It was recently related that there are far too many pieces of our history being left to rot or torn down.
Be it a historic school building or a bridge that has been in place since the dawn of the 20th century, the premise — as was told — is there is a need to preserve these items for the sake of maintaining our touch with the past, to remember what went on and to show the youth how far we have come.
I do agree with this – to a point. Let me explain.
It’s important for the population to remember, to relive some of what those that came before us did in order for people to appreciate how life was 50 or 100 years ago. And there are plenty of examples of that across this province, such as the ferry that continues to operate over the Peace River and the High Level Bridge or even the magnificent Banff Springs Hotel.
However, there comes a point where it becomes too much – whether its too high cost to maintain, upgrade and operate or the structure simply isn’t useful in its current form – that is when a decision has to be made.
Often times, the structure is replaced by a new, better made, more reliable, less expensive to keep up piece of infrastructure, leaving the owner to either sell or demolish the other one. Usually, it’s taken out because the price for someone to take over ownership of the old structure is exorbitant – even if they get it for free.
Think of it this way – you go to purchase a 100-year-old home that has been renovated or fixed up so many times since it was first built. Your plan is to bring it up to a certain standard, but then you find out that to do that you must also upgrade the structure to meet current safety codes. The cost to perform this work is double, triple or even more compared to what could be spent on a fully completed new home on the same property.
That’s the dilemma facing municipalities these days with historic or heritage sites. They need a new replacement facility and can’t justify fixing up the old one and operating it as well. As well, it’s just too costly for another organization to take over and run in some other capacity.
So, that’s why dismantling some of these places is necessary.
Though, that doesn’t mean they will be forgotten – they will simply have to live on in the great memories had and the photos that will remain behind long afterward. Progress, they say, is inevitable, but memories are forever.
Blue in the face
On a more ‘sour’ note, I had the ‘sweet’ job of being a judge at a recent pie baking contest – Saskatoon berry pies to be exact.
Now, while I relished the opportunity to carve out some scores of the nine wonderful pies that were entered, the final decision for me came down to the unique taste of the filling – which had to be a minimum of 80 per cent Saskatoons – along with the crust followed by whether the pie looked like something I would want to devour.
In the end, the pie I determined as my favourite was the consensus winner among us four maybe-not-so-professional judges, so I think the best pie won.
What didn’t win on the day was a couple of things – my appetite that was ruined until the next day, my blood sugar level for a certain amount of time and my lips that were left blue for a couple days. However, I’d do it all over again.
But that is…just an observation.