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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 12, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta TtiMdcy, February LITHMIOOE HERALD-S Dr. W. J. Cousins Southern Alberta newspaper history Editor's note: The following if the edited text of the: address recently given at the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs by Or. Cousins, emeritus professor of the department of history at the University of Lethbridge. Those who read the report of it on the news pages and had their interest aroused can read a fuller version here. From Huckleberry Finn we get a picture of itinerant printers who carried a case of type and a hand press from town to town to eke out a livelihood and it is not a myth. From the mere list alone of papers published in this area from 1885 to about 1930 we realize that there was a plethora of printers many of whom were willing to settle in any town that showed any promise of permanency. From my studies of the Crowsnest Pass I found newspapers in the most unlikely places Bellevue, Frank, Michel-Natal, Hosmer, Morrissey to say nothing of papers of more permanence in Coleman, Blairmore and Fernie. There were two in Fernie at one time just as there were two in Macleod. Most of the newspapers sent copies to the provincial library although few files ever start with Volume I, Number 1. It usually took something like 34 numbers before the editors found out about the provincial library. Frequently, there are newspapers that are not represented in the archives at all and it is only by references to them in other newspapers that we know they existed. The Blairmore Times was one such. The life of newspaper publishers was a hard one and it is a puzzle to find h'ow they could exist at all. Hence it is not surprising to find .papers disappearing with no warning or apparent reason they just quit. Only one in all the files I looked into ever announced he was quitting. Other papers would appear either through sale or new enterprise. Hence Coleman Miner, Bulletin, Journal, Review; Blairmore; Times, Enterprise, Graphic; Morrissey Mention, Miner, Despatch, (Even the names sound like an organ roll) Michel Recorder, Reporter, Macleod Gazette, Advance. The Frank Vindicator certainly was more stirring as a title than the Frank Paper at least in sound if not in content. Only the Free Press of Fernie continues in the old way which shows what has happened to coal mining. On the more prosperous prairies, papers survived in towns that flourished The Macleod Gazette, Taber Times, Pincher Creek Echo, High River Times, Nanton News, Vulcan Advocate, and the Cardston Local Press. Yet there were papers in Magrath and Raymond and in other towns so that the whole of southern Alberta was laced together by a network of highly independent publications. We are not forgetting the Lethbridge News which grew into The Herald nor the Medicine Hat News but they soon became urban papers so that their appeal was more general and city centred. What value do these publications have for us at present. First they are by far the best source of knowledge for life in the early days. They reported all meetings, covered all events and recorded deaths, births and marriages. Most of all they were political and not unexpectedly Liberal or Conservative, with the single exception of' the Fernie District Ledger which for a time was the official organ of the United Mine Workers of America (1908- The editors reflected the attitudes of the "better" classes the businessmen or the chamber of commerce and hence rarely supported the industrial or laboring movements in such places as the Crowsnest Pass, Lethbridge and Taber which were mining areas. Just" as 90 per cent of U.S. newspapers opposed Roosevelt, probably cent of Alberta's newspapers opposed Aberhart, which showed how much the editors had lost touch with the people or perhaps because only businessmen advertised in newspapers. One curious example of this is shown early in the century when the UMWA decided that there should be no discrimination on a racial basis. Yet the Fernie Free Press accurately reflected the British Columbian racial attitude when it denounced this granting of favors to "dagoes, niggers and chinks." Such an attitude is not stylish with "better" people today. The fad is different now. Realizing as we do that the editors had little influence with the voters we wonder now why governments (and historians) paid so much attention to them (Lethbridge Herald political support today is recognized to be the "kiss of But the editors railed and ranted or heaped lavish praise on whichever party they supported. They damned the "obstructionist" opposition or "weak-kneed" governments as the case might be and heaped lavish praise on the statesmanlike behavior of their own party. They were always "British" in an Canadian anti-American sort of way. What they did not like was ufrBritish which was the most heinous form of treason. Read Lethbridge Herald; editorials during The First World War to find how treasonable French- Canadians were to try to weaken the "British" (our) cause. When there were two papers in a town it was almost Pickwickian with the Eatanswill Gazette opposing the Eatanswill Independent. Perhaps the most interesting aspect to historians is what the papers reveal unconsciously of the life and manners to the time. For example divorce in 1880 was a major news story. Ode such between a lawyer and his "authoress" wife kept front page interest in the Macleod Gazette with-r statements by the wife matched by statements from the husband. The whole thing kept on like a serial story for weeks. On another plane an innocuous little item in the same paper almost developed into a raid on an Indian camp. The story simply noted that there were many children with blonde and red hair seen on the Blood Reserve. Then came letters to the editor. "A wagon train had disappeared; Indians had raided farms and killed the parents and stolen the children; we cannot put up with white children being raised in savagery; we must go in and rescue them." One letter ended the whole thing. It was written by Father Lacombe, then living in Macleod. The key clause in the letter was: "If the white boys would leave the Indian girls alone There was never another mention of blonde or redhead babies. The influence of the church Was great and usually encouraged by the press. Summaries of sermons were printed, ecclesiastical warnings to sinners were given space. The preachers of the time revelled in the term "fighting." They railed against frtafiy things but mostly against prostitution1 because in that era when men greatly outnumbered women prostitution was much freer and probably a social necessity. In B.C. towns could be "closed" or in Alberta "segregated districts" were the thing. Hosmer, B.C. was an open town. The Methodist minister called a public indignation meeting to blast out this "damned spot." He was inveigled into calling a and was voted down. He stomped out of the hall. The editor must have been a maverick because he seemed to enjoy the preacher's discomfiture. Valuable historical material often appeared articles, as the story by Senator Gladstone's grandfather of his arrival in the south west via Hudson.'s Bay .Company in the WHEN IS MAX GOING TO HAVE A BABY? The vet announces that Max, the cat, really Is a Maxine and that soon the patter of little paws will be heard around your house. When? Look in The World Almanac! It tells you the gestation period for. a cat is 63 days. The 1974 World Almanac tells you many other useful facts about ani- mals, as well as about history, geography, space, government, sports, per- sonalities, the world a million facts on hundreds of subjects packed into larger pages with type. Also contain! full-cdor indexed maps and flags of the world. Every home, office and classroom should have the completely revised and up-to-date 1974 edition of The World Almanac and Book of Facts. Want to krww something? Read IheWorid Almanac. for your copy PIMM maa Atownac. ortifer form for The I 1 am emctestng 2.25 pits 3St tor iharwJIin, snS mailing cihsrges dor esdh copy. ADOTtSS CITY STATC ZIP broksftKeS' newsstands, supermarkets, drug stores and ovr public service counter. Use coupon and add 35 cents pos- tage and handling to order by mail. H you prefer Jo pick up your copy The World Almanac Is available at The Lethbridge Herald Business Office for 2.25 per copy. Mail to Trie Lethbridge Herald, P.O. Box 670, Lethbridge. The Utkbridge Herald Pincher Creek Echo. Somehow a hitch arose and he never completed the part about Fort Whoop-up he was the builder of It, I believe. Or by letters to the editor by people familiar with events incorrectly stated. One Indian agent (Lethbridge Herald) showed the story of the naming of the Crowsnest Pass after the Crow Indians was false, simply by pointing out that Crow Indians are called Crow Indians only In English. The forms of entertainment in the age of no radio, movies, or television are quite noticeable the weekly serial story in the newspaper, the publication of long poem's written by local residents when poetry could be distinguished from prose. (With modern poetry there is an infallible way to tell poetry from prose; If it makes sense it is prose. If ydtt can't figure it out at all it is They had their moccasin dances and ice carnivals and masquerade balls and in aid of the volunteer fire departments. They even brought in dancing masters to teach the steps and woe betide you if you danced the wrong dance; The master of ceremonies would put you off the floor. There were the travelling companies with their plays and revues was why so many of the towns had "opera houses" and gradually could be observed the development of movies and movie theatres: "Magnificent electrical representations of the latest dramas" in 12 or 13 reels for a super epic. We get news of the first automobiles, the first speed laws, and the names of pioneer speedsters who flouted the law. As you go through these pulled back into the past; you see councils struggling for "progress" and schools being built You attend school concerts and dances in the scnoois. You go to wfaistdrives and eat soggy salmon sandwiches with mugs of murky coffee and if yon memory to serve you as I nave you will dance to piano, fiddle and drum and of course a few square dances will come in even the call of the Pipes they seemed to like so much in this area. I know of no way of savoring the past as well as by going through the weekly newspapers. What could be dreary back work can become a pleasant dreamy sojourn into a far country. Yet you must ask yourself -is it a true picture? Can an> history be complete? ft something missing what about putting up heaters in fall and taking them down in spring or stoking them at 2 a.m. when it was below zero. You can think of so many things like the outdoor privy at 20 below when ybu had dysentery. I have stressed to my stadehts that one mast always be skeptical to be a real historian, that history at belt can bat, be a pale representation ot what really was. Think of newspapers. Are they a mirror of today's life? Is something essential misaiflf or is something exaggerated? Was the drug problem in Lethbridge as great as one would gather from reading tat responsibility By Eva Brewster, freelance writer on what I call "the rat formula" i.e. I read that for every rat ybu tee at a dump there are tine you don't see; so if we catch a number of people with drugs you multiply by ten or some convenient factor. Is it valid? In the great war of the "longhairs" I found a very small percentage at the old college when I counted. Now tresses; so I fuess the Uds wfll give it up. To recall the past we must read everything, news- papers, letters, minutes, memoirs, governmGfit reports and diaries, but even as I have given yon a smidgen of what life was like as revealed from week to week by the weekly newspapers what I have recorded is what I thought was the story of the past I probably have discarded COUTTS Greed and dishonesty in the automobile trade are seldom if ever, mentioned as a possible cause of deaths on our highways. Yet hardly a day passes but a headline proclaims another victim whose car "went out of control." Alcohol and other drugs are often suspected especially when young drivers are involved. It is sheer hypocrisy to ignore adult responsibility for these youngsters' fate. Not only do adults sell them alcohol and drugs, they also sell the most lethal weapons of all faulty cars. It is therefore high time the public became aware of possible causes for fatal accidents, their rights under the law, and action that can be taken to reduce the slaughter on the roads. Perhaps it isn't easy to determine mechanical failure once a vehicle is written off as a total wreck and the driver is dead. With his life, he has certainly paid dearly for his ignorance and perhaps, the crime of a glib salesman. Judging by the number of cars sold in dangerous condition, the dealer's conscience does not appear to him sfeeptess nights. Let me give you a recent efcttnple of such doubtful A student bought a car to bridge the distance between home, university, and the city. Since she could not afford a new one, a second hand vehicle had to fill the bill. With the trust of youth, she decided to buy from a recognized dealer, presuming qualified mechanics would have seen to its road worthiness. She was sadly disillusioned. There was not a scratch on the 1968 model's immaculate paintwork and she immediately "fell in love" with it. She did notice some oil spills round the engine but the salesman assured her that, yes, there had been a slight oil leak but that had been fixed. She mere and then paid got the vehicle licensed and accepted the dealer's statement that he would keep a certificate of roadworthiness in his desk together with his sales-record. The deal concluded, she drove the 65 miles home, just to discover on arrival that oil was now leaking in a steady stream. She got mechanics of two independent garages to check over her so recently acquired pride and joy and this was their unanimous verdict: "We wouldn't touch it with a barge pole." Not only would the engine require a new ring job and other expensive repairs to deal with the oil leak, the wheel bearings were worn out, the steering column in dangerous condition and in fact, it was a miracle she had managed to drive the distance without a serious accident. Estimates for essential repairs were astronomical and even if they were done, there was no guarantee something else wouldn't break down. "Take our the mechanics said, "return it to whatever disreputable place you got it from and ask for your money back if you want to live a little .longer" She did. The deatter ilatly refused at first to reimburse her and She Was intimidated with statements like: "We are in business to make, a dollar, a deal is a deal, and the sale has gone through our You bought the car as is arid we bought and sold it in good faith. We did not discover major defects and in any case there are no binding safety regulations in Alberta other than out obligation to record the mileage, on a vehicle and to demand an adult's signature if the car is sold to a ju- venile. Even that is just a matter of form. If you were under 16, you could have stopped the first passer'? by and got his signature. Now if I yon hid height this car in Saskatchewan it would have been different matter. There, regulations are very strict." After a lot of afguhients, she did get her mdaey refunded and could put down the whole affair to experience, this girl was luckier than mbsfe: To my enquiry about safety regulations in our province, Brian W. Johnson, director of public relations for the AlbertaV MotorAssociation replied: "The Aftliria does not require the dealer, by; a written statement, to inform customers of road worthy conditions of sales vehicles. ;r, "Obviously, there are persons who are not aware of this fact, and as a result, dishonest dealers may take advantage of this situation. At the present time, the AMA is studying such practices and 1 expect that in the near future, the organization will make representation to the governirtBht" I view of tab information, that it would be ft the public's interest to bring to the AMA's notice any experience of dishonest car dealership. The address to write to is: Alberta Motor Association, 109th Street and Kihgsway, Edmonton, Alberta, T5L 4J5. the demand for better safety standards and looking into the shady business of some cat dealers will help to reduce the death toll on our roads. To you By Norna Shologan; local writer COALDALE Just the thought of Valentine's Day immediately brings to mind a simple, four letter, one syllable word LOVE. Used so frequently it has become common and meaningless. It has been bandied about for generations, but never so much as in the last decade. It is obvious when one takes the time to look around and observe closely, how little we really try to apply the of its meaning in our daily lives, "will you be giving someone a valentine with I asked. "Of course with rather pot off with me for thinking it could be otherwise. Just recently, as I waited inside the entrance of one of the larger department stores, t was treated to a rare display of the meaning of this simple word. A boy of perhaps 11 or 12 years was coining into the; store, as he turned he noticed several ladies approaching. Without hesitating he stood aside holding the door open for them. The ladies bustled in hurriedly without a glance or a smile of appreciation towards this courteous lad. An older gentleman was making his slow way towards the door. The boy stood waiting, holding the door, the old man smiled appreciatively, "Thank you young fella, it sure warms the heart to find a yttmgstar who is so considerate. Let me state your The youngster beamed as he trotted off. The old man and the boy had tacitly demonstrated one facet of love that is sadly lacking in our "rush-crazed" world... fove is considerate and approving. One day out of 365 has been set aside for us think about love. I would like to think that each one of us would go a little beyond the first connotation of this word, romantic love, the sweet complex emotion that two people feel foe each other. pelye just a little td OfUerstanding. If we truly tried to put love into practice, we would listen with open minds and hearts to those around us; be they family, or just a face in the passing parade. We would sense their need and respond unselfishly to it. A white-haired lady stood to one side of the check-out stand in a supermarket, patiently waiting. Her eyes wore the mist of the aged. The clerk's fingers clicked the keys of the cash register. Her smile was surface and automatic! Younger customers jostled the little old lady, as she addressed the clerk. "1 beg your pardon, Miss. Where can I find the .foot "Third aisle to the the fingers clicked on. "I'm sorry, but I didn't hear you." Her face was the texture of worn tissue paper. The clerk sighed! and then flashed her, the customer must De-treated nicely smile. "I really dbjBdt have the time to get it for you Tjaft iusle to your left." whrhrbair retreated; the old shoulders just a little more. Love is Sharing. Not necessarily our worldly possessions, but our time and the patience that living has taught us. You are sitting at your kitchen table weary but satisfied; drawing fresh strength from tnife your hand. Wax and furniture polish permeate the air. You draw a deep breath. are free; rest of the day is book, it has waited toolong. TfK demanding ring of the ties yoi dot of your cornplacency. The' vOice coining over the wire is ancJoBs, depressed. ilYes, Tnf home. No, I'm not busy no, you won't be interrupting anything. You come right over" The shirting floors sparkle at you mockingly. The patter of three pairs of tiny feet, will piav havoc with the lustre. You smile ruefuDjr. Your young friend only needs .yowstKMlto..Peltu1fe, today, yon can lead dreary