Service Awards

Each year, Municipalities of Saskatchewan’s Board of Directors recognizes individuals from across the province who have demonstrated a commitment to outstanding service in the municipal field.

The Board accepts nominations from communities and councils throughout the province. The individuals nominated are considered the most deserving of recognition for their outstanding service to their communities.

Municipalities of Saskatchewan was proud to honour these individuals at the 2021 Virtual Convention and Tradeshow for their outstanding contributions to the development and prosperity of our communities and urban governments in Saskatchewan. 

MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD

Meritorious service awards are granted to municipal staff members with 20 or more years of service. It recognizes their career success, dedication, and involvement in their local communities.

Calvin Baran
Town of Lemberg
28 years

Calvin grew up in Lemberg, and after some gentle persistence from a local resident to join the Lemberg Fire Department, Calvin finally agreed. That was 28 years ago. Calvin continues to attend practices and live calls with the in-town department and local rural municipality. Calvin works for a local liquid fertilizer supplier and also volunteers throughout the community.

 

Leeann Hitchens
Town of Lemberg
24 years

Leeann lives on an acreage just outside Lemberg with her husband Grant, where they raised their children, Adam, Melanie, and Daniel. She works as an Early Childhood Educator. Leeann has volunteered for over 30 years in the community, starting at the local library, teaching the summer reading program and babysitting course. She has also been a part of teaching the Hunter’s Safety course, has served as a Scout leader and is the founder of the Get Outdoors Club. In 1997, Leeann joined the Prairie First Responders group serving Lemberg and area. The reason she volunteers is to give back to the community.

 

Glen Michael
Town of Lemberg
41 years

Glen joined the Lemberg and District Fire Department on Feb. 19, 1980. He was nominated Fire Chief on Jan. 18, 1982, where he served until Dec. 13, 1995. He remained on the Fire Department and was again nominated as Fire Chief on Dec. 15, 1996.  Glen continued to serve as Fire Chief until Dec. 16, 1998. Glen was an active member of the Lemberg and District Fire Department for 32 years in total, 15 of those as Chief. He retired from the department on Dec. 31, 2012 but continues to help out when needed.

Glen trained as a First Responder in 1997 and continues to volunteer his time in this capacity.

 

Dan Scheirer
Town of Lemberg
27 years

Dan Scheirer has been a member of the Lemberg Fire Department since 1994. He and his wife of 33 years, Arlene, have been blessed with 3 children and 7 grandchildren. Dan has been an active volunteer in the town of Lemberg for many years. His activities include sitting on the Trinity Lutheran church council, serving as a member of the Lemberg Inter-Church Choir, acting with the adult drama group for over 15 years, and acting as a supervisor/river guide on the Churchill River for local schools. 

 

Brian Starkell
Town of Nipawin
25 years

Former Chief Brian Starkell joined the Godette, SK Fire Service in 1976, moving to the Nipawin Fire Department as Safety Officer in 1994. Brian served as Fire Chief in Nipawin from 2010 to 2019.

Brian served on the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs and on their Public Education and Fire Inspector's divisions. He is an ambassador for the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association and a board member of the Canadian Fallen Firefighter Foundation.

Brian was the 2012 recipient of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brian is a licensed funeral director and member of the Nipawin Lions’ Club. He is married to Stacey and they have three children and three grandchildren.

 

Stacey Vik
Town of Nipawin
20 years

Stacey and his wife Carole have two children, Jessica and Jared.

Stacey enjoys the camaraderie of the Fire Department and takes great pride in the role he plays in keeping the residents of Nipawin safe.

In his spare time Stacey enjoys spending time with his family, working in his yard, and both pedal biking and motocross.

Stacey is very proud that his son Jared is also a member of the Nipawin Fire Department. Jared began as a junior firefighter and has since become a full member of the Department.

HONORARY SERVICE AWARD

Honorary service awards are granted to elected officials throughout the province with 20 or more years of service. It recognizes their long‑term dedication to, and involvement in, their local communities.

 

Joe Berlinger
Town of Goodsoil
21 years

Joe was first elected to council in 1988. Over the years served, he has represented the community as a board member for the Goodsoil Museum, Lions Club and the Beaver River Healthcare Foundation. As a business owner and an elected representative, Joe has been an important part of Goodsoil and area for many years. His leadership and expertise will be missed around the council table.

 

Daryl Fingas
Town of Rocanville
29 years

Daryl was first elected to council in 1991 as a councillor and served three terms before accepting the nomination for mayor, a position he held from 2000 until his retirement in November 2020.

He has attended and promoted many progressive motions at Municipality of Saskatchewan’s Conventions.

Daryl constantly works on a volunteer basis to enhance the quality of life in Rocanville. He is known as Mr. Skating Rink for the hours he has spent ensuring the facilities are ready for use.

Daryl took it upon himself to re-paint the town logo, Rocanville's oil can - the largest in the world - with no assistance from anyone.

 

Herbert MacDonald
Town of Lemberg
32 years

Herb moved to Lemberg to assume the role of grain buyer with Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, where he worked for 34 years before retiring. Driving school bus for the last 21 years, Herb continues to enjoy children including his 26 grand and great grandchildren. Not only has Herb spent 32 years on town council, including 12 as mayor and 20 as councillor, Herb has volunteered with many organizations including the hall board, Lemberg and District Lions’ Club, Lemberg Lions Branch 069, Lemberg Pentecostal Church and Balcarres Senior Housing.  A lifelong volunteer, Herb has had his wife of 53 years by his side throughout. 

 

John (Jack) Purves
Village of Goodsoil
32 years

Jack was first elected to council in 1975. Having spent 15 years as councilor and 17 years as mayor he has been a part of many projects and events in Goodsoil. A founding member of the Northwest Regional Waste Management Authority and the Beaver River HealthCare Foundation, as well as a board member for Enterprise Saskatchewan, the Regional Economic Development Authority (REDA) and the North of Divide Community Association (NODCA), among countless others; Jack has been an important part of the community for many years and his leadership will be missed during his well-deserved retirement.

 

SCOOP LEWRY AWARD

The Scoop Lewry Award was donated by L.H. “Scoop” Lewry, long-time Mayor of Moose Jaw and SUMA President in 1956-57. This award, first presented in 1975, is dedicated to his memory. Scoop dedicated his career to improving his community with a kind and humanitarian spirit.
It is presented to an elected official, administrator, Municipalities of Saskatchewan official, personnel in the Ministry of Government Relations, or personnel in First Nations and Métis Relations who has demonstrated a higher standard for public engagement and outstanding contribution to the field of municipal politics through outstanding service in the local, provincial, and federal context, volunteer work and improvement in their communities, and serving on numerous boards and committees.

 

2021 Scoop Lewry Recipient                                                                    Malcolm Eaton
Former Mayor of Humboldt

Malcolm and his wife Carol live in Humboldt and have raised a family of five children in the community over the past 25 years. In 2006, Malcolm retired after a 34 year career as a teacher and school principal. He continues to teach as a substitute teacher in the industrial arts program at the Humboldt Collegiate.

A true community pillar as both a school principal and a dedicated volunteer, Malcolm was well-known throughout Humboldt before he made his entrance into politics in 2003 by securing a seat at the councillor’s table. In 2006, he successfully ran for Mayor and held that position for three consecutive terms before retiring from that position in 2016.

The move into politics was a natural one; an extension on the community involvement that Malcolm knew so well from both his employment as a teacher and then principal and being involved in the activities of his children, from coaching to Girl Guides to spending time on the library board. Once he entered the realm of politics, Malcom carried his sense of dedication and commitment to the community to his new roles. He and his council maintained a vision of forward growth and progression for the City, while ensuring as much community feedback and involvement as possible.

During his time as mayor, Malcolm guided the city through a period of significant growth and development. The Humboldt region is one of Saskatchewan’s economic hot spots with a strong agricultural sector along with a significant manufacturing and mining industry presence. Humboldt is the regional service centre. The city undertook a range of planning for growth activities in anticipation of increased population and expanding business interests. These activities included establishing both short term and long term land development planning, strategic planning, financial planning and regional planning initiatives.

Plenty of big things happened during his political career, but some of the projects Malcolm is most proud of helping to move forward were the creation of a new hospital and the building of a new high school and community college, connected to the City’s recreational facilities. The location of the new build led to shared use agreements that saw a great number of positive developments for both. Many upgrades were done to those facilities as well, in particular to Elgar Peterson Arena, to ensure that the recreational facilities will continue to serve the City well for another 25-30 years. Adding a wheelchair ramp and wheelchair accessible washrooms to that building made it even more accessible.

Malcolm was also very supportive of the development of the city’s art gallery, which won a Municipal Award, and proudly cut the ribbon at the unveiling of the Our Humboldt Mosaic. He was very proud of the “Our Humboldt” growth plan.

Malcolm is a firm believer in teamwork and the importance of working together for the common good, values he brought to his time on both the Municipalities of Saskatchewan, then known as SUMA, and Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) boards. During his time on the Municipalities of Saskatchewan Board, Malcolm served as both the chair of the City Mayor’s Caucus (CMC) and Vice President of Cities.

Malcolm was the CMC chair during the time period when SUMA’s advocating led to the government introducing the Revenue Sharing Program, which continues to benefit Saskatchewan’s municipalities today. He was also involved in the creation of the advocacy fund, which took a portion of membership funds and funneled it directly into important advocacy work, moving Saskatchewan’s hometown’s ahead with additional research and projects.

Also on a provincial level, Malcolm was a founding member of the Prairie Innovation Enterprise Region and served as chairman of PIER in its early formation. When the Enterprise Region system ended, the city of Humboldt was pleased to join the newly formed Mid Sask Municipal Alliance (MSMA), a regional municipal planning and economic development partnership. Malcolm served as the city of Humboldt representative on the board for four years.

Malcolm continues to serve the community in volunteer roles and was honoured to receive the 2017 Humboldt Citizen of the Year award at the Humboldt and District Chamber of Commerce Awards of Excellence event.

In spite of an impressive number of accolades and accomplishments, Malcolm stresses that he was simply lucky to be part of a group of people who were able to come together to make big things happen. As is our theme for Convention this year – Malcolm says, and is correct, that are stronger together.

LIFE MEMBERSHIP AWARD

The Life Membership Award is granted by the Municpalities of Saskatchewan Board of Directors and recognizes an indivdiaul whose career exemplifies commitment and dedication to the community and significant contributions to urban government in Saskatchewan through the Municpalities of Saskatchewan.

 

2021 Life Membership Award Recipient 

Al Heron                                  Former Mayor of Eston

Al’s philosophy has always been “What can I do to help my community?” That’s what inspired him to get involved in municipal governance, and later, Municipalities of Saskatchewan.

Al first arrived in the community of Eston in 1952. Work took him away from the community, but even when he and his wife Claire moved to B.C., he couldn’t shake his prairie roots. In 2000, the two moved back to Eston permanently. Not long after moving back, Al was asked to fill a vacancy on town council. He filled the role of councillor for a term and a half before running for mayor. Al ran four times for the position of mayor, each time being acclaimed to the position.  

As mayor, Al saw the community of Eston grow. One of his proudest projects on council was an upgrade of the water treatment plant in partnership with the Town of Kindersley. He is also proud of the community’s recreation facilities. Which makes sense since Al worked as a Sports and Recreation Consultant with the provincial government and was involved in the Saskatchewan Games, Winter Games, and Western Canada Games

Al was instrumental in initiating the Eston River Trek, a 40 mile walk to raise money for the community’s recreation complex. Over 15 years, the Trek raised more than $230,000. In Eston, if there was a fundraiser, Al was more than likely involved. And we’re not talking your typical fundraisers. To raise money for a new electrolyte machine for the health centre, Al came up with the idea for The Real Men of Eston Calendar. We couldn’t find the calendar, but somewhere out there is a picture of Al riding an antique snowmobile in only his snow boots and wristwatch.

Whether it’s wearing only snow boots and a wristwatch for a fundraiser or wearing pink to bring awareness to anti-bullying, Al has always worked in the best interest of his community. In 2013, Eston became one of the first municipalities to pass an antibullying bylaw. The bylaw has been adapted in other municipalities, and it was recognized with a Saskatchewan Municipal Award.

Al saw the Municipalities of Saskatchewan Board, SUMA at the time, as another opportunity to help his community and the surrounding area as it gave him a direct connection with provincial decision makers. During his time on the Board Al saw the creation of SUMAssure. Launched in 2009, the program was designed to shield subscribers from large rate increases.

Al also represented Municipalities of Saskatchewan on the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency.

For Al, one of the most important aspects of being on the Board is the long-term friendships it fostered. When Eston experienced a storm that severely damaged the community, causing thousands in damage, Al received calls from Board members offering help.

While Al has retired from municipal politics, I know he will continue to make Eston an even better place to call home