|Volunteer firefighters battle the fire at the Leask Hotel, Feb. 9, 2011.|
Photo by Derril Rogerson, Saskatchewan Valley News
At 3:00 AM on February 9, 2011, Ed Musich, the owner and manager of the Leask Hotel, woke up to the sound of his smoke alarm. He barely had time to escape the hotel in his stocking feet before the 99-year-old hotel burned to the ground. “It was an older building, one of our originals,” said Murray Donohue, volunteer firefighter. “Lots of dry wood, layers of paint and varnish ... when it went up, it went up like a Roman candle.”
The Windsor Hotel
|Hotel Windsor, c. 1914. From A Lasting Legacy; Leask and Districts, 1990.|
In 1942, Emil and Marie retired and moved to Chilliwack, B.C., and their son George and his wife Mildred took over the Windsor Hotel. Another son, John Cuelenaere, born in the Duck Lake hotel, and raised in the hotel at Leask, practiced law in Prince Albert for 30 years. He was the mayor of PA for eleven years and was elected to the Saskatchewan legislature as a Liberal member for Shellbrook in 1964. He served as the Minister of Natural Resources in the Thatcher government. The youngest son, Marcel Cuelenaere served as a wing commander during the Second World War. As a result of his war tours, Marcel was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Marcel became a lawyer, joining the Diefenbaker and Cuelenaere law firm, and later the law practice of John Macklem in Prince Albert.
Original owners of the Windsor Hotel, Emil and Marie Cuelenaere, n.d.
From A Lasting Legacy; Leask and Districts, 1990.
|L to R: Emile Cuelenaere with his sons John, George and Marcel in front of the Windsor Hotel, 1955||. Image source|
|Hotel Windsor, c. 1965. Image source|
© Joan Champ, 2011
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