Posted on December 7, 2015 by Tia Lalani

From Camrose Lutheran College Radio to Sid Zork Day, The Dagligtale explores eight traditions that need to return!

8-Augustana-Traditions-3Courtesy of Melissa Wilk at The Dagligtale

Augustana has seen a vast array of events, traditions and groups over the last 100 years. Unfortunately, many of these unique experiences have disappeared from Augustana – so, which ones should make a comeback?

From Camrose Lutheran College Radio and Winter Carnival to Sid Zork Day, Augustana’s student newspaper explores eight traditions that need to return! (Thank goodness we had a Vikings Rodeo in September, or there would have been nine on the list!)

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One response to 8 Lost Augustana Traditions that Need to be Revived

  • Morten Asfeldt said:
    Dec 6, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Hey Dagligtale Crew:

    Great recount of these lost traditions. I want to provide a wee correction on the loss of the canoe team. ACAC canoe racing ended because there wasn’t enough participation from other ACAC schools…it had nothing to do with canoe PAC courses or outdoor education course being offered that also included canoeing. Officially, ACAC stopped supporting canoe racing because of low participation rates from other colleges, which is correct. However, it begs the question: why was participation so low? (HINT: Check out the championship records at Bottomline, the other ACAC colleges simply couldn’t compete against Augustana in the last 20 or so years of ACAC canoeing. Augustana had a number of key advantages: Mirror Lake was close – athletes could walk to practice and we practiced 5 times a week (MWF from 4:30-6:00 and TTh from 12:15-2:00). Other colleges were lucky to practice 2 twice a week and they all had to drive their teams to a body of water to practice which cost money and ate into their practice times. It is a real shame that the sport was lost. Most paddlers on the team had never paddled before which meant that the key ingredient to being successfully was good coaching and dedication by the athlete. In a single season (Sept and Oct) a dedicated student with some athletic ability, could become a proficient paddler and if they stuck with it for 2 or 3 or 4 seasons, then they became expert and nearly unstoppable. This was another factor that played in Augustana’s favour: when Augustana began degree granting in the mid 80’s we had students on the team for up to 4 years where as the other ACAC schools only had 2 year programs so they never developed the veteran presence that Augustana did.

    I could regale you all with many crazy stories about canoe racing from racing on the North Saskatchewan River in late October because all the lakes were frozen, to the winning team of to the war canoe race not necessarily being the fastest team but rather the only one still upright at the end of the race (the war canoe race had 4 people in a small racing shell which meant little free-board on the canoe and a high centre of gravity; one wrong move and you were over or having to break through the wake of another canoe often meant filling with water and sinking in Mirror Lake….or some other ice cold northern Alberta lake in late October). Dr. Garry “Gibber” Gibson was the pioneer of canoe racing at Augustana and the winningest coach. Other coaches included myself and Craig Ferguson (now a Camrose City Police Officer and former Augustana Biathlon coach). Craig and I also raced on the team as students. Lowell Niven, our current Biathlon coach raced for Lakeland College when he was a student there. While Lowell won a few races, Augustana reined in the team and overall events; Lakeland was simply no match…even with Lowell. The history of ACAC canoeing and particularly ACAC canoeing at Augustana would make for an interesting paper or project for a student and would be filled with many hilarious stories.

    Did you know that the breakthrough for Augustana canoeing racing was when NAIT lost a top notch racing canoe off their trailer and abandoned it in the ditch? This was in the days when staff and faculty dug potatoes from the Augustana garden to feed students in the cafeteria and money was as scare as palm trees on the prairies. Gibber being Gibber, picked up “both” pieces of the NAIT’s abandoned canoe and brought them to a friend who reconstructed the canoe. With this canoe, NAIT rarely beat us once we had a real racing canoe to race in rather than bunch of fat slow river canoes. We still have this canoe; perhaps it should be on display in the Forum along with pictures and stories from the heyday of canoe racing? Need a break from studying and paper writing? Gather a group of friends and invite Gibber to the forum, hand him a cup coffee, and ask him about canoeing racing: you won’t regret it.