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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 11, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta Saturday, January 11, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 The task of bridging the Belly River By Dr. W. J. Cousins, University of Lethbridge professor The site of Lethbridge was chosen not by man, but by nature. Although man often builds along streams, lie does not usually choose a spot whore the banks are at their most precipitous. But that was where the coal was the best, easily mined coal in the whole area. Being so sited, Western Canada's first industrial com- munity was involved in a con- slant battle with its river fords where men and horses were lost, ferries that kept getting swept away or blocked by ice or low Water and hills that were too steep to climb if the trails were wet or icy and above all, from 1885 to the present, in the building of bridges. The unincorporated com- munity, realizing it could not bridge the stream with its own meagre resources, from its very beginning started a cam- paign to have a bridge built. This is the story of their success and comes from the files of the local newspaper, The Lethbridge News. The News, in July 1886, wrote that Mr. Bailey, the local railway superintendent, was drawing up plans for a bridge. There was no under- taking (expressed or implied) that the company was going to do more than draw up plans. Consequently, the people took the next step to petition both the federal and Northwest Territories governments. In October, two well sign- ed petitions were presented to the government, one for a daily mail service and the other for a bridge. When Lieutenant Governor Edgar Dewdney of the Northwest Territories came on an of- ficial visit, he was presented with an address of welcome and a petition for a bridge across the Belly River As usual with petitions, nothing came of the effort. In March, 1887 when all river crossings were "im- passable" an editorial appeared advocating bridges for both Kipp and Lethbridge. The editor stressed the growtli and importance of the area and the frequency of interruptions in trade and travel. On May 18, an item of 000 in the parliamentary es- timates for a bridge across the Old Man's River at Macleod stirred Lethbridge into action. If them, why not us'.' D. W. Davies was Lethbridge MP also! It was estimated, in a mass telegram to Mr. Davies, the bridge would cost and the larger sum was specified. By the end of June, 1887 a letter from Mr. Davies stated that the Hon. Thos. White, minister of public works, would put a sum for a bridge into the supplementary es- timates. In early November of 1887, Mr. F. Gouin (chief engineer, for Manitoba and the N.W.T.) came to town to locate a site for a bridge. He picked a spot on the lower side of the point below the pump house. The bridge was to be 619 ft. long with 200 foot approaches. The ascent would be via a coulee a little below the one followed by the telegraph poles. The editor of The News suggested that the N.W.T. Council grant for local improvements be used for a Ford Street (2nd Avenue) road down the coulees or even to make a better bridge. But nothing came of it all. The News in frustration, on March 8, 1888 carried a big editorial on the need for a bridge. The editor used all the previous arguments but added a new one. As the company owned most of the land on "this" side of the river, a bridge was needed for settlers to get to free homestead land on the "other" side of the river. The West Side Story begins! On March 29th a meeting was called to press for a bridge but they had dif- ficulty in finding a hall big enough. So. the editor concluded they needed a hall as well. But they again petitioned Parliament for a bridge. In May, they found no men- tion of a bridge for Lethbridge or Kipp in the supplementary estimates "How long, 0 Lord, How you can almost hear them say. The editor brightened the day by saying "We understand, on good authority that an addi- tion will be made to supplementary estimates for a bridge." And behold, was added to the estimates (June 7, But Mr. Saunders suggested that no cheers be raised as the same thing had previously been done for other places with no work started even yet. He burst out again in September: "looks like nothing again this year. Macleod has had a grant for two years now, but no In November the citizens tried another tack they sent a "generously" sign- ed petition to the N.W.T. Council. In January, 1889 the hopes of Lethbridge were raised high again when "advices" from Ottawa indicated that bridges would be built at Macleod, Kipp, and Lethbridge "at the earliest possible moment." And then: July government of Canada, dateline June 14, 1889, called for tenders for a bridge on the Belly River! From then on it was all "mining" as the coal miners put it. The editor then got after the local MLA Mr. Haultain, to get a grant to im- prove the hill. I was never able to discover that any im- provement was made from that source prior to incor- poration. The Aug. edition an- nounced the contract had been given to Mr. Dan Widdie for Disgruntled local bidders claimed it could not be built for that sum. This was apparently Mr. Widdie's conclusion also as a week later Ottawa announced the awarding of the contract to Gay and McFarquhar of Lethbridge for From this time on The News recorded advances and retreats as construction proceeded. By the end of the next February most of the material had arrived (after several delays) and piies were driven around two piers and work on the third was proceeding. The editor en- visaged large settlements at Whoop Up, St. Mary's and Lee's Creek. There would be over people in Lethbridge when the bridge was finished. The West Side would open up and the railway would continue west through the Crowsnest Pass and even the Calgary and Edmonton line just starting would extend directly to Lethbridge. By March the piles were all in. "It will be finished by June 1 and teams may even cross by mid May" exulted The News. In April the "superstructure" was proceeding. But in the May 21 issue the bridge was not com- pleted. "Because of high water from the recent heavy rains one span will have to wait for lower water." The state of mind of the editor may be judged from this item on Sept. 10, "The mud is so bad that all traffic is suspended The ford is dangerous as the river is up." Nov. 12 saw this doleful an- nouncement, "The bridge is now being used but the approaches are not finished. They should be finished next week." Why was the bridge "so long expected" not cause for a great celebration? Partly it was the delay, but much more important developments had occurred. The railway to Great Falls was completed causing a great real estate boom and increase in construction. Incorporation as a town had been almost com- pleted and few people had time to be concerned about anything as picayune as a bridge. Yet the bridge was very im- portant. The editor complain- ed about the terrible state of the road up Telegraph Hill in the Jan. 23, 1891 issue, stating that loads had to be taken up the hill "in portions" and it was all a single team could to to get an empty wagon up. Yet he said "It is the only trail that can be used in winter and there is a large traffic on this road." He was of the opinion that it was lime the govern- ment, built a new trail. Even today the coulee hill has its moments and I am quite sure that Mr. Saunders would have been happy with the new road and bridge to the "other side." He had always advocated a road down the Smith Street (2nd Avenue) or Redpath Street (3rd Avenue) coulees which would "cut off four or five miles between here and but I think he would have settled for the route down the C'ourtland Street (6th Avenue) coulee, especially when both road and approaches were completed well ahead of the bridge. RICK ERVIN photo Book review Penetrating satire on Nixon's Watergate "I Am Not A Crook" by Art Buchwald (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 250 pages, dis- tributed by Longman Canada "Cick Deterred" by David Kdgar (Monthly Review Press, SI.95, softback, 112 "The Fireside Watergate" by Nicholas von Hoffman and Gary Trudeau (Sheed Ward, pages, distributed by Prentice Hall of Canada, "Herblock Special Report" by Herbert Block (W. W. Norton Co., S9.25, 260 pages, dis- tributed by George J. McLeod The fall of Richard Nixon must be almost without equal in history; surely no other person in a position of great importance ever stooped to such low behavior as has been revealed in the Watergate investigations and paid the price of ignominious depar- ture. As little as I have es- teemed this man over the years of his public life, I now feel sorry for him and wish there was some way to spare him further humiliation. But that doesn't seem possible; the kind of books we have here are almost inevitable. Even if Art Buchwald was not in the habit of gathering his thrice weekly columns into books, the temptation to do so with regard to those written during the time of the unfolding of Watergate would be so strong as to be irresistible. As the columns arrived at my desk I was often moved to remark to my associates that Art Buchwald was having a field day with Richard Nixon and Watergate. In his preface Art Buchwald says, "thanks to Watergate and the cover-up I had two glorious years of material, the likes of which I will never see again. From a humorous point of view, Mr. Nixon was a perfect president. Almost everything he did after the Watergate scandal broke lent itself to satire." There are 122 of Buchwald's columns from the years 1973 and 1974 in his book whose ti- tle is one of Richard Nixon's famous statements. Many of these columns appeared in The Herald, but not all. I choose from Eric Nicol and Russell Baker as well as Art Buchwald for our five times a week satire slot and sometimes Buchwald got beat out. Anyone wanting to know what he or she missed should get the book. Even one's sorrow for Nixon can't pre- vent a smile while reading Buchwald. Dick Deterred, the second book listed above, is a parody of the Watergate mess in the form of Shakespeare's play Richard III. It is very clever and very funny and very devastating. As the play opens there is a soliloquy by Richard in which he says, "But I, that am not shaped for aught but tricks A little later when John Mitchell expresses sur- prise at the thought of being appointed attorney general, Richard says, "And why not, Good Who better than a fat and prosp'rous Expert in fiddling and tax And evading rulings of the Of law and order virtuously to And when the going's tough, to tough it out." Perhaps the most devastating lines in the play have Richard say, "A greater love hath none, in time of Than laying down his friends to save his life." The author of Dick Deterred is a young Englishman. An even more outrageous treatment of Nixon and his gang is found in The Fireside Watergate. The text is by Washington Post columnist Nicholas von Hoffman and is accompanied by 31 cartoons by Garry Trudeau, At times the stupidity of the principals in the plot and the coarseness of their talk appears overdone and then the reader comes to actual quotations and real situations and is forced to the realization that fantasy and reality are not far apart. Typical of the Trudeau car- toons is the one with Mitchell talking to a worried looking Sloan saying. "Listen, Sloan boy, my advice to you is to remember that when the go- ing gets tough, the tough get going to, say, Mexico." Herb Block, the famous Washington Post cartoonist, has long thought Nixon was a menace to his nation and has not been inclined to see much humor in the man. In his book he tells how he met Art Buchwald one day when the 1968 election of Richard Nixon seemed inevitable. Buchwald said the outcome ought to be good for them in their respec- tive fields. When Block replied that he was really worried about such an ad- ministration, Buchwald responded Completely dead- pan, "Herb, you've got to stop putting the country ahead of your work." In Herblock Special Report the author traces the public career of Nixon using more than 450 of his cartoons beginning with one in 1948 when Nixon was showing his anti Communist zeal as a congressman. One of Block's most famous cartoons, dated October shows Nixon emerging out of a sewer manhole to meet his sup- porters. That's how Block has continued to think of Nixon. Until he became president elect, Nixon was .always shown with a heavy beard because Block felt it fitted Nixon's political thuggery. He gave Nixon a shave but he continued to believe that the man had not changed and that he was unqualified by character for high public of- fice. Vindication has not brought any joy to Herb Block. At the end of his book he comments about the so- called "tragedy" of the fall of men like Nixon, Agnew, Mitchell, Ehrlichman, Haldeman and others. "The he says, "is not that those who rose so high should fail so low. The tragedy is that those who had so low an appreciation for our govern- ment should have risen to such high positions in it." There will be other books about Nixon and Watergate, of that we can be certain. They may be more scholarly and sober in their approach but they are not apt to be any more penetrating and percep- tive than these four books, es- pecially if read together. DOUG WALKER f THE VOICE OF ONE Dr. Frank S. The deadly sins of modern man Inasmuch as sin is considered a transgres- sion of the divine law and modern man does not believe in God, the word should be struck from usage. Sin is used most by scientists, however, who look upon it as a breach of the moral law of the universe, consequently the scientists are the most vocal of preachers, scientists such as Bronowski, Jeans, Ed- dington, Vogt, Popper, Lorenz, Carson, Sorokin, Butterfield, and ten thousand more. Before he died I had an anguished letter from Einstein pointing out the potential destruction of man in suicidal war. Scientists probably have a feeling of guilt in creating a monster which they cannot control. Malraux seex civilization in crisis as a result of the machine. Technology has resulted in an unbearable boredom and dehumanization. Genuinely human feeling and values are destroyed. The other day in a supermarket my wife, trying to pay for her groceries with a cheque, was asked for the most personal information and when she protested a woman beside her said, "We all have to do it." The woman did not see that this made the whole thing the more wrong. Such is the power of the powerful over the masses that anything enforced is right. The advertisements, the public opinion polls, and the cultivation of fashions decree that anything the masses do is right and that in- dividualism is wrong. Aldous Huxley makes much of this power of authority to in- doctrinate, It is a ghastly commentary on society to say, "We all have to do a black shirt mentality. In the same act, privacy and personal integrity are destroyed. Prime Minister Trudeau remarked some time ago, that it would surprise the average Canadian if he realized how much was on the files about him. entropy of feeling, as Lorenz calls it, or the emotional entropy in social life. In Vancouver the other day the Marwell Building, which won the first Massey Gold Medal for ex- cellence of design in a cross-Canada com- petition, was destroyed despite the efforts of the Heritage Advisory Board. It is said to be wrong to be attached to but things are symbols. There is not an article in my home which does not bring back memories. The desperate effort to escape emotional involvement and maintain an armor against the world is shown in funerals. A woman whose husband had died handed over the remains to a funeral director to cremate and dispose of without any service whatever. This is as grim as Evelyn Waugh's, "The Loved where the corpse is fastidiously groomed to appear "natural" and all evidence of death as carefully as possible erased. In listing the deadly sins, mankind still has the old one of covetousness. The industrial system and the advertising business are maintained by it. The sickness of neophilia becomes a virtue. Inflation and the cruel destruction of money goes madly un- restrained. Gambling arid lotteries are now taken for granted, despite their destruction of the human spirit and exploitation of greed, and promoted cynically by governments quite aware that finally they are nonproductive and socially demoralizing. The fact that "there's money in it" justifies almost any contempti- ble deed. Promoters of lotteries are in- different to public welfare and creating destructive illusions in the public mind of "something for nothing." Covetousness spawns sensuality and self-indulgence: is destructive of joy and serene reflecton. It is part of the environmental destruction, the stripping of forests and pollution of the water and the air. Society is shot through with a demoralizing hostility. The many hatreds coalesce into some senseless racial or class bitterness such as the Nazi or Communist or some movement such as Women's Lib, which become scapegoats. There are spectacular hatreds like the clash of Northern Ireland or the Middle East, but civilization is tilled with them, making this mankind's bloodiest cen- tury. Lorenz contends that overcrowding breeds aggression, a truth demonstrated in animal life. But there are other factors. The hatred of youth for age is caused in large part by the breakdown of values and faith and the loss of respect for the past generations who lack authority because they have no convictions and whose materialistic civilization inspires no admiration but to the contrary. Also with the mother working and the lather absent and with the "recreational" life a separating fac- tor, the children and parents tend to grow apart. The younger generation in its fanatical hatred lor age rejects tradition as well as the parents' religion, so that consequently the church and its faith are tragically near ex- tinction. Monkeys with matches can destroy in a few hours what it has taken hundreds of years to build. SATURDAY TALK By Harry Bruce The report on the report HALIFAX Maritime newspaper reports of the report on the report on Fundy Tidal Power were wonderfully optimistic. Of course, the report on the report on Fundy. Tidal Power had urged nothing less than the preparation of a report on Fundy Tidal Power and that, apparently, was terrific news all round. It obliged those who report for newspapers to ask energy experts, industrialists and politicians to comment on reports that the report on the report on Fundy Tidal Power wanted to see a new report on Fundy Tidal Power, and the interviewees mostly thought this all sounded pretty swell. Now the report that the report on the report now wants to see in report form would not be the final report on Fundy Tidal Power. Not by a few million kilowatt hours. Not by the hairs on the chinny chin chins, of an army of electrical engineers, energy economists, scholars of tides, and experts in the myriad differences between round the clock energy and peaking power. Instead, the' desired report would lay groundwork for still further reports and, if these come to pass, they will be the resultant reports of the report that resulted from the report on the report on FTP. Five years ago, that first report reported that FTP was a bummer. Actually, "first" is the wrong word, even for the report of '69. Ever since lobsters were food for paupers, ever since before the first paved highways and the last four masted sailing vessels, electrical engineers have plotted to exploit the fantastic energy in the rolling red tides that may well still be racing up Fundy long after anyone's left to care whether the lights go on when you flick the switch. The engineers' yellowing reports probably outweigh even the speeches of all the Maritime politicians who've hurled themselves aboard the tidal power bankwagpn in recent years. But they're old Stuff, and any contemporary report on FTP reports should begin with the report of the Atlantic Tidal Power Programming Board in October, 1969. The ATPPB worked for three years, spent million, decided the "economic develop- ment of tidal power in the Bay of Fundy is riot feasible under prevailing .circumstances." This was exactly what Nova Scotian politicians did not want to hear. Why, it sounded like something someone from On- tario might say. Moreover, a few "prevailing circum- stances" prevail for long in the energy game. Fears about the limits of our oil and gas reserves, the threat of fuel price increases, and nightmares about the environmental risks of rival methods of power generation quickly out dated the ATPPB's expensive findings. And, therefore, in February of 1972, the governments of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia established the Tidal Power Review Board (TPRB) to take a hard look at the ATPPB's hard look at the economical feasibility of FTP. The TPRB describes what it's been doing for nearly three years as mere "preliminary But these, it says, do prove that "the economic position of tidal power has improved significantly since the 1969 report... the gap between tidal energy and fossil fuel energy has narrowed significantly." The review board recommends a super duper. brand, new. brighter, than-bright study of FTP, jam packed with an effective cleansing agent known as federal money. This effort; to produce yet another FTP report, would cost million. But, since the TPRB figures the tidal power project itself will cost at least a billion, maybe that's not too bad. After all. you've got to spend money to earn money, don't you? The federal government has approved the new study. The report will concentrate on sites and the best way to exploit the tida! cy- cle markets and transmission construc- tion methods and design concepts and en- vironmental problems. And after two years, if FTP still looks promising, then yet more reports on construction designs and hydraulic models, for instance will be essential before men ever begin to sink concrete in Fundy mud. Ridiculous? Maybe so. But, suppose the Fundy Tidal Power project does come about in, say, 1988? And suppose that, instead of be- ,ing the world's first economically self sup- porting tidal power station, it is actually a rriullibillion dollar lemon? A fiasco that makes the old heavy water plant look like a shrewd investment. You know what we'll all be saying then, don't you? Right. We'll be saying. "Why didn't they find out what they were doing before getting us into this stupendous mess? Why in heaven's name didn't they do their homework back in the mid seventies? As seen by a son By Doug Walker "IIF.RK III. (OMI..S m. The CGIT leaders at McKillop United Church, along with their husbands, had a get- together at the home of Glenn and Joyce Morrison following the Christmas vesper ser- vice. I had the pleasure of sitting beside May Syme for a good part of the time. Next day Elspeth recounted the highlights mother. of the affair for the benefit of our sons. When she got to the part about May and me she "Your father sat beside a very attrac- tive lady most of I he time." "Obviously it wasn't said Paul to his ;