This early photo of our Chipman Avenue vividly shows that parking on downtown Ponoka streets has been a problem on many occasions, and would become more stressful as the bustling community grew at a rapid pace. After much discussion parking meters were put in place in the late 1950s, but were then taken out a few years later to encourage more home town shopping. It is now a courtesy to park between the lines, always honour the blue handicapped signs, and please try to be respectful of your fellow motorists. Photo courtesy of the Alberta Archives

Reflections: Sharing the bold opinions and poems of our 1950’s Ponokans

Headlines and poems from the 1950s Ponoka Herald

As we boldly and bravely head into a New Year as a senior I really love to stroll back into my aging ‘archives collection’ to check out the beefs, bouquets, promises, and future wish lists of our always vibrant and very involved Ponoka citizens.

Here are a just few strong as well as delightful words of wisdom taken from the worn and tattered pages of a December 1954 issue of the Ponoka Herald, which I will share with all of you, who hopefully will realize that over the years there was and always will be so many huge challenges and great expectations in ours and so many other thriving and rapidly growing Alberta communities.

Signs and portents and local traffic control

On this date our always flamboyant and ‘right to the point’ former Ponoka Herald editor Keith Leonard already had his usual ‘hot’ editorial ready to go to press on the current and very controversial issue concerning the bountiful crop of STOP SIGNS that had recently sprung up all over town. “We were going to say that too much is too much, and that some of those signs would serve a much better purpose if they were strung out along a country road to act as a snow fence, but someone beat us to the point and action is already being taken!” he reported, and continues with ‘the rest of the story.’

It does not seem to us as though any long-range planning went into the positioning of this batch of signs, as they were placed at many corners where there seems to be no real use for them? A good example is at the corner of 53rd Avenue and 52nd Street, where we don’t think there needs to be a stop sign at all, simply because just half a block north on 52nd street there’s a playground barricade. With that controversial pile and unsightly pile of poles in place there’s not much danger of anyone speeding through that intersection.

This business of stopping at every block is fine for the auto makers (those gears don’t last forever if you shift them that often), but all in all is it really essential to control Ponoka’s traffic to this extent? With a larger corps of policemen on deck here now, enabling a tighter control over the ever-present minority of speedsters, we don’t believe that too many stop signs helps the situation, which also really aggravates the drivers.

It really seems apparent that the traffic control situation in Ponoka should be a subject of careful planning and that the designation of through streets and stop signs be a subject of considerable thought on the part of town council, the interim future development board, and the local Police force! We who listen to the voices of the community and report the news also believe that to gain the best use of the new parking lot constructed on the Canada Pacific Railway land surrounding the station should have adequate lights installed for night-time parking! Up to now and under the present hap-hazard methods of parking there have been countless occasions of bumper banging and occasional severely crumpled fenders! It should not be too costly a proposition and a simple solution to erect a couple of poles for adequate lights?

The grand comparison of Women and newspapers

A delightful poem written by the Ladies of the Halfway Grove Women’s Auxiliary:

They’re mighty good company for an otherwise lonely evening.

You can’t judge the contents by a casual glance, and they’re less apt to wrinkle if handled with care.

Some of the old ‘rips’ are the hardest to mend and never try to handle more than one at a time!

If you turn over a new leaf you’re sure to find surprises, and some of the best editions are found among the old files.

Once you’ve subscribed, you’ll never want to be without one!

They both know about the affairs of the world and the latest way to have their hair curled.

They’re up to the moment on fashion trends on diets and fads and music that ‘sends!’

They compare all prices from each shopping advertisement from butter to mink and how to please dear old Dad!

They keep posted on dates and data and dues, but never confuse them with the news!

They mingle the good news with the bad; they share other’s pleasures or feel sad with them.

If newspapers and women had never been born I’m afraid this old world would be pretty forlorn!

The Herald’s hottest headlines

• It’s now open season on Beavers in the Ponoka district. For a $3 license you can trap these pesky critters on your land from December 1954 to May 1955. The average price being paid for the pelts in Alberta is about $21, and during the 1949-50 trapping season 157,416 beavers were taken in Canada, realizing gross revenue from the furs of over $3 million.

• Some of the opposition fans in the Central Alberta Intermediate ‘A’ Hockey league have had the nerve of calling our great 1954-55 Ponoka Stampeders team ‘weak sisters,’ but somehow they managed to score 29 goals in two games, whipping the Lacombe Rockets 13-5 and embarrassing the Red Deer Shamrocks 16-3 before 1,400 very stunned fans in the Red Deer arena!

• The Ponoka Town Police have issued a strict warning that old car and truck bodies cannot be dumped at the Ponoka Nuisance grounds, and that offenders will be tracked down and issued heavy fines. On a much lighter note, we wish to extend a happy and healthy New Year 1955 to everyone in the town and county of Ponoka!

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