Friday, August 21, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A tribute to a departed friend, the gillnetters get anxious and the bike trail project runs into a few obstacles, some of the highlights of the Monday edition of the Daily News.

BRIDGING THE GAP IN MEMORY OF A FRIEND-- The 17th hole of the Prince Rupert Centennial Golf course features an interesting conversation piece and a tribute to a long time Prince Rupert doctor who recently passed away. The front page headline story of the Monday paper outlines the bridge spanning Oldfield creek in memory of Dr. Harris Coburn. (see story below)

The salmon season continues to move along swiftly towards its end and for the gillnet fleet on the North coast a growing sense of frustration continues to mark their time this salmon season. Monday's paper outlines their concerns and the sense of abandonment that they are feeling once again. (see story here)

The planned bike and hiking trail from Galloway Rapids to Port Edward continues to find itself to be a controversial topic, as members of the Rod and Gun club offer up their concerns with one of the five proposed routes which would take the trail too close to the club for local gun enthusiasts.
The sports page featured the accomplishments of local swimmer Ryan Cochrance who found success at a meet in Victoria.

Total pages in the Monday edition (12)

Front page, headline story:

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Page one

It all started with finding the perfect tree.

The Prince Rupert golf course has a new addition. A unique bridge now spans Oldfield Creek at the 17th Hole.

Dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Harris Coburn, who passed away in August 2008, the bridge was created by Coburn's friend, Ted Dickens.

"We were planning to put in a bridge there before Harris died," said Dickens. "We just needed to find the perfect tree."

The 38-foot bridge means that after teeing off, lady golfers won't have to backtrack, but can choose to walk over the bridge to proceed with the game.

Male golfers, after teeing off, can walk either way, explained Dickens.

Dickens and Coburn rarely golfed together, their friendship involved hunting and fishing, but they had talked about putting in a bridge at the course.

Their original intent was to build one at the hole. After Coburn mentioned the bridge at a golf meeting, someone else went a small bridge mere.

Coburn and Dickens then began plotting to build a bridge at the 17th hole, a bigger project

It wasn't until after Coburn died that Dickens found the tree he needed on Smith Island.

"I was walking along the beach and I saw it standing dead and dried out, curved towards the water," Dickens said.

He removed the top part of the tree, and with the help of his friends, had it towed to Port
Edward, split it into two equal halves on the curved edge and laid in place at the 17th hole.

After a meeting between the greens keeper and DFO about the bridge, Dickens was told he could not use creosote and that the bridge had to be above the high water mark.

The bridge curves high above the water because of the tree's natural arch. Flat planks, nailed horizontally along the top, make it easy to pull a golf cart across and when the railings are put in place on either side, the bridge will be safe for all users.

Standing underneath the bridge Friday afternoon, while a group of men played the 17th hole, Dickens wiped his brow.

"You can never be sure where those balls are going to go," he offered, smiling.

Dickens has heard some positive comments about the bridge.

"Bruce Kerr used it on Wednesday at Men's Night and Janet Sheppard tried it out on Ladies Night," Dickens noted.

Once the rails are in place, Dickens will install a sign to honour his departed friend, making it the second memorial dedicated to Coburn at the course.

"There is a memorial tree on Number 3 fairway with flowers planted around it, dedicated to Harris Coburn," said Golf Pro Moe Hays. "Harris brought his dog there and let him swim in the creek nearby. That is why the guys put the tree there."

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