CEN­TEN­NIAL

Southwest Booster - - NEWS -

it seemed like it took for­ever to get here, but yet all of a sud­den here it was. I think its been a great evening.”

The evening was at­tended by a se­ries of com­mu­nity dig­ni­taries in­cluded for­mer may­ors along with past and cur­rent city coun­cil mem­bers, with the au­di­ence re­minded that we are in­debted as a com­mu­nity to each in­di­vid­ual who has served on coun­cil and has con­trib­uted in mak­ing Swift Cur­rent a com­mu­nity we are all proud of.

Cur­rent Mayor Jer­rod Schafer talked about the im­por­tance of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity mak­ing the dif­fer­ence in how suc­cess­ful Swift Cur­rent is.

“Pitch­ing in for the com­mon good is part of the fab­ric of who we are as a peo­ple and as a com­mu­nity,” he said dur­ing his ad­dress at the Cen­ten­nial. “Hon­our­ing the past and re­mem­ber­ing those who made our present pos­si­ble demon­strates the re­spect and the ad­mi­ra­tion that we have for each and ev­ery res­i­dent who has ever called our City home, and has had a hand in weav­ing the ta­pes­try that we en­joy to­day.”

“Swift Cur­rent was born a rail­way town, but it quickly grew from there with deep roots in agri­cul­ture, oil and gas, cul­ture and per­form­ing arts, sports and recre­ation, and most of all in a peo­ple who be­lieved in their com­mu­nity and in their com­mu­ni­ties fu­ture.”

Schafer felt the spirit of vol­un­teerism which has driven the com­mu­nity over the years is a ma­jor fac­tor in Swift Cur­rent’s suc­cess.

“Ev­ery event, ev­ery sort of mem­ory I’ve got is tied to the peo­ple in the com­mu­nity pitch­ing in and all pulling in the same di­rec­tion. I know that’s the theme of this com­mu­nity, and it’s ev­i­dent in ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pened here the last 100 years, and it cul­mi­nated in a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance tonight with lots of great per­form­ers and fan­tas­tic vol­un­teers and the ef­fort they put in.”

Schafer also was im­pressed with the evening’s live show and the ob­vi­ous tal­ent in the com­mu­nity that was fea­tured on stage.

“It was a real great walk down mem­ory lane. We had var­i­ous types of mu­sic, ev­ery­thing to be proud of with our High School groups, and I loved the as­pect of the New­com­ers hav­ing an op­por­tu­nity to share where our com­mu­nity is go­ing and where we’ve come the last num­ber of years. Even some of the sketches, some of the topics are very sim­i­lar to what we talk about to­day, so as much as things change there’s lots that stays the same.”

“Ev­ery­thing was just done first class to­day. I’m so proud of Swift Cur­rent, and I think every­body that was here tonight is and should be too,” Schafer said.

It was pointed out that in 1914, Saskatchewan’s pre­mier was Thomas Wal­ter Scott, and the Swift Cur­rent MLA served as Saskatchewan’s first pre­mier from 1905 to 1916. Now, 100 years later the MLA for Swift Cur­rent is again pre­mier of the prov­ince. Pre­mier Brad Wall re­called that South­west Saskatchewan has come a long way since John Pal­liser’s ex­pe­di­tion in the mid 1800s de­ter­mined the re­gion was not suit­able for agri­cul­ture or set­tle­ment. De­spite this bleak out­look, Wall high­lighted that those in­di­vid­u­als who helped build Swift Cur­rent had a dif­fer­ent view of what could be achieved here and un­der­stand­ing of what was pos­si­ble.

“Our fore bear­ers, lead by those who had vi­sion, why they just de­fied the ex­perts. They de­fied Pal­liser and they built a com­mu­nity. They built a way of life, and we ben­e­fit from that her­itage to­day. In fact, they didn’t just build a com­mu­nity, but they named build­ings here af­ter the guy that said we shouldn’t live here. It’s quite re­mark­able.”

Wall also shared ex­cerpts from a poem writ­ten as part of Swift Cur­rent’s 50th an­niver­sary celebration in 1964, which shared a vi­sion of hope for the fu­ture and grat­i­tude for the past.

“Tonight, I think the very best 100th birth­day present we can give this com­mu­nity is that same vi­sion. Is that same grat­i­tude for what’s come be­fore, and hope for what we can build to­gether to con­tinue to make Swift Cur­rent the best place to live and work and raise a fam­ily,” Wall said.

For­mer Swift Cur­rent Mayor Paul Elder was one of the dig­ni­taries re­turn­ing for the Cen­ten­nial Day Ex­trav­a­ganza. Hav­ing served as mayor from 1994 to 2003 be­fore leav­ing the city to pur­sue op­por­tu­ni­ties in Bri­tish Columbia, Elder was im­pressed with Swift Cur­rent af­ter not be­ing around the city for a decade.

“It has been a won­der­ful, won­der­ful home­com­ing, but it had a lit­tle twist to it, be­cause I’ve been gone for 10 years and there was this lit­tle peak of awe. The things that we put in place 15 years ago, 10 years ago, 12 years ago, are built now. And the place is thriv­ing. I re­mem­ber 20 years ago when I came on as mayor and we were think­ing ‘we’ve got to do some­thing with this place’. I mean the whole prov­ince was suf­fer­ing to some de­gree. And cer­tainly the city it was dif­fi­cult enough to at­tract some­body to Saskatchewan, much less to a small place like Swift Cur­rent.”

Elder said it took some en­er­getic, for­ward think­ing from a group of peo­ple think­ing the com­mu­nity can be bet­ter.

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