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SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF GRANDVIEW & GILBERT
Vol 116, No. 36
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
By Jennifer Carniel
Every team has their fans but in a very rare occasion a team can be blessed with a truly exceptional fan. Recently the Winnipeg Jets sadly lost Len Kropioski, a Second World War Veteran, as their number one fan, who was a fan favourite at the Jets games for giving his trademark salute during O’Canada. Just like the Winnipeg Jets, the Grandview Comets have their number one fan: Vern Campbell.
Vern has been the Comets all-star fan for quite some time. He has helped the team with various jobs over the past six years, drove all over Grandview, Gilbert Plains are areas to put up game posters; cleaned the bus and dressing rooms; attended almost all the games; travelled with them to all their away games; kept the bus driver company, and is Marla Palmer’s right hand man for the season. With the Comets going into their tenth season, and at 89 years of age, Vern is more than excited for another season of hockey.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” stated Vern.
He goes to the games early to help Marla set up and to visit with the boys as they come in. To Vern, the guys on the Comets team are like his boys and the team feels the same way about him.
“Vern makes it to more games than all of us guys,” noted Dave Elder, one of the Comets players. “He doesn’t miss a road game unless he has to go see Todd in Estevan. He’s there every game to cheer us on.”
Vern has always been a very active person all his life and has a true passion for hockey. During the winter months Vern pretty much lives at the Grandview Agricultural Community Centre watching all different levels of hockey being played; from all the minor hockey games and practices as well as the Comets games and practices.
“My personal favourite memory so far with Vern was years ago when Merle told Vern that he didn’t have to go to every Comets game and he couldn’t be going to every game and we said ‘oh what are you going to do Vern?’”, shared Dave. “He said he’s just not going to tell Merle he is going to the games.”
For both Vern and the teammates of the Comets, their bond goes beyond that of a fan; it is a literally a family bond. When Vern’s wife, Merle, passed away in April 2015, almost all the members of the Comets showed up to the funeral all wearing the jerseys in her honour and to support Vern during the time of his loss. Having all the boys there meant the world to him and to this day, their sentiment and support brings him to tears.
Over the years, the team has bought Vern various birthday gifts. Last year for his birthday, the team purchased him a new winter ski-doo suit with the Comets logo embroidered on it and his name.
“They said Vernie a new ski-doo suit,” explained Marla Palmer. “They didn’t think his was
Vern Campbell is part of the team for the Grandview Comets.
Photo by Jennifer Carniel
Gilbert Plains Hall project a work in progress
By Jennifer Carniel
The Gilbert Plains Hall project is slowly moving forward. Since the meeting held in April of this year, a decision has been made to renovate the existing hall to bring it up to code and add on an addition of about 1200 square feet to accommodate new washrooms.
“With regards to the plan now for the hall, we do think we have a pretty sound plan to go ahead and lift the old hall and put a complete new foundation in to include the foundation for the addition at the same time,” explained Blake Price, Gilbert Plains Municipality Reeve, “That is the plan but cost will always be part of the deciding factor.”
Currently the committee has filled out grant applications to see what kind of funding would be available for the project.
“We applied for a few grants so now it is just waiting to see if we get any and then we will move forward with getting more quotes and deciding on the tendering process,” stated Julie Russell, Gilbert Plains Community Development Officer. “Right now everything is just waiting to see if we can move forward based on the success we have with grants.”
To date, the committee has not heard back from
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