LANIGAN — Premier Ross Thatcher on Friday Aug. 8, 1969 opened more than $1 million [around $6.9 million in 2019 dollars] worth of businesses in Lanigan.
In Lanigan to officially open the $750,000 [about $5.2 million in 2019 dollars] Carlton Trail Shopping Centre, the Premier also opened Double S Esso Service and Gulf Super Service. Carlton Trail Shopping Centre is owned by a group of Lanigan businessmen, with Syl Funk as president. Double S Service is owned by Stan Sedgwick and John Schatz and Gulf Super Service is owned by George Stoker.
At the short opening ceremony at the shopping centre, Premier Thatcher said it is always a pleasure to open an economic development "especially in smaller centres.”
“This centre is an attractive and lasting memorial to the foresight, and courage of the people who put it up,” said Thatcher.
The Premier told an audience of about 500 that it was a task to put up such a centre in a time of tight money. The majority of the shareholders “are all Canadians, and I am happy to say, local Canadians.”
The potash development, he said, was the root for the expansion of Lanigan. He warned, however, that there is now “an overabundance of potash on the world market and a similar situation could happen as it has with wheat.” Steps are being considered to curtail the building of more potash mines until the overstocking problem is solved, he said.
Commenting on the growth of Lanigan, Mr. Thatcher said it was the Alwinsal Potash of Canada Ltd. mine that made the shopping centre venture possible. He said that before the mine started in 1962, Lanigan had a population of 483 compared with today's population of about 1,800.
He said Town Council, the Chamber of Commerce and Alwinsal worked closely together to plan community expansion on a sensible basis.
“As a result, the people of Lanigan have stepped effortlessly into the age of modern industrialization and commerce. They have taken full advantage of the development opportunities presented by the emergence of a great potash industry in the province,” said Thatcher.
Following the Premier's address, a luncheon was held in The Globe restaurant. The guest speaker was J.E. Beamish of Regina, manager of Water Development Service of the Canada Department of Agriculture.
Beamish referred to the incentive program announced by the federal Government the previous day. He said the pattern set by Lanigan in its ide-velopment will be followed by other centres in the same situation.
After the luncheon, Premier Thatcher opened the Double S Service Station, located on Highway 14 and Main Street. Mr. Thatcher said at the ribbon cutting, that the provincial government would probably classify the new Highway 14 running through Lanigan as the second Trans-Canada Highway. He said this will probaby be done at the next sitting of the Legislature.
Imperial Oil area sales manager D.L. Rasmussen said his company had confidence in Lanigan and the new service station will serve the needs of the community.
Premier Thatcher departed for the new Lanigan airstrip following the opening where he left for Regina. A public reception was held in the Late Mountain Theatre. The new 500-seat theatre will be officially opened at a later date.
The 22 businesses located in the Carlton Trail Shopping Centre are: Lanigan Post Office; Canada Manpower Centre – Shop-Rite Foods supermarket; Dreger's Drugs; Royal Bank of Canada; Singer Sewing Centre; Simpsons-Sears mail order office; Strueby's Men's and Boy's Wear; Arnelle Fashions; The Globe restaurant; Vigoren's Real Estate; a barber shop and beauty salon; Wood's Jewellers; Dueck's Hardware; Gerwing Shoe Palace; and a coin laundry and dry cleaning plant. Located near the shopping centre are Gulf Super Service and Last Mountain Theatre.
Friday morning's official opening ceremonies was the climax of a three-day grand opening celebration of the shopping centre and service stations. The celebrations began early. Thursday morning [Aug. 7, 1969] with a free pancake breakfast on the parking lot of the complex. An orchestra was on hand throughout the day as was a group of square dancers. Employees and employers alike were all dressed in Klondike garb.
A dance was held in the parking lot Friday night with an estimated 2,500 people attending. Saturday morning [Aug. 9, 1969] another free pancake breakfast was held with free midway rides for the children.
Glenn Flatten and Donna Smith of the Saskatchewan Broiler Marketing Board of Regina served a barbecue chicken supper Friday evening.
Perfect weather during the three-day opening celebrations added to the festive atmosphere. Guests at Friday's official opening ceremonies were: W.J.H. Reinards, president of the Lanigan and District Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Justice R.L. Brownridge of the Court of Appeals, Regina; and Mayor G.R. Barnes of Humboldt and Mayor Alfred Greve of Lanigan. Town Co-ordinator Peter Dueck was master of ceremonies for the occasion.