Editorial — June 25, 2014

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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If you’re looking to save a building in Prince Albert, you may want to recruit Doyle Ironstand.

The Prince Albert Kenshukan Judo Club coach gave an impassioned defence of his facility to council on Monday evening.

“Through the practice of judo, our students not only learn the sports aspect, but above all, a deeper sense of well-being and a determination to become good role models and good people overall,” Ironstand told council.

The city’s Judo Club building is another civic facility up for review, with administration warning tenants that it faces potential closure as early as next year.

No one has yet been ordered to vacate the premises of either building yet, but they have been forewarned that it is a possibility, depending upon what council decides.

We also heard passion from the folks who are hoping to save the Margo Fournier Centre, but there was one major difference.

The judo club pays for most of the costs associated with running to the building through fundraising efforts and rentals.

The judo mats also host local law enforcement personnel and a local Jiu Jitsu club.

“With the exception of two or three repairs made to the old heating system and a leaking roof repair, this building has cost the City of Prince Albert very little over the past 30-plus years,” Ironstand said.

In fact, the city’s cost to run the building is only a couple thousand dollars per year.

At that price, and with the obvious buy-in of the building’s primary user, it will be hard for council to close the building.

And it should be because the club appears to deliver more than just martial arts skills.

Ironstand noted that his students are taught more than a sport. Students must also follow the moral code of judo, which includes courtesy, courage, sincerity, honour, modesty, respect, self-control and friendship.

“Through the practice of judo, our students not only learn the sports aspect, but above all, a deeper sense of well-being and a determination to become good role models and good people overall,” Ironstand told council.

It’s a message that the club has been delivering in the city since 1967 and in that building at 2951 First Ave. W. since 1981.

It would be a different story entirely if the building was in desperate need of a major overhaul that would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

And that day will inevitably come, as it does with all older buildings.

But for now, with a club willing to carry most of the costs and providing a public service to many in Prince Albert, the city would be wrong to even consider closing the building.

 

Prince Albert Daily Herald

Organizations: Prince Albert, Margo Fournier Centre, Daily Herald

Geographic location: Prince Albert

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