Wednesday, 19 October 2011 16:47

Memorial Run to the River honoured Hilda man

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By Ryan Dahlman — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Doug Bader was a popular guy amongst those who knew him. His friends and family gathered at Harley-Davidson of Medicine Hat just east of the city to take part in the Doug Bader Memorial River on a crisp Oct. 15 morning.

About 80 people turned out as they drove their vehicles or in some cases motorbiked down to Sandy Point where they had a barbecue and shared some fellowship in honour of their departed friend from Hilda.

“It turned out really well,” explained Bader’s friend and Memorial Run organizer Ivan Karsten. “Everybody was upbeat. It was a little colder maybe than what we would’ve wanted, but like I told people, ‘I’ve been on colder rides with Doug. Heck, I’ve done rides with Doug in the snow.”

Karsten, the owner and operator of Harley-Davidson of Medicine Hat, said the event had been planned for a little while.

“I was planning right away after the funeral that we should do something for him, then summer went so fast and it got colder quick.”

“(The Oct. 15 run) was a way to give back to the community and showed those who helped search for Doug (they were appreciated) ... it was a good time to reflect with the memories everyone had of Doug. It was different for everybody because he was into a lot of things — biking boating, golfing. Everyone had a different perspective of him.”

Bader passed away after he went missing on a fishing trip Nov. 6, 2010 near Sandy Point, which is about 70 km northwest of Medicine Hat.

The 67-year-old fell out of his boat and despite the best efforts of volunteers and local search party teams, they were unable to find Bader.

RCMP near Leader found his body in the South Saskatchewan River on May 27 of this year.

Besides honouring Bader, one idea which was bandied about was to try and build a boat launch at Sandy Point. Karsten said adding a boat launch there was something Bader wanted to have done.

Karsten noted they ran into some issues in doing because of some Cypress County and environmental red tape.

“For sure, we’re going to make it an annual event and maybe if we can get into fundraising, perhaps we can get a launch there,” explained Karsten. “When the rescuers were there it was definitely a problem for them.”

Regardless, the event will be an annual one and Karsten expected to see more people from the Hilda, Burstall, Bindloss and Medicine Hat regions to come out.

“It was good to see the community out; Doug had a lot of friends.”

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