Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Canada on October 7, 1984 · 24
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Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Canada · 24

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 7, 1984
Page:
24
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B8 CALGARY HERALD Sun., Oct. 7,1984 MacLean's weekly auction city fixture since 1920s By Kim Baillie (Special to the Herald) At first glance the area seems almost out of place being so close to the heart of downtown Calgary. The crowds of casually dressed people, the noise from dogs, chickens and cows seem more appropriate in a small prairie town than here, just one kilometre from the gleaming towers of Calgary. Yet the MacLean Saturday Auction has been a regular weekend event for the last 61 years. Crowds of buyers and curious onlookers continue each week to press into the bright red barn at 10th Avenue and 10th Street S.E. Spread over the arena are a dozen cages and boxes, each filled with chickens and rabbits. Among the more than 200 people attending at least half are regulars, many coming from a 140-kilometre radius around Calgary every week to socialize and to buy. The chickens and Escaped pheasant bitsfi animals auctioned off and they go quickly. The new owners gather up their boxes of birds while the rabbits are carried out by their ears. Next the ducks, held in pens near the back, are up for sale. Without the aid of a microphone, Gary MacLean, owner of the auction, has to shout above the noise of the tightly packed crowd. He decides to sell "the whole family" for $21 and within 10 minutes all the ducks are gone. Another crowd has gathered for the MacLean miscellaneous auction. This auction takes place on a stage, just behind the main building, that is filled to capacity with furniture, tools, kitchen appliances, bicycles and boxes. One happy cus tomer walks around carrying a crate full of plastic deer heads. Nine boxes of "mystery items" are sold for $100. Across the street in the market, fresh fruits and vegetables gleam invitingly in the sun. At the end of the road, a large truck has tipped out its cargo of corn and several people begin sorting through the green ears. The site of the MacLean Auction has remained virtually unchanged since the turn of the century. Built originally as a livery stable in 1909, the barn was bought by Alec MacLean in 1923 and converted into an auction market. The auction continued to be run as a family business and in 1969 it was purchased by its present owner, Gary MacLean. A proud fourth-generation auctioneer, Mac-Lean entered his trade at age 15 and points out that neither he nor any of his family ever went to auctioneering school. He hopes that his son Cody, eight, who has been "helping out" at the auction since age four, will someday carry on the family tradition. MacLean's daughter Stacy, six, can also be seen running around the auction grounds on many Saturdays. ' ; 7 7 i ; Si'Ai -' J 7-- I'oh : t ' jf 'f " 'X1 ; yr 4r- i Mis- r s : 4 rJt -X rrT k-rit Two live ones Photos by David Lazarowych, Calgary Herald Buyers flock around MacLean's barn Back inside the main arena, 20 black and white calves are loudly voicing their discontent as they jump around in confusion. The bidding is fast and friendly. MacLean seems to know many of his customers by name and calls out to them between bids. "Will you give me $90. Do I hear $85? Hey Bui, he shouts to a nearby customer, I thought you wanted these calves. Give me at least $80." The calves are sold in minutes. Despite the fact that hundreds of animals are auctioned each year, MacLean recalls only one escape. "One of our cows jumped right over the rail in the truck and took off toward town. She ran west up the railway tracks to an abandoned school yard. A bunch of us caught up to her in my truck and had to rope her." Si 13 s . i sold Each cow is brought out separately and led jjj around on a rope for inspection. Bidding on all livestock can take anywhere from two to five hours and in the summer as many as 300 animals are handled by the auction. As the afternoon drifts on the goats and the kids are sold as groups are brought in and of- fered as a family or separately. Most individual goats go for around $40. The goats get special treatment, too. After each sale they are caught and marked on the forehead by a brightly col- ored felt pen. if. Jl X A . u 1 i nil Hi "H - T11 Tin Vf an - wnfl Asking for a higher bid, auctioneer Gary MacLean begins to move the fowl Hunger leads bears here By Barton Jaques (Herald staff writer) A shortage of food on Alberta's side of the Rockies may be responsible for driying bears into Calgary searching for food. An 84-kilogram black bear shot Friday night in Heritage Park became the third bear in three weeks discovered in the city, and the second one to be killed. There have been no other bear incidents since 1979. "We had a biologist come with us Friday," says provincial fish and wildlife officer Rick Servetnyk. "He speculated it might have something to do with the poor berry crop in the areas west of town." "Garbage-conditioned" bears, accustomed to picking through scraps left by humans, are generally the only kind that will approach human settlements. However, Servetnyk notes that "these last two were not feeding on garbage," and were likely dining on the abundant berries in Fish Creek Park and Heritage, Park. Servetnyk estimates the fish and wildlife service spent over 200 hours trying to catch the wayward bruin, not counting the half-dozen police officers also on the chase. "Certainly we're not going to limit our efforts because of cost when there's an element of safety involved," asserts Servetnyk. Servetnyk says city-going bears pose a "Catch-22" problem for wildlife control officers. Garbage-conditioned bears usually must be shot since they would just return to urban areas when trapped and moved out of town. Wild bears are more timid and aren't always interested in trap-bait usually beaver glands. Often they must be shot. In fact, the last bear was killed when he "became aggressive" and charged officers during attempts to tranquilize him. The problem may solve itself soon, though. Servetnyk says colder weather and scarcer food will soon put most bears to sleep. A heavy insulation of fat forms prior to winter hibernation and Servetnyk observed that the last bear "had a good layer of fat on him." But an even more ornery breed of opponent will soon be Block parents resettled Ann Beattie calls it the happy ending to a sad story. Not long ago, her Calgary Block Parent Association faced the prospect of homelessness just as it was heading into the busiest month of its year. It had sought independence from the Calgary Safety Council and had been told soon afterward it couldn't go on sharing offices with the council. Space was at a premium. With an Oct. 31 deadline hanging over its head, the Block Parent Association has found a new home in the Calgary Police community services building on Manning Close N.E. "It's about 212 times the size of what we had before, and that's something we needed," says Beattie, who is Block Parent chairman. The location is particularly good, she says, since her association has always worked closely with the police. The new office is manned Tuesday and Thursday, as was the case before, but has the added assistance this time of a 24-hour telephone answering service. Beattie says the association had strong support from the business community in making the move. Q: What happened to Mayor Ralph Klein's plans to tear down the brick building, something which blocks (part of) the public's view at the race track? A: Mayor Ralph Klein, who once owned race horses and who remains an avid horse-racing fan, says he's sympathetic to race fans who complain about the old electrical substation building on the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede race track infield. "It depends on where you're sitting in the grandstand, but it can really be a problem," Klein said. "There's a clump of trees around it and you can lose sight of about an eighth of the track near the quarter pole. When first approached by a sports writer. Klein left the matter with the city's commissioners and a year later, when asked about the substation, Klein returned again to his (Calgary Q. & A. commissioners and finally received an answer. It's not the city's problem, he was told. The building apparently belongs to the Stampede board. The building is an old electrical substation, which once powered street cars when the street-car barns were located near what is now the race track. Ownership of the substation was turned over to the exhibition and the Stampede used the substation for power to its nearby horse barns until new systems were needed. However, the building remains, including the old electrical panels and, according to the commissioner's report to Klein, the Stampede board has conducted some preliminary estimates to determine the cost of levelling the building. But demolition, removal of the electrical panels and rehabilitation of the site would cost the board an estimated $30,000. Q: How many tax dollars are expected to be moved from the public schools to the Catholic schools due to unhappy public-school taxpayers? A: Rob Groves, assessment officer with the Catholic board, said it's too early to say whether the separate board's proportion of tax assessment will change. Furthermore, there's no way of knowing why taxpayers would move their tax dollars from one board to another. John Cerny, assessment officer with the public board, said he doesn't expect there will be any change, according to data compiled to date. Q: Is Garden Crescent named after anyone? A: Lindsay Moir, reference librarian with the Glenbow Museum Library, tells us Gar den Crescent was first used and first named in 1911, when a James Hay Garden, a city alderman at the time, built the first house on the crescent during the 1911-1912 building boom. On the other hand, "so many of the streets in the Glencoe area have names beginning with "G" that they may have just been looking for a pleasing sounding name," Moir said. Garden, a general contractor and lumber merchant, was an alderman between 1910 and 1914, and again between 1919 and 1921. Between 1915 and 1916 he was city commissioner. (If you have a question about Calgary you would like answered, call the Herald hotline at 235-7393 and an answering sen ice will record your message. Please leave your name and phone number in case further clarification of your question is needed.) lacing the fish and wildlife service. Human residents of Calga ry respond indignantly to every shooting of bears within city limits. "I imagine we will get quite a number of responses," says Servetnyk. "We always do. grand opening mr. handyman OCTOBER 13th AT CALGARY METAL 3415 Ogden Road S.E. 262-4542 BEFORE YOU BUY . . . COMPARE! SHARP MICROWAVE $367 DtSHWASHtt S49B DWFREEM 2 ID0t5 M 4 PC. OAK KMOOM SUITt S996 NU0N SOFA AND IOCKH jCOtONJAlj $577 $WIVa A STOOU $1U SMNT SW $68 SEALY MM im DESK WITH HUTCH $138 COFFHTABU ioUHia ha 5pc. WNrm wrrj ji 31 UCTONAljyiTj $494 MSKfl CHAjj JJ 19 OOjWiKD $J4 SOf A AND CHAJI 7t MATB SEW $154 MOYHIU DINING SUITt $699 3tO0MSRJNJTUtt $!! mum lis 1AMP1 $JU If D800M SUIT $J77 UNPAINTED FURNITURE WICKER, GIFTS FURNITURE FACTORY CLEAROUTS 3915 EDMONTON TRAIL N.E. WE WILL MAKE YOU A PILOT FOR $2,990. 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