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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 5, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 2 THE LETHBRIDGC HERAID Tuesday, Seplcmbtr 5, 1972- Ric SWIHART Socred ML A Charlie Drain feels with people The final touches are being put on plans for the second annual Hocky Mountain Livestock Show and Sale, slated for the Lethbridge Exhibition Pavilion Dec. 4 to 9. You will remember that this show and sale Is innovative brain-child of the local exhibition asso- ciation. It is held in the winter months, replacing the usual summer fair show and sale. The idea behind this is to get more local participation in the event. Government classifications and prize money will foe paid in all breed classes and a large entry is again expected after a successful show last year. Many of the better livestock show strings were in attendance and it is hoped they will be back this jear. Tliis year, the winter fair will be combined with the Southern Alberta Cattle Breeders Fall Purebred CatUe Sale. This will bring a large number of pure- bred animals for sale in southern Alberta. For any information, contact Andy Andrews and his staff at the Lethbridge and District Exhibition Association office at the Exhibition Grounds. 11 sure was nice to see the change in the feed grain freight rates. I don't know if tJie best part of the deal is the additional millions of dollars for western Canadian farmers or the fact that the Ca- nadian wheat board can indeed change. Maybe some of the apparent change of "heart can be guided to the hundreds of rapcsccd contract holders facing court action for over delivery of permit quotas be- cause rapeseed is Included under the broad term for grains. With the lifting of rapeseed from the term grains, farmers would be able to haul all their rapeseed stocks to domestic crushers without a permit book staring them in the face. At the very least, the CWB could leave rapeseed on the permit book but only for export purposes. Diethylstilbestrol, commonly referred to as DES, was quietly doing a job for the livestock industry until the government, aided likely by the same health fanatics who clouded the dairy industry with the cholestrol scare, decided to take it off the Canadian scene effective January 1973. Some of the stats which show a person would have to eat X-hundred pounds of DES treated beef liver in a day to have any chance of personal in- jury seem to indicate that the move was premature. But why take any chance at all? In a way it is the same as playing around with drugs the results are not known for sure. I would presume, that since 20 years of DKS use has not produced one trace ot, cancer in humans, the government move was more economic than health oriented. Apparently many countries Canada now ex- ports to won't take DES treated beef. Just as the soft drink industry in North America got along after calcium cyclamates were banned, the beef industry will survive. The Alberta department of agriculture has already come up with two alternate growth promoters for the beef and sheep industry. Jerome Martin, animal nutritionist with the de- partment, suggests using synovex implants. These natural hormones are more expensive than DES im- plants but they do increase the rate of gain and feed conversion. Another, available in the U.S. but not yet in Can- ada, is Ralgro. This promoter is not as effective as DES but it will work. An actual test has shown that the average daily gain for steers were 3.4 pounds per day for DES; 3.2 pounds per day for Ralgro and 3.14 pounds per day for Synovex. The untreated animals gained 2.7 pounds per day. Then there was the farmer who discovered his hunting dog walked across the water to retrieve the ducks. Fearful that nobody would believe him, he invited his city-slicker cousin to go hunting with him the following week. The dog performed his ritual walking on the water again. The city type comment- ed, "Your dog is different. He can't even swim By GREG MclNTVRE llcrald Staff Writer Because he has been a log- ger, miner and construction worker, Charlie Drain Pincher Creek-Crowsnest} feels ft kinship with the working peo- ple he has represented in tbe Alberta legislature since 1967. The philosophical, grey-hair- cd politician spent the first six montha of his life in San Fran- cisco, lie was bom tliere while Iris mother was visiting a rela- tive. He has never been back. It's not I li a t he has anything against the romantic California coast city, it's just that lie likes many parts of Canada a lot bet- ter. Mr. Drain, B9, has lived at Blairmore in the Rocky Moun- tain foothiUs since his parents settled there. His father, Duncan, and a brother, Dan, came to the Crowsnest Pass f o 11 o w ing strikes by the American Rail- road Union. Union activists were denied jobs in the United States after being "blacklisted" by tlie railroad companies. Born in Ontario, the Drain brojhsrs had been working and travelling through the U.S. be- fore coming to southern Alber- ta to settle. Mr. Drain's father was born In 1867, the year oi confedera- tion, and married late in life. "Between the two us we rep- resent the entire history of Canada." Mr. Drain claims his grand- father was the first farmer to grow grapes on the Niagara peninsula. After settling hi Alberta, Mr. Drain's uncle Dan became a railroad engineer "and dad fired for him." Dan was tagged "Hobo Drain" because he used to slow the engine when he'd see a hobo walking along the tracks, acd hfl'd holler "jump on said his nephew. Mr. Drain's father, Dune, ran the Blairmore Hotel and was one of the early residents who organized the town's water- works and other services and the tirst municipal government The first piece of concrete in town was laid in front of Blairmore Hotel. Mr. Drain recalls growing up in the hotel and can picture chocolates that were kept in a display case nnd a sister's in- scalable sweet toolh. When she liad had her quota of chocolates, she used to get her brother to cry. When the young boy received chocolates to stop crying, he'd hand them over to his sister. His father later went into the livery business, hauling freight and renting horses. At 15, Mr. Drain went to work as flunkie cook's helper In a lumber camp. Within a year, he'd risen to the prestige position of teamster, driving a horse and wagon to town for supplies. Tlie new job, however, proved something of an embar- rassment at first. "Some of the horses were older and had more sense than I did. They knew the way to the mill by themselves and could come back ia the dark by themselves." The young logger couM drive the team well enough, but ran into difficulty harnessing tbe horses. The first day on the Job, a gruff foreman ordered the horses unharnessed quickly. When the new teamster admit- ted he couldn't, Mew bis top. The foreman called an the other workers over and berated Mr. Drain, shouting "look at the kind of person they're send- ing out to be teamsters tfoeac days." That (all, S92S, Mr. Drain went to work in a coal mine. He started as an oiler and sev- en years later left as a mine carpenter. "I left at 22 with great re- grets. I had grown to love the companionsliip of tbe people who worked there, the smell ot coaklust... tlie whole thing." Markets for coal were shrinking at this time and tbe mine only worked intermittent- ly, he said. Mr. Drain got a contract to supply timber for the mine. He built roads Into the woods north of Blairmore and hauled logs out by horse team. Horses were cheaper to oper- ate than trucks, he said. He went more than in debt to get started in the logging business, but by the end of the year he collected from the sale of wood and went through town paying off all his debts. lie expanded tbe business, buying trucks and a portable lumber mill. During the Second World War, he was exempted from military service because the government felt 'it was more beneficial to the country that he continue producing lumber for industry in the Pass. The demand for coal slowed during the 1950s as railroad companies converted engines to oil and dicsel. In 1956 Mr. Drain went into tbe business of constructing roads and oil fields. The firm Is today called Drain Brothers Construction LtcV. and is oper- ated by Mr. Drain's sons Jim, 33, Edmund, 32, and Clair, 25. A younger son, Douglas, 18, is an employee and Mr. Drain keeps the books. He got into politics for the first lime in tlie 1960s out of a feeling of responsibility for the area where he had grown up and made a business. He served as a town council- lor for six years silling on most committees, including re- gional plannkig and the board of health. Of the progression In 1967 from municipal to provincial politics, he says "it was some- thing that just seemed to grow out of nothing. I guess I was talking when I should have been listening." Mr. Drain says lie was sur- prised to win the Social Credit nomination and even more sur- prised to win the election. bsat incumbent Garlh Turcott, a member of the New Dem- ocratic Party who took the seat In a byelection. With a former win in the Pincher Creek Crowsnest con- stituency, the New Democrats in Alberta feel they would have a good chance of winning the seat back if Mr. Drain steps down. Mr. Drain makes it clear, though, that he has no imme- diate plans to step down. "Whether I run will depend on the way I feel at the time. I must be satisfied 1 cm doing a job and roust feet there is still work I have to lio." He was toying with the no- tion to retire from politics be- fore the 1971 provincial elec- tion, but changed his mind. Mr. Drain devotes most of his attention to matters that affect the economy of his con- stituency mining, agricul- ture and to a limited degree, manufacturing. The future of the area will depend on tbe manufacturing and processing industry it can attract, he says. "I see a genuine need for diversification of industry and something to replace nat- ural gas processing plants which are a depleting re- source." Coal dust, left over from min- ing, is a potential source ol fuel thst could feed industry, he feels. There would have to be ?.n increase in the scale of coal mining, though, lo warrant this new industry. With John Anderson (SC Lethbridge he is on a legislative commitlec to update the Workmen's Compensation Act. Drain ;