“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community” -Anthony J. D'Angelo
Today I want to discuss the topic of streets in our community but I don’t want to talk about them for the reasons that you may think. The streets of our community are so much more than the pavement that they are created with. What many in our community may not know is that many of the streets in Warman are actually named in recognition of members of the community who have in some way, impacted the Warman for the better. Today I want to share with our residents, especially with our newer residents, a bit of history of the streets in Warman and all of the incredible community members that these streets were named after.
To start I think it is important to understand the historical significance of the two main streets in our community, Central Street and Centennial Boulevard. First, what many may not know is that Central Street was not the original busy, main street in our community. In fact, in the early 1900s Railway Street North and Railway Street South were the main streets in the community with many businesses located there. Unfortunately, after two devastating fires, the community was left as a ghost town with less than 100 people residing there. It took several years, but eventually people returned to Warman but this time, Central Street became the hub of activity and a symbol for growth in the community. As the community continued to grow in the following years, another street also became significant historically. In 2006, 3rd Avenue officially became Centennial Boulevard to celebrate Warman’s centennial year. This stretch of roadway also became a symbol of growth in the community, and today many of our businesses as well as our Legends Centre call it home. Looking at these two streets today it is clear that they have become critical streets in our vibrant community. I know for myself, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these two historically significant streets as our community continues to grow.
While the two streets mentioned above are important for historical reasons, it is those streets named after fellow community members that I think are even more important to highlight. Below are just some, of the many streets whose names bear tribute to those residents who have impacted our community in some way for the better. I want you to keep in mind as you go through the names, that the information provided is only a snapshot of the people behind the street names. I could write a lot more about each and every one of these community members below.
Haichert Street is named after the original Haichert family who moved to Warman in 1923. August (Auggy) and Nell Haichert owned the land where Haichert is today. These longtime residents were proud business owners who owned a lumber yard/hardware store more than fifty years ago on their land. Following his service in WWII, Auggy came back with a strong desire to make his family and community a priority and thus left a lasting impact on Warman for many years to come.
This street was named after local businessman John Thiessen, who was an active member of the community. John was a proud member of Council and also spent much of his time working with many community groups including the Lions Club and the Warman Fire Department where he held the title of Fire Chief. John and his wife Ester worked tirelessly to enhance the community of Warman in all that they did.
This street was named after a long serving Town Administrator, John Janeson. Upon their arrival to the community, John and his family made Warman their home. In 2005, he retired with close to twenty years of service with the community of Warman. His quiet management style gained the respect of many and his excellent business sense allowed Warman to be positioned well financially for the future. John’s vision and dedication to this community is so valuable, without it Warman would not be the community it is today.
Braun Crescent was named after long time Warman resident Bill Braun. Bill served his community through his time on Warman Town Council and the Warman Fire Department where he was a member for over forty years. He also played a significant role in forming many committees in the community including the curling, arena and golf committees. Bill and his wife Catherine also spent many hours with the Warman Cemetery where they cared for this special community place for over four decades. There is no question that the history of Warman is lined with the influence and dedication of Bill and his commitment to this community.
This street was named after a long time serving Warman employee, Frank Guenther. Frank worked his way up to the role of Public Works Manager where he served in this role for twenty-five years. Frank took tremendous pride in the community and it was evident through all that he did to make the community what it is today.
Warwick Crescent is named after former Warman High School teacher Bill Warwick. In addition to his work with the youth of the community, Bill was known for his role as one of the original Lions Club members as well as his role on Town Council. Bill and his wife Joan, who was also a Town employee, were incredibly active in the community as well and dedicated many hours to ensuring the community was a great place to call home.
This street is named after long time Mayor Wally Davis. Wally was deeply invested in the community and spent much of his time working on the establishment of the Warman Golf Course as well as working with many organizations in the community. In addition to all of this work, Wally led the community for many years as Mayor and as a member of Council. He also ensured that his family join him in his efforts to making Warman the best place to call home and as a result three of his sons stayed and decided to open successful businesses within the community. Today, Wally and his wife Betty spend their time cheering on many of the local sports teams that their children and grandchildren participate on. The community of Warman will be forever grateful for all that Wally did and continues to do to champion this community.
Doell Place is named after Conservation Officer Murray Doell. Murray came from large family and moved to Warman with his family in 1959 when he was just a year old. Over the years, the Doell family, especially Murray’s parents John and Katherine, worked tirelessly to give back to their community. In the early eighties Murray began his employment at Town of Warman but soon moved on to become a Conservation Officer for Saskatchewan Parks and Renewable Resources. Sadly, Officer Murray Doell died while on active duty fighting a wildfire near Buffalo Narrows on August 17, 1990. This brave Warman resident was honoured not only in Warman for his bravery but also is recognized in Ottawa at a national monument. Today, many of Murray’s family still live in the community where they continue to be very active community members.
This street is named after one of the founding families in Warman. Years after the family’s arrival in 1914, Elizabeth Biliske served as a member of Council and was instrumental in fundraising for the Warman Curling Club. Elizabeth’s family was also very active in the community and her family dedicated much of their time to the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Warman.
Grabowski Crescent is named after active community members Chester and Jean Grabowski. Chester a community teacher, and his wife Jean spent much of their time serving on community groups and dedicating many hours to the betterment of the community.
These streets were named after longtime resident and business owner John Froese. After moving to Warman in 1960, John married Susan and they soon began raising their six children in the community. Also in 1960, John and his brother Peter partnered to form Froese Concrete, where it still remains a strong business in the community with almost all of John’s children having some role within the company today. John and his family’s dedication to community was evident from their arrival and they and their family members still remain active within the community today.
This street was named after Dr. W. I. Wilken who moved to Warman from Ontario in 1929. He originally set up his practice on 6th Avenue South where he knew no one in the community. He spent many days and months trying to get to know his neighbours in Warman as many of the Mennonite residents in the area had their own health professionals to assist them with their medical needs and felt they did not require his service. It was Dr. Wilkin’s perseverance which allowed him to grow his practice into a place that was deemed as Warman’s first hospital until it closed in 1956. Following this closure, Dr. Wilken moved to Waldheim for a few years before ultimately returning in 1960 where he served as Warman’s doctor until 1966. This beloved doctor made a lasting impact on the residents in the community for many years to come.
King Crescent was named after RCMP Constable Thomas Brian King. This brave officer worked out of the Warman Detachment and sadly was killed in the line of duty on the evening of Tuesday, April 25, 1978. Constable King will always be remembered as a true gentleman who was honest, ethical and always willing to go out of his way to help his fellow community members.
These two streets were named after Warman’s first elementary school principal Mr. Gowan. Mr. Gowan and his wife were dedicated to the community and spent much of their time working to benefit its residents.
This street is named after a treasured community resident, who still resides in the community today. Gord Thompson was a long time Fire Chief of the Warman Fire Department who spent much of his time forming and volunteering with numerous organizations such as the Warman Golf Club, the Warman Curling Club, the Lions Club and the Warman Crusaders. Thompson and his wife Norma raised their family in Warman where they worked hard to give their children shining examples of community spirit. Gord is a true champion of Warman and our community has benefited in so many ways from all of his work.
Collins Street is the most recent street to be named after long time Warman High School principal Michael Collins. Michael was instrumental in forming partnerships within the community that not only enhanced student learning but the community growth as well. His work within the community has been embedded into the fabric of Warman and we as residents will be forever grateful.
This street was named after Ron Martens who was a long time Town Councillor in Warman. This savvy businessman also spent much of his time involved with many community organizations such as the Lions Club. Today, Ron is still involved in the community where he is an active member of the Knights of Columbus organization.
Boehr Avenue is named after Elmer and Nettie Boehr, long time Warman residents. Through their involvement with the Warman Fire Department where Elmer was the Fire Chief for many years, numerous committees, the church and Nettie’s piano lessons with the youth, this couple contributed so much and were tremendous cheerleaders for Warman.
This crescent is also named after one of the early families in Warman. Mr. Dan McNevin was a dispatcher and agent for CNR station in the early 1900s. He and his wife and their house full of daughters were very active in the community. It was families like the McNevin’s that were pillars in the community as they were always willing to lend a hand to anyone who asked in the especially hard times of the 1900s.
Klassen Street is a street that has remained somewhat of a mystery in our community as no one is certain of who this street was actually named after (If you do know let us know!). It is rumored that this street was named after Corny Klassen, who was very active in the community along with his wife Linda and children. Corny was involved in many committees in the community including the golf course, the curling rink and the arena. Corny’s dedication to his community was so influential that today his daughter Sharon Doell continues the family tradition of being involved in the community.
I am curious after reading through this list if you were aware of any of the residents listed above? Warman is so fortunate to have such a wonderful community of residents who have played a big part in Warman’s success, growth, and vibrancy.
Street naming is just one ways we can show appreciation for the efforts of long serving volunteers and community members in Warman. If you know someone who should be honoured in this way please send the City of Warman a full description of the community recipient and their achievements. This information will be reviewed by the Warman Street Naming Committee for future use.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse from our rich history. We are so lucky to have the fabric of our community made up of such incredible individuals.
“Help others and give something back. I guarantee that you will discover that while public service improves the lives and world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring into your own life.” - Unknown