That's Life - January 11, 2023

A very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to one and all. I certainly hope everyone enjoyed a restful and memorable holiday season. I know I did.

I would like to thank our many advertisers and faithful readers for allowing us the privilege of being able to continue publishing. The pandemic created a very difficult playing field for countless businesses from coast to coast. Many community newspapers closed their doors after decades of serving their communities. The advertising support was no longer there to support those publications.

It’s not just the small weekly operations like ours, just pick up a copy of a city daily. Their pages are few compared to the way things used to be.

But we will continue to forge ahead. After all, the saying goes, “The sign of a healthy community is a healthy newspaper.” We’ll do our best to keep fit.

It is sad to see that Hans Van Biezen has passed away at the age of 76 years. Hans was the oldest son of Ted and Betty Van Biezen and brother to the late Robert Van Biezen.

If you were a kid, growing up in Three Hills, you knew the Van Biezen family. Ted and Betty’s dream was that they would teach every child how to swim. I doubt they scored 100%, but I would bet money they were in the high 90s.

Now Hans wasn’t just a swimmer, he was a Queen Scout. I was a Cub Scout at the time of this story. Maybe the ripe old age of eight or nine years old.

The Cub Scout pack of Three Hills packed up our kit bags for a week-long cub camp on the southern shore of Keivers Lake. It was sunny and it was hot and after the chores of the day were done and we had leapt to our feet at the end of Grand Howl, promising God and the Queen that we would “Do Our Best”, it was time to swim.

We ran into that crystal clear water yelling and screaming until the water passed our knees and we plunged head first.

There was a lot of splashing going on, much more than we were ever allowed to do at the Three Hills Swimming Pool. It was about then that I heard a whistle blow. “Knock it off you guys” said Hans Van Biezen. There he stood on the dock, whistle in hand and the look of authority on his face. I said to the pack, “He can’t do anything. This is a lake, not a swimming pool, let’s get him.” So we charged Hans and splashed him with everything our little hands could muster. Once again the whistle blew, “Knock it off you guys.” I didn’t pay attention but it turns out the rest of my pack did. I stood there in waist-deep water splashing Hans Van Biezen, all by myself.

I got kicked out of the lake. I didn’t think it was possible but I soon discovered just how wrong I was. Rest easy old friend, and thanks for the memory.

That’s Life.