Edna Thorsen’s Saskatchewan Roughriders sign as it was placed before it was stolen earlier this month. -image credit: Photo contributed

Rough ride for Roughriders fan

Treasured sign stolen from Sunnybrae fan of the Saskatchewan football team

From the green flag emblazoned with the iconic white “S” logo flying above the front yard to the brightly painted lawn gnome by the door, it is clear to anyone approaching Edna Thorsen’s Sunnybrae home that she has a passion for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Thorsen’s impressive collection of Roughriders memorabilia includes everything from salt and pepper shakers and mugs to coats and blankets but the centrepiece of the collection was stolen earlier this month.

Thorsen’s handmade illuminated Roughriders sign went missing from her front yard sometime on Oct. 5 or 6. The sign is special to her both because of the team it represents and the hard work which went into making it.

“They crawled up the stupid bank and pulled the plug out. They could’ve left it there and we all could have enjoyed it; no one can enjoy it now,” Thorsen said with tears in her eyes.

The sign was made of a four by six-foot sheet of plywood and lit by strings of green Christmas lights. The white S and the sheaves of wheat on the sign were expertly carved out of separate sheets of plywood and attached by Peter Berger, a friend of Thorsen’s who is a retired cabinet maker. In the photographs Thorsen has of the sign, it is seen by the side of Sunybrae-Canoe point Road, brightly lit with its impressive 3D effect on display.

Berger has also been helping to look out for Thorsen as her husband died seven years ago and she has since suffered a stroke.

Thorsen and Berger worked on the sign for many hours last winter before she was finally able to hang it up in the spring. She had just traded the string of clear bulbs on the “S” for an external floodlight, achieving the look she had dreamed of, when the sign was stolen.

The disappearance of the sign is especially disturbing for Thorsen because she says nothing has ever gone missing from her yard in the quiet Sunnybrae neighbourhood.

“I’m not even afraid to leave my doors unlocked, really, but I am now,” she said.

Thorsen’s history with the Roughriders goes back decades. She grew up in Paddockwood Saskatchewan, but really became a fan of the team when she moved to Sunnybrae with her husband in 1996.

Although she has never seen the Riders live, Thorsen is a die-hard fan who says she remained excited watching the young and rebuilding team as they struggled early in the season and is now even more invested as they have achieved an 8-6 record putting them in third place in the west.

She says she watches most of the Roughriders games at Berger’s house now as she doesn’t have cable, and alarms him by cheering loudly when the team scores.

Her biggest hope for the remainder of the season is a playoff game against the division-leading Calgary Stampeders, which will help to stoke the friendly rivalry between her and her grandson who is a Calgary fan.

Thorsen’s sign, like the rest of her lovingly kept collection of Roughriders curios, is a great source of pride for her and she says she doesn’t see how the thief could possibly display the stolen sign as proudly.

“If you’re a Roughrider you know what pride means. It’s an inner thing. It’s like family, it’s proud, you can’t even explain it,” she said.

For Thorsen, the team and their fans represent perseverance and determination. The players on the field have pulled off numerous last-minute victories while the fans in the stands brave long drives to tough it out through bitterly cold late-fall games at Regina’s outdoor stadium.

Thorsen said she is still holding out hope that whoever took the sign will be influenced by their conscience to return it.

“I hope he drops it off, I went out there yesterday to take a peek and see if he got guilty.”

Thorsen said she would just be grateful to have the sign lighting up her yard again, but whether she gets it back or not, her Rider pride shines bright.

Just Posted

Holiday Train rolls through the Shuswap

Hundreds of people have gathered in Sicamous, Canoe and Salmon Arm for… Continue reading

Charges in car wash shooting stalled

Court waits for police watchdog report on Salmon Arm incident.

Bear spray used in tenant dispute

Salmon Arm RCMP responding to Tappen home invasion find occupants sprayed in repllent

Vehicles damaged, no serious injuries

Police respond to collision at TCH and McLeod Street

UPDATE: Minor injuries received in three-vehicle collision on TCH

UPDATE: Two people were sent to hospital with minor injuries following a… Continue reading

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15- to 19-year-olds, including one in Vernon

Lions party proceeds benefit Safe House

Remembrance Day at the Sorrento Memorial Hall was a full house again… Continue reading

Monarch mural for downtown building

Workers stand on a lift to install butterfly sculptures on the Monarch… Continue reading

Column: The close-knit community of Cherryville

By Jim Cooperman, Observer contributor Nestled beneath the foothills of the Monashee… Continue reading

Most Read