New signs will tell people they are in ‘Bandits Country’

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SANDRA M STANWAY
Brooks Bulletin

Over the next few months Brooks Bandits signs are expected to appear at the four entrances to the County of Newell.
Last Thursday representatives of the Brooks Bandits hockey team presented a team history and a signage idea which was proposed to the team by county councillors in hopes of garnering support for two signs.
However, the idea was good enough for support for four signs and a motion for the county to spend up to $10,000 for the project.
Division 2 councillor Huby Kallen said the idea came up during an informal discussion with councillors.
He approached Bandits representatives to see if they agreed.
“They were more than happy It’s a good thing to recognize our team. They’re national champions,” said Kallen.
He has permission from a couple of landowners on Highway 1 between Tilley and Brooks and north of Bassano who will allow the signs to be installed and remain in place at no charge.
“Maybe you’ll have to consider Highway 36, too,” said Gem resident and county reeve Molly Douglass.
Kallen agreed. He will look for a couple of Highway 36 landowners to see if they will allow the signs.
Having the signs on private land eliminates the need to get approval from Alberta Transportation.
“It’s great to have winners in our community and hockey is Canada’s national (winter) sport,” said Division 6 councillor Kelly Christman.
County CAO Kevin Stephenson, an inductee in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the 1984 Canadian Junior A Hockey Champion Weyburn Red Wings, said it’s a tough exercise to undertake.
“A lot of credit to the team and management and staff for what you’ve accomplished,” he said.
Looking at the sample sign that was presented and reflects only the 2019 Bandits championship, Stephenson said not having the 2013 championship win does a disservice to the team.
He also suggested the sign is designed to allow all past and future national championships to be easily added.
“I think those signs might grow old pretty quick if that team comes through this year like I think they might yet.”
Nathan Crosby, Bandits sales and marketing manager, said it is a tremendous honour.
“I think if there’s one thing that connects all of our fans, our staff, our players, our board members, our volunteers it’s that we’re fiercely proud of where we live and the city and the county that we represent,” he said.
“People will know they are in Bandits Country when they drive into the county.”