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  Prairie Gold:
Sports Heroes From Saskatchewan
 
 
Photo 1 of 19. | | |

Mike Kartusch

Mike Kartusch, who was born in Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, September 20th, 1907, had a professor from Campion College during his high school days, suggest he "go into a job where you will work with young people". Kartusch never forgot those words, and he took his advice.

In 1973 he retired from St. Joseph School in Regina where he had been Principal for 36 years.

His involvement with youth hockey teams began while Mike was in his early twenties. Locally he organized, coached and administered the city 'Parks' Hockey League. This involved midget and juvenile players on outdoor rinks. He also found time to be administrator, coach and president of the Senior Men's Inter-City Softball League and the Men's and Women's Inter-Provincial League.

1948 saw Kartusch join the Regina Pat organization. This association continued until 1978 when he retired as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the S.A.J.H.L. Thirty consecutive years with hockey, and he managed and administered the Provincial Junior Football League as well for five years during this time.

He has been the recipient of many honours during this 40 year involvement. Many an athlete of today owes his beginning to a great friend of sport -we salute Mike Kartusch!

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on June 16th, 1984.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 2 of 19. | | |

John Kerr

John Melville (Mel) Kerr, was a superb baseball player and an all-round athlete.

Raised in Saskatoon, Mel first began attracting attention as a track star at school meets. His activities soon branched out to include rugby, tennis, basketball, swimming, diving and baseball.

In 1922 he was the province's individual track and field champion and Saskwanis, the rugby team he played for, were western Canadian champions. In 1923 and 1924 he was, Saskatoon's singles tennis champion. Mel accepted the firm offer of the Chicago Cubs, making him the first baseball player from Saskatchewan to make the major league.

In 1926 he made 10 put outs with 10 caught fly balls in centre field. He played pro ball until 1932 and was forced into permanent retirement in 1933 by a shoulder injury.

At time of installation citation read March 26, 1977.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

Date: 1921.

Photographer: Dill, Ralph.

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Photo 3 of 19. | | |

David King

Builder BAPE'71, BEd'72

Dave King graduated from Walter Murray Collegiate in Saskatoon and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1968.

Dave was a member of the Huskie hockey team for four years and served as an assistant coach in the 1972-73 season.

From 1973 until 1979, Dave taught high school and coached junior hockey in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and the Western Major Junior Hockey League.

In 1979, Dave was appointed Head Coach of the Huskies and immediately turned the fortunes of the team around. He instilled a strong work ethic into the team and built a tradition of "Dog Hockey" that became a hallmark of Huskie hockey.

Under his guidance, the team captured three Canada West Championships (1981,1982, and 1983) and captured silver medals at the CIAU Championships in 1981 and 1982. In 1983 the team captured the University's first CIAU Championship in hockey when the Huskies defeated the University of Moncton in the finals.

Dave was selected Canada West Coach-of-the-Year three times and CIAU Coach-of-the-Year in 1980. He was also awarded the Colb McEown Trophy as the University's coach of the year on three occasions.

While at the University, Dave coached Canada's National Junior hockey team at the World Junior Championships to a gold medal in 1982 and a bronze medal in 1983.

Dave went on to become coach of Canada's National Hockey teams which competed in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympics. He then went on to coach the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League.

Dave was named to the Order of Canada in 1992.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame

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Photo 4 of 19. | | |

Don King

Regina born King, arrived on the scene March 23, 1919. His early sport involvement included softball, hockey and his beloved football.

He played 3 years of ball with the Regina Intercollegiate League before joining coach Paul Dojack's Regina Junior Dales, Western Canada's Junior Champions in 1939.

1940 saw a six year involvement begin for lineman King with our Riders. Encouraged by Piffles Taylor, Don helped keep the Riders alive in the difficult 1940's. He was active not only as a player, but as secretary-treasurer, manager and assistant coach.

In 1946 he began officiating, a non-glamorous role in a highly emotional contact sport. He became so dedicated he worked over 1100 games during his career, from peewee through professional, sometimes three games in one day.

King was president of the Regina football officials association 7 years, and instrumental in the organization of similar groups across the country. He officiated 4 Grey Cup finals, 2 all-star games, 3 junior finals, and spent 25 years as an on-field official and 11 years as officiating supervisor.

A 45 year career. King distinguished himself through dedication, determination, and the cultivation of life-long friendships. The football community lost a friend June 28th, 1986.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame June 18th, 1988.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 5 of 19. | | |

Ivan King

Ivan King was the coach during a six-year reign of one of the University of Saskatchewan's most powerful athletic teams - the Huskiette women basketballers.

Originally from Regina, King moved to Saskatoon where he played basketball on the 1940 Saskatoon Grads, who were Saskatchewan champions, and the 1948 University Huskies.

He coached Saskatoon Black Hawks to a provincial championship in 1943, the University of Saskatchewan Huskiettes to one junior and three senior provincial titles and the Saskatchewan Gradettes to one provincial title.

His Huskiette teams dominated Western Intercollegiate play, winning the championship six straight years, 1947 through 1952. A player on his teams for five years was Sylvia Fedoruk, former lieutenant-governor of Saskatchewan.

In the first championship season, the Huskiettes beat Manitoba, 15-10 and Alberta, 29-16, for the title but in the years to come, the Huskiettes became aggressive, high-scoring teams. One of their best seasons was 1949 when they didn't lose a game. And in 1948, they lost only an exhibition game.

The Huskiettes also challenged for the Canadian senior women's championship in 1950 and 1951; King's Gradettes challenged in 1952; and each of the three years, the team was runner-up in the west.

King also coached women's softball with the Saskatoon Empire Aces in 1947 and with the Saskatoon Ramblers, who were provincial champions in 1943 and 1949.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 6 of 19. | | |


David Kirkbride

David Kirkbride

Track and Field, Basketball, Swimming (B.E. '34, M.Sc. '37)

Dave Kirkbride graduated from Central Collegiate in Regina where he starred in track, basketball and football. He entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1930 and competed in track and field, basketball, and swimming.

He was a member of five track and field teams, four of which captured the Cairns Trophy emblematic of the W.C.I.A.U. Championship, managing the team one year and captaining it another. He competed in the pole vault, sprints, hurdles and relay, and represented the University in both intercollegiate and provincial track meets.

Dave was a forward with the Huskie basketball team for four years. He captained the team for two of the four years.

As a member of the swim team for two years, he competed in backstroke events.

For his athletic achievements, Dave was awarded a Major Athletic Award.

As well as competing in three intervarsity sports, Dave served as the first President of the Men's Athletic Directorate in 1934-35 and President of the Huskies Hockey team 1934-35.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1931

Copyright information: Over 50 years old - order from the University of Saskatchewan Archives

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Photo 7 of 19. | | |


Balfour Kirkpatrick

James Balfour Kirkpatrick

Basketball, Track and Field, Tennis (B.A. '29, B.Ed. '30, M.Ed. '35)

Balfour Kirkpatrick entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1926. During his years on campus, he competed in track and field, basketball and tennis.

Under Joe Griffiths' tutelage, Kirk quickly developed into one of Saskatchewan's premier track and field athletes in the throwing and jumping events. During the 1930's he held provincial records in the high jump and shot put.

Despite having no previous experience in basketball, Kirk quickly progress from Joe Griffith's "Ham and Egg" league for raw recruits, through interfaculty competition and finally to a starting position on the Huskies.

A late "bloomer" in tennis, he was a member of the University tennis team in 1934 and, in 1937, captured the Men's provincial singles title. He has since held many singles and double titles in both open and senior competition.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.


Dr. Kirkpatrick grew up in the Alsask area. When he entered the University of Saskatchewan he became involved in several sports including track and field, basketball and tennis. In the mid-30's, he set new Saskatchewan records in the shot put and high jump. In 1937, Kirk was a member of the Saskatoon Grads basketball team that won the Saskatchewan championship. That same year he embarked on a tennis career that would last for over 50 years. He won many city and provincial titles and even in the late 50's and early 60's he was the province's senior singles champion.

In 1981, he teamed up with John Leicester to win the over 55, provincial Doubles championship. Following the second war, he was asked to establish the Saskatchewan Recreation Movement. Dr. Kirkpatrick has received many awards, namely the R.Tait-MacKenzie for outstanding contribution to Physical Education and Recreation at the National level. He also received an honor award from the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association.

He was the 1983 Kinsmen Sportsman of the Year. In 1986, Kirk was inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.


As a high school and Normal School teacher, Director of Physical Fitness and Recreation for Saskatchewan, Head of McGill University's School of Physical Education, and Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. J.B. Kirkpatrick has made significant contributions to sport. Consistently, he has emphasized the importance of early instruction, active participation, and appropriate levels of competition in the development of any sport.

Kirk's induction to the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is the result of his efforts to build sports at all levels, especially at the "grass roots" community level. In promoting tennis, he has traveled to all parts of the province, assisting communities to arrange for instruction, build appropriate facilities, and form tennis clubs. He has served as manager and official at many local, provincial, and national tournaments, including the Rothman's tournament in Saskatoon. Kirk was President (1977-79) of the Saskatoon Riverside Tennis Club, and Vice-President (1977-79) and first Executive Director (1979) for the Saskatchewan Tennis Association. In track and field, he has been both coach and official. While a teacher, he coached in both Melfort (1931-33) and Saskatoon (1934-39). Dependably, he has served as an official, timekeeper and judge in provincial and national track meets. Throughout the years, Kirk has also organized and taught numerous classes in physical education and recreation. In addition, he has promoted sport in co-authoring Physical Education: A Textbook of Physical Education for Schools and Clubs (1943) with Joe Griffiths and in serving on the publication committee of Saskatchewan's Recreation Legacy (1986).

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on June 15, 1991.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

Copyright information: Over 50 years old - order from the University of Saskatchewan Archives

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Photo 8 of 19. | | |

Sheryl Kleckner

Basketball BEd'82

Sheryl Kleckner graduated from Bedford Road Collegiate in Saskatoon and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1977.

Sheryl was a member of the women's basketball team for five years serving as co-captain one year. She was selected to the Canada West All Star team in 1982 and 1983. Over her five-year career, Sheryl was selected a tournament all star at a number of invitational basketball tournaments.

While a student at the University, she was a member of the Harmony Centre women's softball team that captured the Canadian Senior Ladies Championship in 1981.

In 1983, Sheryl was awarded the Bob Staynor trophy as the University's Outstanding Female Athlete.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame

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Photo 9 of 19. | | |

Gord Kluzak

Gordon Kluzak was a hockey all-star by the age of eleven, a sign of his future as one of Saskatchewan's hockey greats. He played in his home of Climax, and then in Swift Current during the early part of his career. In both the 1975-76 and 1976-77 hockey seasons, he played on Swift Current teams that won the SAHA Pee Wee Championships, and in 1978 was on the Zone 3 hockey team that won the Gold Medal at the Saskatchewan Winter Games. In the 1979-80 season Gordon moved up to Midget, playing for the Notre Dame Hounds. That year the Hounds captured the SAHA AA Midget Championship, and the Air Canada Cup, the Canadian Midget Championship Trophy.

After only one season in Midget, Gord joined the Billings Bighorns of the Western Hockey League. In 1980, at the age of sixteen, he was named to the WHL all-star team, the youngest player ever to be selected. He was named an all-star in both 1980 and 1981, the two seasons that he played in the WHL. Gord joined the Canadian Junior Hockey Team in 1981-82, and was instrumental in their winning the World Junior Championship on January 3, 1982 in Rochester, Minn. As a result of his outstanding performance, Gord was named the tournament's best defenceman by the World Hockey Federation.

Following his outstanding career in junior hockey, Gord was selected first overall in the 1982 NHL entry draft by the Boston Bruins, and played for the Bruins for the next eight seasons, making it to the Stanley Cup finals in 1988. Chronic knee problems forced Gord to retire from hockey in 1990. That year he was honoured as the winner of the Bill Masterton Trophy, the annual award the National Hockey League presents for perseverance, dedication and sportsmanship. Throughout his career and after retirement from hockey, Gord has been recognized for his achievements both on and off the ice. He received the Viscount Alexander Trophy as Canada's male athlete of the year (under 20) in 1982 for helping Canada win the World Junior Hockey Championship, and was Boston's 1990 candidate for the NHL Man of the Year in recognition of community service. He continues to participate in community service, as the current vice-president of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) and the organizer of the CFF Gord Kluzak Celebrity Golf Tournament.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sport Hall of Fame and Museum on June 15, 1996.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 10 of 19. | | |

Sadie Caulder Knight

Sadie Caulder Knight was the pioneer of synchronized swimming in Saskatchewan. Born in Liverpool, England in 1899, she came to Saskatchewan in 1913. In 1941 she began teaching the fundamentals of synchronized swimming, and developed the province's first, progressive synchronized swimming program at the old Regina YWCA.

In 1956 Saskatchewan participated at the Canadian Championships for the first time, and was represented by three of Sadie's swimmers. In the 1957 Championships the team placed third - only 1.2 points out of a first place.

She was responsible for the formation of the first provincial association and when the first provincial championships were held in 1958, "Cauldie's Girls" won easily. The Synchronettes competed every year, until Sadie's retirement in 1965, always placing swimmers in the top ten in Canada, and occasionally bringing home silver and bronze medals.

Upon her death in 1971, at age 72, a group of former swimmers established a trust fund in her name. Synchro Swim Saskatchewan now presents a "Coach of the Year" Award and Bursary in Sadie Caulder Knight's memory.

In 1972, Synchro Swim Canada presented her, posthumously, with their distinguished service award for her contributions to synchronized swimming in Canada.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, March 21,1981.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 11 of 19. | | |


Blaine Knoll

Blaine Knoll

Football, Hockey (B.Ed. '66)

Blaine Knoll graduated from Yorkton Collegiate and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1962. During his four years on campus, he competed in football and hockey.

Blaine was an outstanding running back with the Huskies for four years. He was selected WCIAA All-Star fullback in 1965. In 1965, he led the league in rushing with 522 yards and finished second in scoring with 47 points. He still holds the Huskie team record of scoring 3 touchdowns in one game.

In addition to playing Huskie football, Blaine played with the Huskie hockey team for two years.

For his athletic achievements, Blaine was awarded a Major Athletic Award in 1965-66.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Copyright information: University of Saskatchewan

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Photo 12 of 19. | | |

Douglas Knott

Douglas Knott has contributed to the development of soccer, track and field, and tennis in Saskatoon and was an organizer and the chairman of the Saskatoon Field House committee when its construction was completed in 1979.

Knott was born in New Westminster, participated in track and field, cross-country running and rugby at the University of British Columbia. He set a Western Conference record in the 880 yards and he was on a championship UBC relay team whose lineup included Prime Minister-to-be John Turner.

He came to Saskatoon in 1953, played on the United Soccer team which twice won provincial championships during his 12-year stint with the team.

He served the Saskatoon and District Soccer Association at various executive levels, the Saskatchewan Association, including three turns as president, served on the Canadian association's constitutional review committee, was co-chairman of soccer for the 1977 Western Canada Games and was provincial co-chairman of the World National Cup fund-raising campaign in 1985 and 1986.

Knott also coached University cross-country teams, held various roles with the Saskatoon Track and Field Club, officiated at the Knights of Columbus meets, was a director of the Riverside Tennis Club and a Sask Sport director for three years.

He was chairman of the Field House committee from 1977 until 1979 and was presented with a Special Friend award by the university's College of Physical Education in l981.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 13 of 19. | | |

Robert Kochan

Cross Country, Track and Field BAPE'71

Robert Kochan graduated from Wakaw High School and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1967.

Robert was a member of the cross country team and the track and field team for five years. During this time, he led Huskie teams to three Canada West cross-country championships and two track and field championships.

In 1968 he led the cross country team to the CIAU Championship. In 1970-71 he won five of six races including the Canada West and Western Canadian Open titles. In track and field he was the 1970 CIAU indoor champion in the mile and two-mile events. Also in 1970, Bob competed in the Boston Marathon where he finished 19th.

His coach at the time, Lyle Sanderson, described Robert Kochan as one of Saskatchewan's greatest cross-country runners.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame

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Photo 14 of 19. | | |


Diane Jones Konihowski

Diane Jones Konihowski

Born in Vancouver in 1951, Diane Jones Konihowski spent 21 years of her early life in Saskatoon. While still only a Grade 10 student, Diane made her first National Team as a high jumper and javelin thrower.

Lyle Sanderson, the head track coach of the University of Saskatchewan, persuaded Diane to devote herself to track. She gravitated toward the Pentathlon and was on Canada's Team at the 1972 Olympics in Munich and in 1975 won the Gold Medal at the Pan-American Games in Mexico City. She placed 6th overall at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, and then captured the imagination of the sports world in 1978 with an outstanding Gold Medal performance at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, setting a new Commonwealth record and placing her first in the world for 1978.

In 1979 Diane again captured the Gold at the Pan-American Games in Puerto Rico, and is currently the Canadian, Commonwealth and Pan-American record holder for the Pentathlon.

Having been voted a co-winner in 1975, Diane was named as Canada's Woman Athlete of the Year in 1978.

In April 1979 her contribution to athletics was recognized when she received the Order of Canada.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, September 13, 1980.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

Copyright information: University of Saskatchewan

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Photo 15 of 19. | | |

John Konihowski

Track and Field, Football BEd'82

John Konihowski graduated from Riverview High School in Moose Jaw and transferred to the University of Saskatchewan in 1971 from Brigham Young University where he was on an athletic scholarship in track and field.

John participated for three years in both track and field and football. In track and field, John was an eight-time Canada West champion with first place finishes in long jump, 40m hurdles, 300m and 4 x 400m relays. He also captured first place finishes at the Canadian Indoor Senior, Championships in long jump, 50m hurdles and relay events.

In football he was selected a Canada West All Star and a CIAU All Canadian at wide receiver in 1973. That same year, he led the nation in pass receiving with 46 receptions for 796 yards.

John went on to play professional football for nine years with the Edmonton Eskimos and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame

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Photo 16 of 19. | | |

Cliff Koroll

Cliff Koroll was a major contributor to the Chicago Blackhawks during a National Hockey League stint, from 1969 until 1980, scoring 208 goals and 254 assists for 462 points during an 11-year career.

Koroll played his minor hockey in Saskatoon, was recruited out of juvenile ranks to join Denver university Pioneers where he was coached by Murray Armstrong. In his senior year, Denver won the national title and Koroll was named to the National Collegiate Athletic Association's senior all-star team.

He joined Dallas Black Hawks of the Central Hockey League in 1968-69 and helped Dallas win the league title.

He joined Chicago the following season. A right winger, he is co-holder of the most goals in a game by an NHL rookie, three, and he had 18 goals and 19 assists in his rookie season. He had four seasons in which he scored 20 goals or better. As well, he played 85 Stanley Cup playoff games, scoring 19 goals and 29 assists for 48 points.

Koroll once played a stretch of 404 consecutive games, second longest in the history of the Chicago team.

After retiring as a player, Koroll served as an assistant coach for four seasons, including one under Saskatoon friend Keith Magnuson, coached the Hawk farm team at Milwaukee for part of another season and then returned to Chicago to assist Bob Pulford and Roger Neilson. He retired from the Hawk organization in 1989 and still resides in Roselle, Illinois.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 17 of 19. | | |

Gisele Kreuger / Gisele Rongve

Volleyball BEd'84

Gisele Rongve graduated from Holy Cross High School in Saskatoon and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1979.

Gisele was a member of the women's volleyball team for five years. During this time she was selected Canada West All Star four times and a CIAU All Canadian for three years. She was selected the Most Valuable Player at the 1981 CIAU Championships. She was also selected a CIAU Tournament All Star in 1981 and 1984. While a member of the team, the Huskiettes captured two CIAU Championships. She was also a member of Canada's National Junior Volleyball Team.

In both 1981 and 1984, Gisele was awarded the Bob Staynor Trophy as the University's Outstanding Female Athlete.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame

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Photo 18 of 19. | | |


Karen Kusler

Karen Kusler

Basketball (B.S.P.E. '75, B.Ed. '77)

Karen Kusler graduated from Maple Creek High School and entered the University of Saskatchewan in the fall of 1971.

She was an outstanding member of the Huskiette basketball team for five years. During her first year with the team the Huskiettes captured the Eastern Division of the WCIAA. During her career she played in 162 games, missing only four games in five years. She contributed to 128 team victories and 34 losses in the five years.

Individually, she averaged 11.7 points per game and had a total of 1,899 points. She also obtained 978 rebounds. During her last four years as a Huskiette she was in the conference top ten scoring and conference rebounding the last three years.

While a student at the University of Saskatchewan she played on Canada's National Team at the World Student Games held in Moscow in 1973.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Copyright information: University of Saskatchewan

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Photo 19 of 19. | | |

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about some of Saskatchewan's sports heroes.

If you have a photograph of someone or a team listed in Prairie Gold that we do not have a photo for and are willing to donate it, please contact us.

Due to their nature and sometimes ambiguous origin the photographs seen here and those on file at the Local History Room are continuously being updated with new information. Some of this information comes from dedicated research done by Local History staff. However some of the biggest 'breaks' have come from the public... Those that remember the people, places and events in the photo are our biggest informational resource and we ask that if you have any information about the photos to contact the Local History Room at lhstaff@saskatoonlibrary.ca or phone (306) 975-7578.

Come and visit the Local History Room the next time you are at the Frances Morrison Library.

Thank you.

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