Our annual Year-in-Review series continues today with a look back at July and August 2013. We will be publishing two months of review each day during the remainder of our holiday closure here at the Morinville News. The entire Year-in-Review will be published in our Jan. 8 print edition.
St. Andrews demolished
St. Andrew’s Anglican Church was demolished Aug. 16, nearly two months after the church was destroyed in an early morning fire. The church, destroyed June 17 was home to local Anglicans as well as the Father’s House Christian Fellowship. The latter faith group used the building for offices and a local youth ministry. The Anglicans subsequently began sharing the United Church and the Father’s House took over the banquet facility of the La Maison building on 100 Avenue.
Chamber viewing importance of tourism to community
From its office on 100 Avenue, a building that doubles as a tourism information facility, the Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce (MDCC) was focusing its attentions on tourism in the community and region.
A Chamber press release issued in mid-August extolled the virtues of tourist destinations in the region, including Jurassic Forest, Prairie Gardens, the performance series at the Morinville Community Cultural Center, and the various museums and historic attractions in the area. The Chamber said they saw tourism as a critical economic and cultural component to the community and region, one that impacts taxis, restaurants, shops, hotels and convention centres.
Morinville’s newest restaurant opens in familiar place
Those travelling down 100th Avenue over the previous two months had noticed that Don’s Bar and Bistro was no longer open, the steakhouse having officially closed its doors on June 15th. On Saturday, August 10th, the Bistro Di Madre Piccola, opened in the same location, specializing in international fare leaning towards Italian.
Although proprietors Christine Pereira and Deepthi Pelenage are first time restaurant owners, their faces were familiar as they were employed at the former restaurant for three years. When the old restaurant closed, they decided to take a chance on their dream and open up their own place.
Emergency Services have some new gear to work with
It was a heavy week of heavy equipment for the Morinville Fire Department the last week of August. The department’s new $800,000 rescue truck arrived Aug. 24 and was pushed into the department by firefighters, as is tradition. STARS Air Ambulance arrived in Morinville the following day with their new $16 million AW139 helicopter, a larger and more modern unit than the BK117 the airborne paramedics have used for years. The fly-in was to acquaint firefighters, paramedics, RCMP and Town of Morinville’s Public Works employees on the aircraft and how it differs from the BK117.
Chamber calls for a doctor
In their third press release in a month, the Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce (MDCC) was calling on the community to pull together to procure a full-time doctor for Morinville. The Board had agreed unanimously that they would like to support government, business, and the medical community to attract and retain a full-time physician for the citizens of Morinville. At the time the Chamber said it believed well-trained Canadian doctors are in high demand and that competition for their services is intense. They felt businesses and residents would benefit from a full-time physician through increased productivity, a safer community, and an overall better way of life.
Without delving into any specifics in the release, the Chamber said they believed the goal of obtaining a doctor could materialize and planned to issue a five-step plan in the coming months. To date no plan has been brought forward.
Councillor Gordon Boddez appointed Morinville mayor
The community received a new mayor, at least until the next one was sworn in after the Oct. 21 election. Councillor Gordon Boddez was appointed mayor during the Aug. 27 Town Council meeting. He filled the mayoral vacancy left by the June 30 passing of Mayor Paul Krauskopf.
The appointment was the first order of business at Council’s Aug. 27 meeting. Deputy Mayor Lisa Holmes took nominations from the floor and Councillor Sheldon Fingler put forward Boddez’ name. Boddez was appointed mayor with a unanimous vote of Council and after being sworn in, Boddez resumed his regular Council seat rather than the chair reserved for mayor.
Mayor Boddez’ first order of business was to announce he would not be running for any role on Council during the fall general election due to personal commitments.