Being thankful…

By Sandra L. Brown

October 4, 2017 2:44 PM

As I was walking through Bud Miller Park listening to the crunch of the fallen leaves beneath my feet and the overhead honking of geese, I had to pause and reflect on how thankful I am to live on the Prairies. 
It’s a beautiful land full of promise and prairie folks have so much to be thankful for. 
Being a country girl at heart, a song lyric slowly unlocks in my mind as nature’s chorus surrounded me. 
A song writer gives a unique glimpse of themselves through their words and music. It is felt in the depths of their soul framed by the notes and beat. 
Today’s song is yet unfinished, but the beginning is there just patiently waiting for its phrases to link rhythmically together. 
Lloydminster’s story is also unfinished. I wonder what our pioneers thought as they proudly looked about their town. 
Were they patiently working to shape another idea into reality? 
Were they happy with its progress? Traditional remnants of their homeland were evident and intertwined with life on the Western prairie. 
They brought with them comforts of home while holding on to their traditional ways making Lloydminster feel more like home.
There’s something peaceful about a place called home.  It’s a pure and raw force powerful enough not to resist the blending of spirits coming together to form a community. 
Lloydminster has over a century’s worth of history and significant milestones.
For the landmarks and pioneer folks now absent, they are still present in our collective community memory. 
Folks can still see faded signs from days gone by on downtown buildings. What landmarks would be most representative and the most missed if they were to disappear from our city landscape? 
From the time it was built in 1904 the Barr Colony Log Church served the needs of the community by providing a gathering place for folks to share their Anglican faith. 
Its Union Jack (a.k.a Union Flag) embedded in stained glass is a reverent symbol of the British influence. 
Built of logs by the original Barr Colonists, this “Mother Church” supported their goal to maintain Christian values and served as a core to provide ministry to the flourishing community.
Standing on the downtown corner of 50th and 50th, the post office or “clock tower” is one of our most recognized buildings. 
Partially destroyed by the great fire of 1929, it was rebuilt in 1931 and its clock face was installed by a local jeweler.
The post office was the hub of the community for both town and rural folks.
Seeing many physical changes over the years in how it served the community it is a proud link to our past. 
Built in 1925 the Lloydminster Public School, eventually renamed the Meridian School was sadly demolished in 2000 amidst public protest to make way for a larger City Hall.
Part of the significance of this historic building was the fact that the school boards from the Alberta and Saskatchewan sides of the border, despite the government’s desire to keep them separate, worked together for the culmination of providing an improved education to Lloydminster’s students.
In an attempt to preserve part of its past, the new facility’s front entrance facing the meridian was designed using some of the original bricks. 
As a sizable tribute to the original survey stakes marking the provincial border which is so unique to our community, the border markers rise up to greet the prairie sky like sentinels. 
There was much controversy over their construction fueled by the abrupt withdrawal of government funding.
City council voted to continue with this project in 1993.  Standing guard over the natural border originally staked by Dominion land surveyors, they are useful as a landmark to direct visitors in our city whereas others view them as a blemish on our city landscape.
Serving as Town and later City Hall until 2000, the brick heritage building on 49th Avenue originally housed two bays for the fire department. 
Along with the Barr Colony Museum, both have seen functional changes through the years. 
It is heartbreaking to witness the demise of our heritage buildings and their descent of community relevance. 
It’s similar to singing an unfinished song; neither have the full effect or seem complete.

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