As this closing of another year draws near, it is our habit to reflect on the past 12 months. As is usually the case in the High Prairie region, events pass by with a reasonably steady pace. In local business, politics and things outside our personal lives, generally there are no fantastic leaps forward, and generally no horrendous downturns.
Depending on your point of view, the big news story of 2017 could have been any of the following:
– redevelopment of MacIntyre Park;
– election of new councillors in the Metis settlements and our two biggest local governments, Big Lakes County and the Town of High Prairie;
– the official opening of the beautiful new High Prairie Regional Hospital;
– the rebuilding of the High Prairie Regals hockey team;
– the firing of award-winning manager Ginger Peterson at the High Prairie Regional Aquatic Centre, which has cascaded to the ending of the High Prairie and District Regional Recreation Board, a drop in earnings at the pool, and the possibility of it closing for several weeks of the year.
– expansion of the West Fraser mill in;
– re-opening of the Tolko strandboard mill west of High Prairie;
– High Prairie celebrations over Canada’s 150th anniversary;
– a merger between Wild Rose and the Alberta Conservative parties;
– new overlay on Highway 2 east of High Prairie;
– a new road into the Swan Hills south of Faust;
And so much more. All good stories. But as we often say, there is so much more to life. Babies are born. Families are still created. We still mourn loved ones we have lost. Our children grow astonishingly fast. Life’s rewards are earned, as are life’s penalties. For better or worse, life goes on.
In this, we can only hope that no matter your fortunes, no matter your walk of life, live life to the fullest. Learn something every day. Tell someone you love them every day. Hug someone. Smile at someone. Enjoy being alive and help others around you to do the same.
If you did even a part of this, you can call 2017 a great year.
At the South Peace News, we thank our readers and advertisers for allowing us to come into your home each week, as we bring you our community news. We are the community “newspaper of record” for our region, now for more than five decades. It is a great privilege.
We promise to continue to work hard to continue as Northern Alberta’s, and one of Alberta’s, most award-winning newspapers. Through all the good news, bad news and indeed, our mistakes, we will strive to earn and keep your respect in this, one of the best communities in the best province in the best country in the world.
From staff and management, a very sincere Thank You.
– Jeff Burgar