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ArtsCultureHeritage17TuesdayAugust272013ByRENEFRANCOEURAdevastatinglandslideravagedpartoftheSlaveRivershorelineandares-identialsectionofFortSmith45yearsagothismonth.Itwasanaturaldisasterandmonumentaltragedyforthesmalltownsweepingawaythreehousesagreenhouseshedandpartofthepowerplant.ItalsotookonelifeonthatshatteringeveningofAug.91968.KayFergusonwasawomanbelovedbythecom-munityforhertirelessvol-unteeringandcompassion-atepersonalitysaidToniHeronwhowasaneigh-bourand20yearsoldatthetimeofthedisaster.Fergusonwaskilledwhentheearthgaveoutunder-neathherhome.Accord-ingtoanewspaperarticleatthetimeherbodywasfoundunderthewreckage80hourslater.ItchangedalotoflivesHeronthemanageratQueenElizabethCamp-groundinFortSmithsaid.Itchangedthelandscapeofthecommunity.Heronisurgingthecom-munityandtowncounciltodosomethingtohonourFergusonsmemoryandcom-memoratethehorriceventthatleftsuchascar.Itsstillfreshinthemindsofthosewhowerehere.Youstillhavenight-maresofthatday.Itwillneverbeforgottenanditcantbeforgotten...Itshouldbesomethingthatistoldtothenextgenerationbe-causeithappenedhere-ithappenedtousHeronsaid.Whenyougototheriveryouknowsomethingtookplacethere...IhavesomanytouriststhathavequestionsaboutthesteepedgesofthebankandtheresjustalittleblurbaboutthelandslideattheLookout.Thereneedstobemorebecausememoryisinthemindandifitsnotspokenitisforeverforgotten.ForHeronaneyewitnessthelandslideisstillapoi-gnantmemory.Shewasonherwaytotheoldbaseballeldtomeetherhusbandandhadjustturnedthecor-nerintoherparentshousewhensheheardathunder-ousnoiseandturnedtoseetheFergusonhousehaddisappeared.Irememberasifitwasyesterday.Ithadstoppedrainingandwasclearthateveningeverythingseemedsopeacefulshesaid.Isuddenlyheardaloudthudandturnedtoseethepowerlinesswaying.ThinkingBillyBourquemusthavehitatelephonepoleIrantothecornertochecktheroadandsawnothingbutanemptyspace.Iwasshockedandbegantoscream.HeronrantotheedgeofthehillandallthatwasleftoftheFergusonhousewerethestairsleadinguptothefrontdoor.TheFergusondogwasrunningupanddownthestairsinapanicitsanimagethathasstayedwithheralltheseyearsHeronsaid.Isawthegroundgivingwayandthetreesgoingdownliketoothpicks.Itwashor-rible.IfeltsohelplessasIwatchedMr.Fergusonspeedintohisdrivewaygettingoutlookingthengettingbackinandspeedingdowntheroadthatwenttowardsthebottomofthehillshesaid.Afterwardsmanyoftheresidentsalongthebankwererelocatedfromtheun-safeneighbourhoodknownasIndianVillagetoelse-whereintownHeronsaid.ManyofushadcomefromFortFitzgeraldtotheIndianVillage...Itwasahappyplacewithgardensandkidsrunningaroundandmanyberrybushesshesaid.Itwastornapart-childrenwereremovedfromafamil-iarplace-andpeoplewereforcedtomoveagainandstartallover.Therehadbeenaroadgoingdirectlydowntotheriverwhereboatsdockedandoatplaneslanded.YoudneverknowthatallhadbeentherenowbylookingatitHeronsaid.Heronscallforsome-thingtobedoneinmemoryhasnotgoneunheardasseenthroughtheFacebookcommentsonherrecentpostabouttheanniversary.Manysharedtheirownmemoriesofthatdayre-callingthebaseballgamethatwasgoingonandhowtheJonesgardenwasslicedinhalfbytheslide.Shan-nonColemanwasonly4yearsoldbutsaidshere-membersthatdayclearly.WilfredPaulettewhowas8atthetimeandMaryBenwellcommentedhowsaditwastoseetheendofIndianVillagewithneigh-boursscatteredacrossFortSmith.HeronwantedtohaveabarbecueoraleastasmallgatheringattheLookouttorememberthelandslidethisAug.9butwithsomanythingsgoingonandpeo-pleonsummervacationsFortSmithresidentswant1968landslidecommemorationIsawthegroundgivingwayandthetreesgoingdownliketoothpicks.Itwashorrible.ToniHeronnothingpannedoutshesaid.Nextyearshewantstomakesurethatdoesnthap-penagainsoshesonthehuntforinterestedmemberstostartacommitteethatcouldbrainstormideasonthebestwaystocommem-oratethelandslide.ItwouldbegreattohaveabigrockwithaplaqueonittohonourMrs.Fergusonandsymbolizestrengthandfoundation.Alsoabillboardthattellsthestoryofwhathappenedwithphotossetupatthesitewouldbeawe-someHeronsaid.Wedliketheretobeafull-dayeventonAug.9withacom-munityfeastandincorporateakindofFortSmithhome-comingintoitforevery-onewhohasmovedaway.TherecouldbeaCDwithphotosandabookthatsacollectionofpeoplessto-riesandmemoriesfromthelandslide.ButIwanttohearmoreideasfromoth-erstoo.MayorBradBrakesaidheagreesthatsomethingshouldbedone.Ithinkthatifagroupofcommunitymemberscameupwithasuggestionsuchasamonumentoraplaquethatexplainstheeventandcom-memoratesthelossoflifethathappeneditcouldbeenter-tainedbycouncilinitsnextroundofbudgetdeliberationswhichwillbegininthenextmonthorso.ThiswouldallowustobudgetsomefundsforsuchaprojectBrakesaidinanemail.Ifeelthatgiventhesignicanceoftheeventweshouldhavesomeacknowl-edgementofthelandslideasitaffectedtheentiretown.Astowhytherewaszeroactivitythisyeartocelebratethe45thanniversaryBrakesaidnothingformalwasbroughtbeforetowncouncilwithinanappropriatetimespantoplansomething.PhotoscourtesyofJohnDoughertyAgreenhouseteetersontheedgeafterthedevastatinglandslideinFortSmithonAug.91968thattookonelife.TheJonesgardeniscutinhalf.Babysbreathstillgrowingintheareatodayarereminantsfromthegardensthatfelldown.Onlyawallstandsasahousebalancesontheunstableedge.TheoldNTPowerCorp.buildingisalsoruinedbytheslidewhichgobbledupmanyNTPCpipesandequipment.Aviewfromthewestrevealsamountainofslidingsandysoilanddamagebelowincludingashedandfences.TuesdaySept.242013from9a.m.11a.m.CumberlandRoomExplorerHotelYellowknifeWhenWhereForfurtherinformationcontactMarkFenwickat867766-3682.ANNUALGENERALMEETINGoftheEnvironmentalMonitoringAdvisoryBoard