KAMSACK - Thanks to its founders, the late Stan and Betty Clark of Kamsack, the Garden of Saskatchewan (GOS) Citizen Ring Award has been running annually for more than 30 years. Past recipients include individuals who have dedicated outstanding contributions to their community through public service in community groups, and/or local government. Each year, nominations for the GOS Citizen’s Ring Award are received by the award committee, and one person is ultimately chosen as the winner. In honour of the program’s final year, it has been announced that GOS Citizen Rings will be presented to a total of five recipients for the first time in the award’s history.
During a Julian Easter supper on April 24, at the home of Wayne and Marina Sas, the evening resulted in a surprise presentation of not one, but two Garden of Saskatchewan Citizen Rings.
Receiving the first ring, Mike Sas – a Kamsack resident since 1952, was acknowledged for his years of work improving the community and surrounding area.
As an avid, self-taught musician, Mike played in the 53rd Field Militia Band, as well as many years in the Kamsack Orchestra. Mike served as Exalted Ruler of the Elks Club and President of the Kamsack Jaycees. In addition, he served as Vice-President of the provincial Jaycees, and as a senator for the Junior Chamber International.
Mike began his career in Kamsack as an automotive mechanic and was employed in a number of garages. He then worked as a fuel supplier for Imperial Esso, before opening the first wand carwash in town on First Street. Eventually, Mike was hired in the position of manager at a Kamsack lumberyard. With the aid of his wife Sylvia, and some excellent employees, Mike soon turned the business into a going concern. He was recognized for his efforts by being presented with the “Lumberman of the Year” award by the Western Canadian Lumberman’s Association.
Mike's activities were not limited to work in business, as he chaired a number of summer sports days, and was an active member of the committees responsible for the development of the Duck Mountain Ski area in Duck Mountain Provincial Park.
As a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Kamsack, Mike made it his life’s mission to keep the church active in the area, and has served as president of the church executive for a number of years.
One of the best-kept secrets of the evening was revealed when Wayne Sas, Mike’s son, was presented with a second GOS ring in recognition for his many years of serving the town and district. Wayne has become known across Canada as the owner of SasKam Sports, a business he started that has continued to grow and thrive over the years. Wayne is best known for his contributions to various sporting activities in the community, including hockey, baseball, disk frisbee, and golf. Wayne bolstered community development by volunteering for the regional economic committee to help to establish local small businesses, and he and his wife, Marina, have been active on the Kamsack Recreation Board.
Ironically, it has been said that Wayne’s father advised him that businesses involving sports athletics could be ‘very volatile,’ and suggested he go into an industry that was ‘more secure.’ Perhaps that was the only motivation needed to challenge Wayne to become a very successful businessman in Kamsack.
Congratulations to the two very deserving members of the community! Three more GOS Citizen Rings will be announced by the award committee shortly, including an award that will be presented to a high school student who best exemplifies citizenship.