St. Andrew’s United Church annual rummage sale is coming up!

It’s time for that amazing bargain opportunity again! Yes, the St. Andrew’s United Church annual rummage sale is coming up, and here are the dates/times.

  • Oct. 11-13. from 9am to 9 pm
  • Oct. 14 from 9am to noon.
  • Pie and coffee are available Wednesday to Friday.
  • Items for donation will be gratefully accepted Oct. 2-6.

Here are a few pictures from the event a couple of years ago, just to whet your appetite! (Click any image to open viewer)

CRA Hoaxers are still at it – Read this republished article from two years ago!

It’s around two years ago that I published the article below. It tells of my horror when I first received a hoax call claiming to be from the CRA. I am re-publishing it! Why? Because I still get two or three calls A DAY from these swines, and I know many others do too. Since that first call I am wise to their tricks. If you want to get wise too, I suggest you go onto YouTube and search for “Hoax CRA call” and you can have a good laugh as scam-busters call these criminals back, wasting their time until the exasperated fraudsters swear at them in some foreign language! In the meantime, please read this article again, it could save you a lot of grief. – Kenneth




I was starting to sweat, actually if I am honest I was beginning to panic. All sorts of thoughts were racing through my head as I tried to process what I had just heard on the phone. The call had supposedly come from the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) and it had told me I was under federal investigation for problems with my tax papers.

This really happened last night folks, to me, the owner of EsterhazyOnline. And yes, I really did feel fear, and panic, and that sick feeling you get in your body when you don’t know what the heck to do. All sorts of fearful questions were racing through my mind, they conjured up horrible images of police investigations, and shame, and ruin. But the first question I should have asked myself only came to my befuddled mind ten minutes later, “Is this a hoax or is it real?”

As it turned out it was a hoax, a really nasty one, and you’ll find out how I came to that conclusion as you read this story. And please, share this story with other Canadians, for this terrible “business” of telephone and email hoaxes defrauds good people out of more than $70 million every year.

When the call came in at 2:48 yesterday afternoon, I was fortunate to be on another call at that time. Why fortunate? It means the call went to my voicemail, allowing me not only the luxury of listening to it many times, but also the ability to play it back for the RCMP today.

Anyway, it was sometime after 8pm last night that I finally checked the voicemail, and what I heard literally drained the blood from my face. Here, word for word, is what the caller said.

My name is officer Johnathan Knight from CRA, that is Canada Revenue Agency. The matter in hand is extremely time sensitive, and needs your urgent concentration for the same. The reason for the urgency is that we have found misconduct on your tax papers, because of which you are found fallacious, and under federal investigation. Don’t try to disregard the message, and if done, it will be seen as an offense from your end. Give me a call back as soon as possible. Again, this is officer Johnathan Knight from Canada Revenue Agency.

After hearing those words for the first time I was in a state of panic. Sure, I knew that I had not done anything deliberately wrong in my taxes over the years, but I had done the taxes myself until this year, using one of those programs you can buy at numerous Canadian retailers, and so there was that gnawing possibility that in my ignorance I had screwed up royally.

Even though the caller had not given a number to call him at (a potential red flag) there was a number on the records of my phone, and it was an Ottawa area code. I decided not to call it because it was so late. Then, I literally paced the floor in my home office wondering what the hell to do. I was sweating, the blood had returned to my face and it was now bright red. I was scared, genuinely scared. It was a horrible feeling.

Then, I remembered that for the first time in years, I’d had an accountant do my taxes. I found his business card and called his office, knowing I’d get an answer machine. I left a frantic message, laced with genuine fear. I hung up and just knew there was no way I could sleep with these feelings racing through my body.

I went on Canada 411 and found my accountant’s home number. As I dialed it, I was praying he’d take the call. He did. I explained the situation and then I asked “Does the CRA really do this kind of thing?” At last, doubt was beginning to replace the initial fear.

The CRA does not call people unless they have been unable to reach them with repeated attempts by mail first” he said. “I would not lose any sleep over it, I’ll call CRA in the morning to check and get back to you.” he assured me.

At last the panic was subsiding, but the anxiety-producing adrenalin was still coursing through my body. I asked myself, “Why did the caller not identify me? He never used my name”. I also asked, “Why did he not give a callback number.” And, one I should have noticed right away, “Why did he have such a foreign accent?”

I went online and stared hitting the search engines for “CRA Hoax Calls” and was shocked to see how common this really is, but typically none of the common situations matched what I had been told. In most cases they ask for personal information, or scare people into making a payment, or want confirmation details that the CRA would already know. The fact that my call seemed to be unique added to my fears.

This morning, after a few hours had gone by, I heard from my accountant. He told me he’d been in touch with CRA and there were no problems with my records, there was no investigation, there was nothing to worry about. The CRA confirmed it had been a nasty hoax.

I went to the RCMP after that. I played the recording and gave the officer the number. We talked at length about the terrible problem that this is, and I was given the following advice to pass on to readers.

1. The CRA typically NEVER calls Canadians. They typically use the mail.

2. Do not call the number back.

3. If you have already called them back and you did NOT give any personal information or DID NOT send money, then get in touch with the CAFC, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. (WEBSITE HERE)

4. If you called the number and DID give personal information (SIN, bank details, business number, name, date of birth, etc) OR if you DID make payment (Paypal, cheque, money order, or any other method) THEN contact the RCMP immediately.

Later this afternoon, I received a call back from the RCMP. They had called the number associated with the voicemail and the line had gone dead within seconds. It is possible that the initial call was intended to strike fear into the listener (which it did!) and that it was intended to motivate a call back using the caller ID number listed on my phone. In this case it was the RCMP who called them back, not me.

If the intention is to provoke the call back, it is highly likely that it is a way of the crooks harvesting numbers that are now considered “hot leads” as it were. These numbers will likely be called back and then the pressure and extortion will begin in earnest.

I now feel glad that this was a scam, but even yet I feel a residue of the nervousness that the situation created. It was sheer hell.

What if I had taken the original call? Without the luxury of time to think about it, would I have fallen for some smooth-talker with aggression in his voice? Would I have given out personal or financial information? Worse still, would I have sent them money? I hope I would not have, but in the heat of the moment and with the panic that such a call provokes, who knows.

MANY Canadians fall for this every single day. One hoax caller admitted to the CBC that he raked in tens of thousands of dollars a day from what he called “not so smart Canadians.”

And what if I had been an elderly and infirm pensioner? What if the fear had set off a heart attack? Yes, I bet that happens too.

The point it this. These ________ (add your own description!) are out to get as many people as they can, and they are getting smarter and more sophisticated all the time. So bottom line, NEVER take a call supposedly from the CRA on its face value. Tell the caller you will call back the CRA using a number you will obtain yourself. If they get angry then too bad! The CRA won’t be typically calling you anyway, and in the unlikely event that they do, they will understand if you call back on a number you are given independently by the phone directory services or an accountant.

CRA phone scams are big business, with call centers set up in foreign countries specifically to call Canadians like YOU and I. Learn from my horrible experience, and be wise.

Twin Valley Riding Club trail ride announced for October 15.

The Twin Valley Riding Club has announced a trail ride. It will be held on October 15, 2017 at Trevor Nicholauson’s Farm. The ride begins at 2pm, with a free barbecue at 4pm. Those attending are asked to bring their own lawn chairs, and beverages. The event is open to everyone. For more information, the following phone numbers have been provided. (306) 745-2561, (306) 745-7828; (306) 745-2485, (306) 745-7526.

This event has also been added to our community calendar. Please review the calendars for upcoming events, and remember to send us YOUR event notice. It’s free, courtesy of North Valley Credit Union.

What’s in the Miner-Journal newspaper next week?


North Valley Credit Union, and EsterhazyOnline, are supporters of the Miner-Journal newspaper. Therefore, each week we will publish the headlines for the upcoming edition of the paper. We encourage our readers to be MJ readers too. Here are the headlines from NEXT WEEK’S Miner-Journal newspaper.

  • Twin Valley Riding Club rodeo and results
  • $160,000 to be invested in shoreline at Crooked Lake
  • Mosaic Open House for K3 to K1 conveyor
  • Orenda Healing hosts women’s self care retreat
  • Motivational speaker and musician Robb Nash to appear at EHS
  • Charity Golf raises $207,000 for hospital fund
  • Shot fired at West End

Pick up a copy next week at the grocery stores, pharmacies, all gas stations in Esterhazy. Or, at Stockholm Foods, Tantallon Co-op, Langenburg Pharmasave, and Churchbride Co-op. You can also buy one at the Miner-Journal office.

Esterhazy golf course thank you’s and summer project updates

The following notice was received from Vick Paidel regarding the Esterhazy golf course.

Hi to Everyone;

I want to take the time to thank some groups & companies for the donations they have so generously provided the golf course & clubhouse.

I want to thank the Ladies club for paying the whole bill for recoating the clubhouse roof. The work was definetly past due & the Ladies Club made it possible to have the work completed.

I would like to thank Crush-rite Concrete for the donation of concrete for in front of #9 tee box & 18 roadway that was put around the inlets of culverts.

Thanks also goes to Icon Const./ Parkland Mfg & PC Place for the donation of the clubhouse computor. Also a big thank you to Heather Neville for making this happen.

A big thank you to all that donated their golf cart for the tourn. last Friday P.M. There was a bit of a dilema with rental carts & clubhouse needed 10 carts, so on short notice people offered their carts to help out, and then they all went beyond that & donated all the rental fee’s to the Regional Park. (Geo. Kascmar, Mike Bewcyk, John Nightingale, Barry Off, Bob Nordin, Jerry Halyk, Dana Paidel, Derek Paidel.) There were a total of 10 carts donated. I would also like to thank the people that offered their cart but were not needed.

Another thank you to guys that helped pick stones from in the deep rough on 2, 3, & 4. ( Bob Nordin, Joe Diakow, Lorne Delmage) The stones were used as rip/rap in front of 9 tee drainage ditch. Also that now will allow us to cut further into the deep rough on those holes. (maybe I will be able to find a couple of my golf balls). Thanks again to Lorne Delmage & Richard Zurburg for helping haul stones for rip/rap for drainage ditch from top of hill. This project is now complete.

I would like to thank the mayor, town councillors, rec. director & town administrator for helping us out (by giving the Regional Park an interest free loan to be able to have PDAP projects completed. With the money we can pay the contractors and when PDAP pays the Regional Park we will immediately pay the town back the loan.).

I also want to thank Gordon Meyer (town foreman) & all the town employees for all the help & cooperation they have given us over the last few years. They have made our job a lot easier.

A big thank you to everyone that volunteers their services at clubhouse helping Tony. (example: cooking steaks for tourn, help moving deep freezes, help line up extra tables & golf carts for tourn. Just to name a few things. I know Tony really appreciates it.

Short summary of projects that were accomplished this season. Approx. cost of ea. project shown in red.

  1. A weeping tile was extended on the fairway on hole #7, this was to try & dry up the continual wet area that was unplayable. It seems to have worked but we must keep in mind that we had a very dry year so lets hope that it works this well when it is a wet year. ($600.oo)
  2. A pipe was added to the weeping tile on green side of #5 as that area never seemed to dry up. It seems to be doing the job. ($0.oo)
  3. The area beside creek on green side of #5 was filled in & leveled off so it will be playable once the grass grows. ($0.oo)
  4. A new sprinkler head was installed between green & creek. ($100.oo)
  5. A day was spent by quite a few volunteers trimming shrubs & cutting grass in rough along holes 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, & also along creek on fairway #1. ($0.oo)
  6. There were 2 new much needed sprinkler heads added to #1 fairway 1 just accross creek on green side & 1 just before creek on tee side. Obviously we missed putting them in when we were installing sprinklers in 2015. At the same time a few sprinkler heads got lowered on 7 fairway & some top soil was added to low areas around some sprinkler heads on 8 fairway. There are still some heads that need lowering or fill to be added so please be careful not to run over them if possible. ($0.oo sprinkler heads were used & in stock)
  7. Jerry Babyak has put in a horrendous amount of time & effort cutting & removing dead trees on golf course. There were a lot more trees than any of us realized, there were a lot of trees that were laying down in the tall grass as well. He still has some trees behind #6 tee box to cut & cleanup & then he is done. Not only has he been doing this project but he still finds time to volunteer a whole day of trimming shrubs & cutting grass with us. He reminds me of the energizer bunny. Also in some area’s where Jerry has cut trees there are Maple seedings growing hopefully in a couple of years those area’s will start filling in & it will not look so bare. ($0.oo)
  8. The drainage ditch in front of 9 tee box has been redirected so it is in a more direct line of flow. Also we added a 24″ culvert on 9 &18 so it will handle a lot more water flow then the original. ( just over a 100% increase.) Rip/rap has been completed in drainage ditch & concrete was poured around inlets of culvets on both 9 & 18. ($0.oo)
  9. Shrub roots were dug out then filled in with top soil on North side of #3 fairway. ($0.oo)
  10. The clubhouse roof has a new coat of urethane.Hopefully we do not have to worry about that for a number of years. ($3,000.oo) Paid by Ladies Club.
  11. The old section of the clubhouse deck has had some deckboards replaced as well as railing, and some joists replaced. ($370.oo)
  12. The old & newer deck were completely stained. ($545.oo)
  13. Lean to on clubhouse reshingled. ($0.oo)

For all projects listed above the approx. total cost to the Regional Park was $4,615.oo ( $3,000.oo of that was paid by the Ladies Club for the roof ). The to Regional Park for the above projects is approx.. $1,615.oo.

Projects that are still to be completed;

  1. Culvert in front of #8 tee box. We do not have quite enough culvert yet but we have some people looking for more. When we find enough culvert we will install in trench & permanently remove the bridge. The cartpath will go over the culvert.
  2. We want to widen the heavy rough by another roughly 10 – 12 feet on holes 2, 3, 4.
  3. Cleanup area behind #8 green. There are old railway ties some need to be disposed of the usable ties stacked properly. There is old culverts, steel beams, grating etc. that either has to be disposed of or arranged in some sort of order.
  4. There is old equip. laying around maint. Shop that has not been used for many years. Decisions have to be made what pcs. we need & which we do not. Some of the pcs maybe useful to other courses. So we would advertise items for sale & what does not sell haul to Hilltop Metals as scrap.
  5. In our development plan we have to do a tree planting program.
  6. Repair front left hand corner of # 5 tee box.
  7. Highways is scheduled this fall to lower rocks in front of culvert @ highway 22/80. This should increase flow capacity of culvert which we are going to need now that the R M of Fertile Belt is putting in a new culvert on Bredenbury road.

PDAP projects to do.

  1. We have recd. 30 sprinkler heads c/w swing joints. This is to help replace those damaged in flood & rebuilding of course.
  2. The gravel portion of the cartpaths has been completed.
  3. We have recd. 8 new elect. Controllers for the irrigation system. We are still waiting for the wireless portion of this project but expect those to be here in a couple weeks. This new system is a wireless system where the master computer tells which pedestal to start & then the pedestal tells the pump to start & stop. There will be no hard wire from computer to pedestals or from pedestals to pump. There will still be wires from pedestals to sprinkler heads. Big Sky should be starting to install all this towards end of month (pedestals only no sprinkler heads).
  4. Big Sky is also going to supply & install a soft start & a high/low pressure switch on pump to help protect it.
  5. The pavers are on site as of Sept 19. They will be paving mostly where there was existing pavement on the course except for #1 from tee box to bottom of hill. Please be careful when golfing, watch for moving equip. & workers.

The items listed is not a complete list of what has been completed or what needs to be completed but it does give everyone an idea of what was accomplished. Please remember all this was done by volunteers, nobody got paid except we had the 2 girls that were Regional Park employees that helped 2 days on roof project, 1 day trimming trees & grass & 2 days helping stain deck. Also to make this happen we had some businesses donate mat; & some businesses donate equipment, labour, etc. Without the volunteers & these businesses this would never have been able to be accomplished.

I think that the businesses that donated & the volunteers that have spent mega hrs. working ARE AWESOME. They have been able to take a mud hole & turn it back into a golf course. The improvement that I see from last year to this year are huge. If we can keep progressing like this in a couple years I can visualize a course as good or better than we ever had.

I know we are always asking for volunteers & so many are willing to help. Please keep in mind when we are asking for volunteers it is not always for back breaking work. If you physically are not able to help working on course or if your job does not able you to attend work bees we also can use people that have expertise with accounting, budgets, development planning, doing contracts, fund raising, promotions, organize Regional Park fund raising tournaments etc. Most of this can be done at home & by attending a Regional Park meeting once a month. This helps lighten load on the group that is trying to do all these things.

When the course shuts down that is when the board’s job begins. We need to have budgets, hire greens keeper, do the lease on clubhouse, development planning just to mention a few. If we did this right the major part of our work would be done by the time course opens & then we monitor the work through the summer & enjoy some golfing.

For everyones info the Regional Park board has a meeting every 4th Tues of the month. Our next meeting is Sept. 26th @ 7:00 P.M. at clubhouse. The meetings are at clubhouse in summer (April – Sept.) The rest of the year the meetings are held at town office (council chambers). These meetings are open to the public. You do not have to be on the board or a member to attend. We encourage people to attend. We will not railroad you into being on the board so do not let that stop you from attending. Again I want to thank all the businesses & volunteers that have done so much for us.

Our new motto is “Let’s make the golf course great again

If anyone has any suggestions, concerns, questions, or would like to volunteer please send me or anyone on the board an e-mail.Members of Regional Park Board: Barry Off, Maggie Rowland, Heather Maga, Randy Bot, Tom Landin, Marty Pfeifer, & myself.

Louise Meir (rec. director ) advisor to the board.

Vick Paidel

2017’s Charity Golf Classic – Report, pictures, and fundraising result

Report by Kenneth J. Kerr (EsterhazyOnline)

Golf pictures by Niki Rink (North Valley Credit Union)


The 17th Annual Esterhazy & District Charity Golf Classic took place at Esterhazy golf course on Monday, September 11. Unlike last year, the weather accompanying the event was perfect, and this surely added to the spirit of the occasion, where fun, friendship, and the fellowship of kindred spirits united in a common cause, reigned supreme.

In the evening, the golfers and guests gathered at the Boreen hall to enjoy the supper, once more prepared by Esterhazy Bowlarena and catering. The food was superb, and everyone anticipated the upcoming announcement to see how much had been raised this year towards the hospital/care home project.

The master of ceremonies this year was Chris Miller, owner of Noble Construction, and the first speaker he introduced was Warren Kaeding, MLA for Melville-Saltcoats. Here’s what Warren had to say…

On behalf of the Provincial Government, and soon to be retired Premier Brad Wall, I’d like to bring congratulations on another successful Charity Golf Classic. Anything that survives more than 17 years is really quite an accomplishment. And, I’d like to personally thank my friend Don Hood for his unwavering dedication for seeing this project come to light, and seeing it through to where you’re at right now. We’ve had a number of conversations, discussions, and meetings, dedicated to seeing this project coming to a conclusion, and we aren’t there yet, but I honestly believe that we’re getting closer.

I’d also like to thank the committee and members of the Esterhazy Health Foundation. The contributions that you’re making to the community, and the surrounding area, has not gone unnoticed. And thank you very much to the doctors and the healthcare professionals that we have in this community. And thanks for calling Esterhazy home for you and your families. We acknowledge that you have so many different places to go, and we appreciate you choosing Esterhazy in which to work and raise your family. And thank you for your long hours and dedication that you’re putting into your work. We know it would be easier in larger communities, so thank you very much for choosing Esterhazy as your workplace.

And thank you to the many sponsors who have continued over 17 years to participate in this annual event. It’s your long-term dedication to this project and community that’s recognized and greatly appreciated. We recognize that not many of you have a personal interest in seeing this project moving forward, which makes your dedication and commitment really mean that much more. And finally, thank you to you, the residents of Esterhazy and the area. We know your patience is being tested, and thank you for continuing to believe in the value of what this facility is going to mean to you, and to your families in the years to come. I hope you had a fun day, and that you’re going to continue to stay enthused and motivated, and continue to work towards the new facility.

Next to the podium was Don Hood, chair of the Esterhazy and District Classic Golf Committee. Don said this…

Good evening everyone, and Chris thank you. Another great fundraising day, another great day, and when you compare it to last year boy this was a beauty. And a big thank you to everyone who contributed to the fundraising and to the dinner tonight. The Charity Golf is the major fundraiser for the new hospital and care home. This is critical to our success. And, when I speak about community, I’m not talking about Esterhazy, I’m talking about the area that uses our facility, be it the hospital or the care home, or the doctors. That’s the community.

So, we’re focused on raising our 20% share, for without the 20% share, as Ken Kerr put it, you don’t get in on the dance floor. So, we need that 20%. That 20% we believe is about $11 million, and we have a number of engineers here tonight, so you have this book with an estimate done in 2011, and we’re escalating that to say here’s our number. And you know that can have some flaws in it. But we think $11 million is not bad, so we’re sitting at $9 million, so we’re doing well, and getting close. But we need the extra $2 million. We need that to go to the Government and say, you know guys we’re ready to build, we’re patient, but we’ve been at this since 2009.

Now, the Charity Golf’s been going for 17 years, and in 2009 we started to set aside money for this hospital and care home. So, this Charity Golf is absolutely critical to us getting this next $2 million. And we appreciate your support and your help in making it happen. Now, rural Saskatchewan, if you went to any other community and said, guys we’d like to raise $11 million, there isn’t another community our size that could even come close. So we have a lot of dedication here to make it happen, and we really very much appreciate it, and need it. It’s important for our doctors to have a facility that they are happy to work in. We have a nice medical clinic, but the hospital is very poor. And the quality of the care home is actually worse than the hospital. So, we need this. We’re going to get our 20%, and we’re going to go to the Government and say, guys, we want it to happen and we need it to happen. And, we’ll call it gentle pressure. Thank you.”

The gathering also heard from one of the doctors, Dr. Peter Botha, who had this to say…

At the moment, we are six doctors working in our clinic. Dr. Nel, Dr. Fajimi, Dr. Rohani, then we have Dr. Viljoen who works here once a month for a week, and our newest acquisition Dr. Hamm. We also have Dr. Van Eeden who works in Langenburg, but who does after-hours calls here. And I don’t speak for myself alone when I say, I find myself fortunate to work in a community like Esterhazy. The warmth and the gratitude of the patients are second to none. However, we do have an aged and rapidly-aging hospital, and for this reason, we are here tonight. We as a clinic would love to care for our patients in a new and improved hospital, a hospital that we as doctors can be proud of, and a hospital where our patients can receive the care and facilities that they deserve.

The proposed plans are for a hospital/care home combination. This will make care, which includes X-ray and lab exams, accessible for our care home residents in times of acute illness, without the need for them to travel to our local emergency facility. This might also mean that they will be able to receive the care that they need out of the comfort of their own beds. I believe that a new facility can help with recruitment and retention of new doctors to rural Saskatchewan. A newer hospital is more attractive than an old one. We have loads of new, locally trained doctors who come out of the system yearly, and we need something to pull them towards our lovely community. I feel that a hospital is just the thing that we need. At the moment, we’re unsure of the specific timeline for our hospital and care home, but I ask you to not lose heart in generating funds for this purpose. Thank you very much.

Emcee Chris Miller then said, “We golfed, we ate, we shared time with a few hundred great people, we know and understand the importance of giving. We masquerade our day as a golf tournament, and our evening as a supper, but it’s truly a day to celebrate the spirit and generosity of giving. The fundraising is only possible through generosity, and we’re blessed to have that on so many levels here.

Chris then made reference to the brochures available to every attendee, suggesting that each person take time to read the list of sponsors at every level of contribution. Volunteering groups, and individual volunteers were also then recognized. Appreciation was given for the golfers, and for their hard work in reaching out to the community to support their participation in the event. The top individual fundraisers were also recognized.

It was then time for the big announcement, the moment everyone had been waiting for. Chris said, “We have heard tonight the words of our doctors, community leaders, community members, and our politicians. They have all said that there’s a need for what we are doing, we need to stay on task and keep driving away at this… We’ve all persevered, and we will persist. We will one day have a new hospital… So it is time to announce this year’s total.” He then instructed individuals and tables to make a drumroll… Then he said, “That’s how you harness the power of a team, that’s how you send a message, and that’s how you raise $207,000 this year. Thank you guys, you’re all awesome.

Below is a gallery of more than 130 pictures taken during the day. Click on any image to open the viewer and then proceed through them.