|----Welcome To Weekes|
|FTLComm - Weekes - August 2, 2000|
villages in Saskatchewan each hold their uniqueness in a gentle fragile grasp, all
have their own special essence, their very own mix of location, geography, ethnicity,
local culture and cherished history. Weekes has never been blessed with wealth,
it has struggled from the time it was first settled and continues that struggle today.
Two years ago the Hudson Bay School Division wanted to close the school in Weekes even though it was the only school in the division that had a positive and stable population of students where as Hudson Bay itself, and Porcupine Plain were rapidly declining. The tax base around Weekes produces more revenue for the School Division then its school consumes yet the Division seriously considered destroying this fundamental portion of the community. However, largely due to the vigourous and able actions of the school board common sense prevailed.
The picture (above right) is the pleasant elementary school playground. This school was closed in 1974 but the building was converted to a museum and continues to serve its community.
Main street has changed little since the mid seventies when we lived in this village, the hotel and the Co-op remain the active businesses with a post office.
|In 1973 the
Walters, Walter Gimas and Walter Zilkavich among others set to work developing an
indoor skating rink and with timbre rights and hard work this outstanding rink was
constructed and continues to fill each winter with fun and a focus for the entire
community. Tom Lindenback has for season after season handled the responsibility
of keeping the rink running, making the skating and curling ice and with a host of
other volunteers this building is that essence of Weekes I talked about. A few winters
ago we had a Tisdale hockey team come down here to play Porcupine Plain who had a
number of Weekes players on their squad, what a fabulous environment to come to.
I can still remember the flavour of the home cooked hamburgers and simmering coffee
that cost a third of what they would anywhere else.
When I drove up to this building in the early summer of 1973 for my interview for principal of this the high school in Weekes it looked pretty much the same as it does now. The gym and home economics area have since been added but the main building was the same. But the building was not the story here. This is the best job I ever had because the students were the best people I ever worked with. Their enthusiasm, genuine understanding of each other and desire to do well made them stick with me and showed me what a community can do. Without a gym we could still compete against Hudson Bay and Porcupine in Volley ball simply because of the students determination to do well and when it came to track and field we could kick ass at any meet while in curling the weekes teams were the ones that dominated the school Division and NESAC. This excellence was a community tradition, it was there before me and lasts to the present day.
active church in the town is this Pentecostal church that serves the community now
just as it did twenty-five years ago. But I have to feel that the sense of community
often takes precedent over almost all other institutions. The people who are "Weekes"
are the farmers and part time farmers who live in the countryside nurturing each
other and working together against considerable odds.
For many years the forest that sites just across the
was the main source of supplemental income for the people who lives in the Weekes
area. Lumber and pulp wood had brought many of the people to the area and when times
got tough the forest stood ready to be the crutch to keep things going.
The Weekes area is enormously successful when it comes to farming. The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool recognised that ad refurbished this elevator to meet the continued production of the area then with the development of the Harvest Valley inland terminal in Tisdale the CN line was abandoned and this elevator closed.
Few new home have been built in Weekes since most of the population live on the farms in the surrounding countryside but these duplex senior citizen homes have been constructed and there are waiting lists for people to move into these excellent homes.
|Weekes is not the village, or its huge fair grounds, its rink, or even its school.
It is the spirit of the farmers who have were raised on their land, have raised
their children on their land and who's children will raise their children on the
fertile and naturally rich farmland that stretches out to the East, North and West
of the village named "Weekes."
Timothy W. Shire