince George. District The Lethbridge Herald Local news SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Friday, February 1, 1974 Pages 13-24 Sidewalk supervising "Just Helen Psaltis of 1224 17th Ave, S., 17, takes a break from her shopping to do a little sidewalk supervising. Unaware that he's being watched, Don Bakos, of Welded Products Ltd., keeps his eye on the job shoring up a downtown city pole. You can almost taste the sandwiches9 Papers tell South's history By MURDOCH MACLEOD Herald Staff Writer Old newspapers are a good source of historical material, since they reported almost every event in their com- munities although they reflected the bias of the "better class" of citizens, Jim Cousins said Thursday. Dr. Cousins, emeritus history professor at the University of Lethbridge, told the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs he had used newspapers extensively while writing a thesis on the Crowsnesl Pass They had made a pleasure of what would have been hack work, he said. "As yon read these papers you find yourself patted back to the he said. "You watch council struggling with progress, schools being baili, and yon go to school dances and whist drives and eat soggy salmon sandwiches and drink murky coffee." It is puzzling where all the early printers and editors came from to staff early Southern Alberta and Southeastern British Colum- bia newspapers, he said, since they all seemed to be Oxford scholars. There were newspapers nearly everywhere. Early dis- trict newspapers included The Macleod Advance, The Macleod Gazette, The Femie Free Press, The Coleman Journal, The Bellevue Times, The Blair-more Graphic, The Fernie District Ledger, The Frank Vindicator, The Frank Paper, The Nanton News, The Claresholm Local Press and TheTaber Times Newspapers supported the views of those who bought advertising, and were conse- quently biased towards the views of the "better class" of citizens, he said Except for The Fernie District Ledger, which from 1906 to 1919 sup- ported the United Mine Workers of America, they viewed the labor movement as radicals seeking to overthrow civilization. "In the early part of the century the UMWA district 18 decided nobody should be laid off or refused employment for he said, "And The Fer- nie Free Press said 'look at this union that's granting political favors to niggers, dagoes and chinks.' A person not named Smith, Jones or Brown was no one m the early days, said Dr. Cousins. Editors were very British in their outlook, in a Canadian, anti-American way. During the First World War, W. A. Buchanan of The Lethbridge HeraM wrote. "It is treason for the French-Canadians not to support us and weaken the British he said. Being conservative, the newspapers supported preachers except on the issues of prohibition and prostitution. But a divorce in Fort Macleod in the 1880s was front-page news for weeks. The early newspapers were strongly political, inveighing against "weak-kneed government" or "obstruc- tionist depending on their political affiliation. But they had no political in- fluence, be said. William Aberhart, the first Social Credit premier, was elected with "99 per cent of the newspapers hi Alberta against said Dr Cousins He also said a Lethbridge teacher was elected to city council after The Herald plac- ed him at the bottom of the poll in its predictions. "If I ever ran for office in he said, "I want to be damned by the report of The Lethbridge Herald." Indian affairs schedule rejected Interim offer puts off reserve drivers9 walkout An interim settlement reached Thursday has forestalled, at least for a month, a walkout by 36 school bus drivers on the Blood Reserve. -__- The drivers' employees of a bus co-op on the reserve, have been driving the students to classes since September without agreement on how or at what rates they would be paid. Funds for the school busing have been handled by the Cardston school division as agent for the Indian affairs department but over seven years of operation, there has been no_written contract. Drivers had threatened to stop driving their routes today as they have been without pay since the end of December. However, negotiations Thurs- day between the co-op and In- dian affairs officials resulted in agreement to continue the '270 of teachers didn't ask for transfer9 At least 270 teachers were transferred against their wishes to other schools in Alberta during the school year 1972-73. An Alberta School Trustees Association survey that covered teachers out of a total provincial teaching staff of showed that 041 teachers were transferred to other schools at their own request or because school boards decided the transfer was necessary. All Alberta teachers were not included in the statistics because some school boards did not respond to the survey. The ASTA claims many of the school board-initiated teacher transfers "bad been generated in an effort to transfer the teacher rather than terminate employment because of reduced (student) enrolment" Only 14 of the teachers who were transferred against their wishes appealed the school boanKs decision to transfer them. The school boards reversed their decision on seven of the proposed transfers and rein- stated the teachers in the schools they had been teaching in. Of the seven teachers not successful "in appeal, two resigned. The ASTA survey shows that the five teachers who appealed the transfer and then accepted it expressed general acceptance of their new location Bat that information conflicts with the fact that two of (he five teachers in- dicated last fall they were considering legal action against the school boards who transferred them. There were also other teachers who have been very vocal about their transfers even though they never appealed to their school boards for a reversal of the transfer decisions. Because the appeal has to be made to the school board that proposed the transfer, some of them felt it was useless exercise to attempt to encourage the trustees to reverse their original decision. In the release explaining the survey, the ASTA claims "school boards are concerned that the teachers association decrying and distorting transfer activities in an effort to restrict board rights in this area are going to unwitting- ly defeat the accord between trustees and staff in job loca- tion agreements." It's heart month February has been proclaimed heart month by the mayor of Lethbridge and 600 volunteers are ready to begin canvassing the city to start the heart fund raising drive. The heart foundation hopes to raise in Lethbridge this month. Last year the volunteers collected The 1974 heart fund objec- tive for the province is 000 more than 1973. About SO other cities and towns in Alberta are holding campaigns this month. These are conducted, says the foan- dation, by groups of volunteers, service clubs, aux- iliaries and church groups Ninety per cent of the funds collected go towards heart research in Alberta and 10 per cent io administration costs, the foundation says The major thrust of the Lethbridge campaign will be Feb. 18 when volunteers have 9 one-flight "WiU" for funds. service for another month, at last year's rates. Grant Matkin, Cardston school division superintendent, said the board cancelled payment to the co- op Dec. 31 because Indian af- fairs could not come up with a schedule of rates acceptable to all parties The department thinks the service is costing too much money, he said, but added that in his opinion, the co-op provides a good service at a fair price. Payment to the drivers is based on the number of miles travelled per day on a route. The Cardston superintendent said for division drivers on regular routes, the pay for- mula is computed on the basis of two round trips composed of number of miles on the route plus the shortest way back to the driver's home. But for drivers having to travel the rougher roads on the reserve, that pay schedule was not high enough to cover the higher depreciation cost. So the school board allowed the co-op drivers to determine their pay on the basis of two round-trips over the route. This method, Mr. Matkin said, made up for the higher costs facing reserve drivers- In September, Indian affairs developed a pay schedule that would have meant a 25 per cent increase for the co-op drivers, but department of- ficials insisted, Mr. Matkin said, that the Cardston board either use the department's scale for all drivers, including those on regular routes, or use the "shortest way home" for- mula for co-op and regular drivers. The Cardston board could not afford to pay its regular drivers at the higher rate and the co-op drivers would not work at the lower rate so In- dian affairs asked for more time to work out an alternate arrangement. When no other solution was proposed by the department, the board cut off payments. Sophie Tail Feathers, co-op president, said further meetings are planned. Touch of tradition They clicked their heels to traditional Ukrainian dance and song a) the University of Lethbndge Thurs- day :n tribute to Ukrainian Canadians. Kim Truch, playing the mandolin with the Mandolin Orchestra, was one of many performers traditional Ukrainian costume who provided the university community with a musical taste of old ethnic costumes during the U of L Ukrainian Day.