KAMSACK — After a delay of about four years, a Garden of Saskatchewan Citizenship Award was presented last week to Pastor Stephen Ruten of Kamsack.
At a meeting of the Awards committee in 2019, approval was granted for a 2018 Citizenship plaque be awarded to Ruten, who had been nominated by Bonni Harasen, a former resident.
The awards committee has since disbanded, and the amount remaining in the trust account established by the Clark family for the purpose of honouring citizens, has been disbursed.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a couple other interruptions, the award had not been presented as had been planned, said Gwen Young, Harasen’s sister.
Young presented the plaque to Ruten on Oct. 20 during a meeting of his regular Thursday evening prayer group which meets at Young’s Veregin home.
Nominating Ruten in 2018, Harasen said she had “listened to many people comment on what an excellent pastor and friend Stephen had been.
“He seems to go out of his way to help anyone in need,” Harasen said. “This may not have been through various boards, groups or government committees, but as far as the involvement within the community, his character seems to me as one that has left a huge impact on a lot of residents, myself included.”
Harasen said that she had the opportunity of getting to know Ruten during the time of the passing of her nephew Gregory.
“He gave every effort he had to help with Gregory,” she said. “It was at Greg’s funeral that I learned the wisdom and unselfish mannerisms (of Ruten) that so many in the community spoke of.
“Stephen is an excellent nominee because of the large impact he has left with many residents,” Harasen said.
The plaque presented to Ruten says it is in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community.
“Thank you for your years of public service in community groups and local government in your community,” it says. “Service, leadership contribution.”
Surprised to have received the award, Ruten said he is honoured and grateful.