There is a lot of history in a city that can trace its roots to a small cabin where a group of men over-wintered more than a century ago.
With nearly 140 years having passed since those four men over-wintered in what was first named York Colony a lot of things have come and gone, each building a little more of the story of Yorkton.
However, taking a drive around our community today it is rather starkly obvious that through the decades building forward has always been seen as far more important than preserving our city’s past.
Yes, there are exceptions, the beauty of St. Mary’s Catholic Church dome, an interesting walking tour through the City Cemetery, a few historical points of interest marking things of importance, but the broad history of Yorkton is largely preserved in file boxes and City Hall, in the basements of local residents, or already lost to the landfill.
There have been efforts through the years to create a greater sense of our roots perhaps most notably with the creation of the Sports Hall of Fame & Museum, and more recently efforts to save the old brick mill from the wrecking ball.
The Sports Hall of Fame for a time was a rather vibrant entity in the community holding 15 inductions through the years since its creation inducting 67 individuals, 16 teams, and special media representing 30 different sports.
Originally located in the old Land Titles Building beside the Godfrey Dean Gallery the Hall of Fame still felt somewhat out of place, needing to be in a sporting environment to be best appreciated.
In time the Hall transferred to the Gallagher Centre, a more suitable locale to be sure, since people are there for a variety of sporting events and could enjoy looking at historic displays on breaks.
But the space afforded the Hall of Fame is so limited most of the memorabilia is back in storage.
It is an element the Gallagher Centre lost in the last big upgrade. As the heart of the community to do upgrades to the pool, conference rooms, the addition of the flexihall, were all hugely successful.
But in doing the work the display cases of trophies won through the years, the photos of teams from our past, were taken down and never returned, in essence a little of our sporting soul lost.
Now a group looks to revitalize the Sports Hall of Fame which has lapsed into several years of inactivity (see story Page A1). While fresh blood is needed to guide the Hall a bigger space is also needed.
Two locales come to mind. The best option would be a dedicated area when a second ice surface is built onto the Gallagher Centre Complex. Council might balk at such a cost, but the City does have a role to play in preserving our history, and since the displays would be static and behind glass continuing operational costs should be low.
The other option, albeit out of contact with current sports, would be the proposed brick mill expansion. A locale that will be largely about our history of which sports is a prominent part.
Wherever it ends up, the Sports Hall of Fame needs a home where its history – our history – can emerge from dusty file boxes to be enjoyed by the community.