A number of local arena business persons and individuals, who made an impression on our communities, died during the past 12 months.
• Walter Skrupski, 87, Founder of Queen's Park Motors in Selkirk. In March, we lost Walter; who along with his wife Adeline founded Queen’s Park Motors in 1959 at the corner of Eveline and Eaton after selling their automotive business in Garson. They built a new shop on 300 Main Street featuring AMC (American Motors Corp.) automobiles, John Deere lawn and garden equipment and travel trailers. Walter also served on Town of Selkirk Council in the ‘60s and on the Chamber of Commerce.
• Lawrence Buus, 92, Founder of Buss Construction located in East Selkirk. Lawrence passed away in September . The company is currently operated by his family.
• John Buffie senior, 92. John was a tireless worker and along with his late wife Elsie on the Selkirk Steelers Exective in the ‘70s and ‘80s when the Steelers rose to national recognition in 1974 by winning the Centennial Cup(currently the RBC Cup). John served as president and treasurer and other capacities over those years. He is a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame 1974.
• Wayne Faires,73 of Lockport, Founder of Lockport Grocery. Wayne passed away in December in Edinburg, TX. Wayne and his late wife Karen successfully opened Lockport Grocery in 1982. The business expanded with a new site and was one of the largest private retail operation in the region featuring a convenience store, liquor vendor,fishing and hunting supplies/licenses, 7 days a week. Wayne and Karen were great supporters of Lockport events such as the Lockport Children;s Festival, the The Lockport Dam 100th Birthday and the current Lockport Dam Fastival.
• Harold Scramstead, 90 of Selkirk in December. Harold was well known in the Selkirk area, serving on Town of Selkirk council, worked for the Manitoba Housing Authority. Harold owned a horse racing stable and was active at Assiniboia Downs over the years.
• Dave Bayluk, founder of World of Water in Selkirk died Dec. 31.
• Chad Gaborieau, co-owner of the Merc Selkirk. Chad passed away suddenly this past weekend in Winnipeg. Chad also was in the automotive industry going under the business title as BIG CHAD. According to the Merch Facebook page, the local establishment lost not only a business partner and a friend, but also an ambassador for live music in the Selkirk community..
Also his philanthropic spirit also showed through in his support of his former Junior team , the Selkirk Steelers. His tremendous support was visible at the annual Steelers Hockey Nite in Selkirk fund-raising dinners.
Chad’s late father, Alphonse, was a tremendous fastball player in the 70’s and 80s and is featured in the Selkirk Sports Hall of Fame display as a provincial champion.
In related news; there were a few well known landmarks that disappeared in 2017.
• Skinners Wet & Wild Waterslide in Lockport. This new fad, of waterslide parks was in the vogue in the 1980s. The hockey playing Babych brothers , Wayne and Dave built the Slides behind the Highway 44 Skinners in Lockport.
The slides were an immediate hit, but short summer seasons and some wet summer years spelt the demise of the park.
It was operated by the Skinner’s group until a few years ago and was abandoned. It was torn down.
• Snak Shak stand in Selkirk. The old familiar burger, ice cream stand building was torn down; but fear not , the new Snak Shack is currently under construction on the same site and will be open in the spring of this year.
The original Snak Shak was found by Al Baty and his family and in later years by the late Freddie Chick and his family before being operated currently by the Witko family of Selkirk.
• 222 Manitoba Ave. in Selkirk. Fire destroyed this former historic business building on Manitoba Ave; which was built in the ‘30s. It housed many a retail business with upstairs rental suites. Grace Book Shop and Brad's Shoe Repair come to mind as businesses that were located there.