Column hits 26th anniversary

Ruth Griffiths

Mother’s Day is the 26th anniversary of my column in Rural Roots.

Rural Roots used to be published on Sundays, but lswitched to Thursday publication to accommodate production and distribution schedules. More recently, Rural Roots has become the Thursday edition of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.

Rural Roots was launched in 1990 by Barb Gustafson, who was its first editor. (She was later the Prince Albert Daily Herald Managing Editor and then Publisher.)  At the outset, Rural Roots was distributed free to 30,000 homes in North Central Saskatchewan. It’s an area that I know well, having grown up in Tisdale.

I moved to Prince Albert as a bride in 1969 and worked for a year in the laboratory at Victoria Union Hospital, before returning to classes in Saskatoon to finish a Bachelor of Science degree at University of Saskatchewan. I interned at the Prince Albert hospital and became a Registered Laboratory Technologist. My first job was in the lab at Prince Albert Medical Clinic.

After being at home raising babies for five years, I started work in 1981 as the Women’s Editor for the Daily Herald. I thought it would be for just a year or two, but I ended up working 29 years for the Herald. I was laid off in May 2010, along with eight other people, when editorial and composing functions were centralized in Moose Jaw. While I was working for the Herald, I moved to being Assistant City Editor, then City Editor and finally Rural Roots Editor in 1997.

During the years after my husband died, I became a certified fitness instructor. My first regular class was with seniors at the Heritage Centre. It’s an age group with whom I feel a special kinship. In 2009, I became the instructor for the Easy Adult Fitness program offered by the City of Prince Albert at the Margo Fournier Centre. A faithful group of women and men attended each Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning to maintain their good health. I officially retired from leading this fitness class in December 2022, having achieved my goal of being one of the oldest certified fitness instructors in the province.

I continue to teach fitness in a much less vigorous style. I lead chair-assisted yoga classes twice a week.

Keeping fit allows us to continue everyday activities. Getting together with a group encourages us to keep coming out each week.

Writing this column has been a special privilege. I hope to be able to continue it for years to come.