Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Letter to the editor – Loss of built-heritage in Saskatoon South Downtown – September 25, 2006

Irony abounds in excitement over finding historic anchor

The StarPhoenix

Monday, September 25, 2006

One could not help sense the irony when divers recently discovered the cast iron anchor from the June 1908 wreck of the sternwheeler cruise ship, S.S. City of Medicine Hat.

The plan is to clean up the artifact and display it at the River Landing to help celebrate Saskatoon's past.

"As a symbol, it's off the meter," said an archeologist with Stantec Consulting.

Maybe so. But if the anchor is that important, then what of the city's built-history that is already there -- such as the Legion Hall, built by local veterans in 1929, which developer Remai Ventures plans to demolish for its spa hotel? Or the Gathercole Building, lost in 2004 for the same development?

The opportunity to celebrate the city's south downtown history in a tangible and meaningful way has existed for years, but it's only now, when it's too late and irreplaceable structures are coming down, that it begins to happen.

Are interpretive plaques and information panels the best we can do?

It was sad to hear that city officials were falling over themselves with excitement after the anchor was found and then to think of the valuable history that is being lost because of Mayor Don Atchison and city council's short-sighted quest to be seen as the most business-friendly in Canada.

Civic voters need to clean house in the October election.

Jim Wilson

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2006


At 10:29 AM, Blogger pekoe said...

Our legion building is now in its 11th hour.

Can anything be done to save her?


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