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Wednesday, March 27, 2019 | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Yorkton This Week

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SENIORS Our Monthly Feature

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Terriers and Co-op important to Krepakevich By Calvin Daniels Staff Writer Two things have been a constant in the life of Gene Krepakevich from his earliest days growing up on the family farm near Hampton; the Yorkton Terriers and the Co-operative movement. Looking at his early years Krepakevich said there used to be at least a sign on Highway #9 pointing to where Hampton was. That sign now reads Hampton Road, and the community is only a memory. “One time there were seven elevators, a grocery store, a restaurant,” he related, but added like many rural Prairie towns it went into decline. But the community hall had always remained, being “well looked after” hosting weddings and community events. Then some of those who cared for the hall moved, and it too was closed, except to some youth who apparently were breaking in to use the hall to skateboard, said Krepakevich. There was no power, but can-

dles were used. It might have been those candles that started the fire that consumed the hall and every remaining building but one in what had been Hampton. “Every building burned to the ground except one,” he said, adding “Two weeks later that building was burned too. “You go out there you don’t see Hampton anymore, just overgrown trees.” While Krepakevich said he took his earliest school years in the rural area, Grades 10-12 were taken in Yorkton. It was those years he started playing hockey, and the relationship with the Terriers grew. “The Yorkton Senior Terriers were our team,” he said. Krepakevich noted “the roads weren’t very good back then,” often ending up blocked with snow. “More than once we walked seven miles to the highway where someone from Yorkton would meet us and take us to game,” he said. “After the game we’d walk the seven miles back.”

Gene Krepakevich has gone from teacher to long time Terrier support and Co-op board member. There were nights the temperature was minus30, said Krepakevich. “Our parents would say ‘you don’t have to do this’ and we said ‘oh yes we do’,” he said. “We did things those days that no one would attempt now.” Krepakevich, who grew up on a farm, actually dabbled in farming himself, buying a quarter section of land in the Mikado area close to the in-laws of his first wife Marie, who passed in 2007. He said he was helping farm, so ended up buying the quarter for $25,000 viewed by some neighbours as ridiculously high. “It was a good quar-

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Krepakevich. “So I decided to go to teacher’s college.” Krepakevich said he never regretted the choice, but admitted he wouldn’t make it as a teacher today. “I was a disciplinarian. Respect was number one for me,” he said. Krepakevich’s first teaching position was at York Lake just south of the city. It was a shortlived posting with only six students, one his own child. Krepakevich would have four children with his first wife; Brad and Kelly, who have passed, and Barry and Carlene who live in the area. From there, there would be short stops at Jaroslaw and Saltcoats schools, then a move

ter with 159 cultivated acres,” he said, adding two years later he was offered twice what he had paid. “I farmed it for four years,” he said, adding he soon realized it was not a tax friendly enterprise for someone who was also teaching. So he rented the land, eventually selling it in 2008. The teaching side of Krepakevich’s life was one that almost didn’t happen. He said he had applied to join the RCMP and to attend teacher’s college, being accepted to both. When the approval came from the RCMP it was not a popular option with his mother. “My mom cried and cried. She thought I was going to get killed,” said

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to the then junior high in Yorkton. That school would evolve into Yorkdale Central School, with Krepakevich part of the staff until retirement in 1987. It was while teaching Krepakevich and Vern Pachal got together because of trouble with the Senior Terrier team. “Vern was with the Senior Terriers. The team was in bad shape, they were broke,” said Krepakevich. The two came together as the team sent out three ton trucks lobbying area farmers for wheat they could sell to buy gas to keep the team playing. “We ended up with a full truck. I thought that was marvellous,” he said. But the future of the Senior Terriers was short, and by 1972 a Junior Terrier team was launched, and Krepakevich was involved as a billet for the Gerry James owned team. When James sold the team and moved on, leaving the Junior team awash in red ink Krepakevich said he was one of more than 300 people gathering at the Legion Hall in the city to find a way to save the franchise. Buddy Pachal would end up club president at the meeting, Krepakevich taking the vice-president chair. The league came out to meet with the new executive and no one was even sure who owned the remnants of the team, or just what they would do next. “We had no idea,” said Krepakevich. At the team’s first game the sheriff showed up to take the gate money, because the money was owed to someone. The team actually owed $125,000, a huge sum in the mid-1970s. “Everybody was clamouring for their money,” said Krepakevich, adding “eventually we paid everything back, or it was written off.” Continued on Page A13

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MARCH 2019

KREPAKEVICH Continued from Page A12 As much as saving the team was a huge undertaking, and critical to the team, Krepakevich said the highlight of what would become a decade’s long relationship with the Junior team, would come years later, as he co-chaired the Royal Bank Cup in the city in 1999 with Reg Coles. Krepakevich said they said they would take on chairing the event but only under the condition the profits, if there were any, would be held in trust to help the Terrier team in times of need. The event would realize a $130,000 profit, $100,000 going into a trust. The Junior Terriers have been given the interest raised each year for specific projects, and have dipped into the principle when the Terriers gave gone too deep into the red. Today, $40,000 remains, said Krepakevich, which will stay put unless the team is on the precipice of failure. “That’s been the highlight, being able to stage the Royal Bank Cup and also to help preserve the team,” he reiterated. Krepakevich would also be the club president from 1986 through 1992, as

Gene Krepakevich at the SJHL Hall of Fame induction in Yorkton. such he attended the first four national championships the Terriers were involved in; Sudbury and Streetsville in Ontario, and Melfort and the one the team hosted in Saskatchewan. He did however miss the Terrier trip to Vernon, B.C. in 2014, where the Terriers won the organization’s first national championship. Krepakevich had other commitments at the time; his wedding to second wife Gladys. With his background as a teacher,

and long involvement Krepakevich would eventually take on writing a history on the first 25-years of the junior franchise. “I had no source of information,” he said, adding he headed to the library “spending 100s of hours looking at microfiche … It took me three years to do, (with Vic Eftoda doing the typing).” The book was printed locally, 300 copies made, all now long sold. “I have two copies, one the dog chewed the

cover the other one the cover is on backwards,” said Krepakevich. It was another highlight tied to the Terriers. “That book was a challenge to get done, but I’m proud of it.” For his involvement Krepakevich was recognized as Yorkton Sportsman of the Year in 1990, and was inducted into the Yorkton Sports Hall of Fame as a builder in 2003. The other source of pride for Krepakevich is a long involvement with the Yorkton Co-op. He became a delegate in 1980, and from there was on to the board of directors. “We were struggling,” he said, adding the cooperative movement in the early 1980s was having a difficult time. Krepakevich recalled floating the idea to freeze union wages, and cut management wages by 15 per cent, which wasn’t immediately popular, but it was accepted, and the Co-op emerged stronger. In 1994, Krepakevich was elected president of the board, a position he still holds today. Through the years the Co-op has grown, including amalgamating with the Churchbridge Co-op last fall, and launching a new name Legacy Co-op. He said sales are expected to be $115 million this year. Krepakevich said it was almost natural for him to get into the co-op movement.

“My dad was co-op man,” he said, adding growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan it was just the natural thing. But the involvement is coming to an end. Krepakevich said he is

in his last term, although he added with a smile that the term does extend until 2023. “For me it’s been an interesting experience being part of the Board,” he said.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019 | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Yorkton This Week

just for SENIORS

MARCH 2019

Stay active with the SSFA By Devin Wilger Staff Writer A perpetual challenge for everyone, what can we do? The Saskatchewan Senior Fitness Association’s (SSFA) goal is to give seniors in the province ways to keep active, whatever they want to do. Dave Weiman with the Parkland Valley district of the SSFA, said that they’ve got many events on offer, from card games to very active events like track and field. The group tries to be as active as they can, partnering with groups like the New Horizons in different towns through the district. “Yorkton is kind of unique, because they really don’t have one umbrella senior’s club.” In Yorkton, there are a variety of things available. There are bridge and cribbage clubs in the area, and pickleball

courses that are growing in the area. He also notes that tennis is popular with seniors in the area, while bowling is also popular. There is also a poetry and short story competition, which Weiman hopes to get more popular. He notes that every community has different interest – Melville, for example, has people active in shuffleboard, while it is not quite as popular in Yorkton. Pickleball is one of the big hits for seniors in the area, and the program has been growing steadily over the years. It’s a hit because with underhanded serves, there are longer rallys, and it’s a slower paced game. “You get so much more action for less motion, and that’s what makes it so senior friendly... Mark my words, this sport is going to stay, and it’s going to stay strong.”

One thing that Weiman wants to see is more people taking part in track and field, which he said is currently one of their more disappointing events. This year’s track and field district competition will take place in Melville near the beginning of June, and Weiman hopes to see a better turnout this year, and hopes area seniors are more willing to give it a try. “We’re not asking people to be in the top physical shape, trying out and practicing for months ahead. Just come out and try out that day.” One of the unique things that seniors can do is make events that are more attuned to their abilities. He points to an event called pre-determined walk. They are in 1500 and 3000 meter lengths, and people have to predict how long it will take them - the person who gets

closest to their predictions win. It’s a great way to stay active, because in order to get your time right, you have to get a good idea of how your pace works. “While you’re practicing, you’re walking!” While part of the organization, Weiman is relatively young in the group, still being under 65. Working with the group, it’s encouraging to see how many people are still active as they get older. “I find it very inspiring, because I deal with a lot of people in their 70s and 80s that are very active. Mentally, physically, and emotionally, they do a lot more than guys my age do! I find it very encouraging to be working with them.” The association is especially good for competitive seniors. In even years there are the 55

plus games. “There were 646 seniors from across Saskatchewan that participated... Nationals were in Nova Scotia, and 130 Saskatchewan seniors went down there. Pretty good representation, when you go down east like that it’s a major event, because it costs some money, you have to have time, and you have to have the physical ability to go down there and to compete.” Weiman encourages people to get membership in the organization, which is $7. For that, they get regular emails about events happening in the district, whether that’s in Yorkton itself of the many communities that surround it. For more information on the SSFA, call Weiman at (306) 548-2266. “Don’t be shy, give me a call.”

There are options to snoring in bed Laugh and the world laughs with you, SNORE and you sleep alone! Obstructive Sleep apnea or OSA is a potentially serious health issue affecting approximately 5% of the population and many have no idea they have it. Sleep apnea occurs in both sexes and all ages. Apnea definition: temporary cessation (stop) in breathing Hypopnea definition: abnormally slow or shallow breathing. AHI = Apnea Hypopnea Index: number of apnea or hypopnea events per hour. AHI < 5 = None / Minimal

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AHI 5 – <15 = Mild AHI 15 - < 30 = Moderate AHI > 30 = Severe Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing while sleeping. These pauses will last from 10 seconds to more than a minute at a time. The resulting decrease in oxygen in the body has a profound effect on the entire system. A partial or full collapse of the upper airway is what causes the breathing issue and the decrease in oxygen. The lower oxygen levels and lack of effective breathing will result in repeated arousals throughout the night, most of which are not realized by the

Some symptoms you may experience include increased irritability, difficulty concentrating, depression, memory loss, daytime sleepiness and general feeling of fatigue to name a few. A person with sleep apnea is at an increased risk of vehicle and workplace accidents, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, diabetes etc. The treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, which is 100% effective if tolerated. CPAP (pronounced C-PAP) stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. A base model CPAP

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machine is set to a constant pressure to alleviate 95% of events. An APAP machine is an auto setting CPAP machine. These machines provide the same therapy outcomes but tend to be more comfortable for users. APAP machines use algorithms that sense subtle changes in your breathing and adjusts itself to the best pressure setting at any given time. An APAP machine will support pressure needs as fluctuations like weight gain or loss, body position, stage of sleep etc. take place. We work with your physician to complete the overnight screening.

SENIORS DAY

Learn to sleep like a child again Adults can learn strategies to get more restorative and lengthy sleep. Many adults lament that even if they were solid sleepers in their younger years, by the age of 50, their quality of sleep has unraveled. Some cling to the wisdom that people simply do not need as much sleep as they get older. Even though that is partly true, sufficient sleep is still a vital component of a healthy life. The National Sleep Foundation recently updated its sleep recommendations per age group to include categories “may be appropriate” and “not recommended.” This includes a range of hours that may be adequate for certain adults. Adults between the ages of 26 and 65 are advised to get seven to nine hours of sleep per evening. However, six hours or 10 hours also may be acceptable. People over the age of 65 need roughly seven to eight hours of sleep each night, though between five and six hours also may be fine. Generally speaking, anything under five hours is not recommended based on data reviewed by sleep experts. Many older adults do not get enough sleep due to insomnia. There

a restless partner, try two separate beds pushed against each other. • Consider white noise. The sounds of the house or outdoors may be keeping you up. Many people find that the gentle hum of a fan or a white-noise machine with a calming sound effect makes it easier for them to dose off than complete quiet. It can also block out extraneous noises. • Keep electronics out of the bedroom. It can be challenging to disconnect from electronics, but it is essential to falling asleep. Even a backlit text coming through

is concern about health issues, may have sleep apnea, can experience pain or frequent urination, or may be taking medication that impedes sleep. Over time, insufficient sleep can impact metabolism, mood, memory, and heart function. Various strategies can help people get more sleep and enjoy better sleep quality. • Create a luxury bed environment. Splurge on the largest mattress you can afford and one that is comfortable for both parties (if married/coupled). A roomy bed routinely invites sleep. If you have

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in the wee hours can be enough illumination to disrupt sleep. • See your doctor. If medications or illnesses are keeping you up, a change in regimen may provide the relief you need. Older adults can learn the steps to sleeping more soundly and easily.

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