UNITY/WILKIE — A number of area residents were honoured with Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medals at a special presentation held at the Western Development Museum Jan. 19. The list of local individuals follows (in alphabetical order), along with the commendations leading to their recognition.
Miguel Fenrich, Wilkie Area, for contributions in the field of business and commerce
Miguel volunteers and serves on four Saskatchewan Boards: Saskbooks, the Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild, BTEC and Concern for Youth. In March 2022, he started a publishing company, Supernova Press, in the Battlefords and is an author who just published his first book “Blue.” Miguel has been working on a second book which has since been since released on Jan. 13, “What Lies in the Valley.” Miguel also works as a reporter for the Battlefords Regional News-Optimist and frequently engages with local non-profits, groups and organizations to help preserve their stories in history.
Eugene Hartter, Wilkie, for contributions in the field of volunteer service
Eugene has been part of the Wilkie community his whole life. Eugene was a volunteer firefighter for many years, a Rural Municipal Councillor for two different municipalities for 13 years, he represented Council on the Wilkie Rural Fire Association (Chair), the Wilkie Recreation Board (Chair), RCMP Advisory Committee and Wilkie Library Board. Eugene joined the Wilkie Elks Lodge #568 in 1984; he has held every position in the Wilkie Lodge and served as Lodge Secretary for many years. He is now in his 25th year as a district representative. Provincially, Eugene served as chair of the drug awareness program known as DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), and took on this role for a decade, working with RCMP and schools to help run the program. In his 40th year as an Elks member, having served on the local lodge executive and with the provincial Elks, Eugene now has a national post. For the next five years, Eugene will serve in various chairs with the hope of being grand exalted ruler of the Elks of Canada (national president).
David Kemp, Wilkie, for contributions in the field of health care
David Kemp served the community of Wilkie for 36 years as a general practitioner. David is the longest serving Doctor ever in Wilkie. David has seen many changes in rural health care over the years. The biggest reward that David had in his medical career was the role that he played in keeping people healthy and progressing patients back to good health. David retired in December 2022. With a career spanning over five decades, we thank David for his 36-plus years of service to Wilkie, his commitment to health care and the community.
Dusan Maljan, Unity, for contributions in the field of business and commerce
Dusan gave 63 years as a shoe cobbler to the community of Unity. From 1958 to 2022, a remarkable six decades and some, Dusan had been a part of Unity’s business community. He raised his family in Unity and made hundreds of friends through his business. Customers came from nearby farming communities, Luseland, Wilkie, Cut Knife, Kerrobert and Macklin. Dusan always had a smile on his face. Dusan loved the people, he loved what he did and he enjoyed the stories that were told over the years. At 88 years of age, Dusan retired in 2022.
Isaiah Mamer, Wilkie, for contributions in the field of volunteer service
Isaiah won Junior Citizen of the Year in Wilkie – March 2022. Isaiah is a multi-sport athlete – volleyball, basketball, curling, badminton, and track and field. Isaiah volunteered as a minor official, linesman, keeping score and being a vocal cheerleader for teams. Isaiah coached junior volleyball and basketball. He was an active member of his school SLC and Charity in Action (a group of students who visit Bethany and Poplar Courts and do snow removal for seniors), calling bingos, working bottle drives, tournament booths, was an Altar Server for St. James Parish, active member of the youth group, mowed the lawn and shoveled snow at the church.
Mercedez Tate, Unity, for contributions in the field of reconciliation
Mercedez Tate, a Plains Cree Woman, recent graduate of Unity Composite High School and a member of the Poundmaker Cree Nation, on Treaty 6 territory has written poetry encouraging reconciliation through reflection into intergenerational trauma and life on the reserve; as well as missing murdered indigenous women and girls. Two of Mercedez’s poems that have been published are entitled “Have you Seen My Sister” and “Where the Wild Kids Are.” Mercedez’s goal has been to start conversations about the issues and challenges that native women face.
Brian Woytiuk, Unity, contributions in the field of volunteer service
Brian was named Unity’s Citizen of the Year in 2018. Brian was a Unity Lions Club member for six years, he helped to organize Citizens on Patrol. He is President of Unity Miners Sr. Hockey Club. Brian has also been a part of the Unity District Chamber of Commerce, and the Unity Facilities Committee – helping raise money for the swimming pool – and the Unity Golf Club. Brian has been an active member on the Unity Western Days committee. Brian has instilled volunteerism in his family. Brian loves the community of Unity!
Richard Young, Unity, for contributions in the field of fire/rescue/EMS services (not present at ceremony)
Richard has been working as a frontline worker for many years. He started his career as a firefighter and first responder in 1990. He ended his firefighter career in 2013, at that time he was a captain and a Level 1 fire instructor. EMS then became Richard’s passion. He worked in many different services and in many different Health regions, including Heartland (Unity) in the mid 90s. He was an EMT, then EMT-A, then took his ICP upgrade. Richard worked in the Prairie North Health Region in the following services: WPD (North Battleford), Rosthern, St. Walburg, Maidstone and Cut Knife. Richard continues to work as a casual employee for Cut Knife and Maidstone. Richard has shown that he truly loves to help people.
Larry Doke, for contributions to the field of politics
While he does not live in the Press-Herald reading area, Larry Doke is no stranger to residents.
Larry served as the MLA for the Cut Knife Turtleford Constituency for nine years. Larry served in Cabinet as Minister of Government Relations and Minister responsible for First Nations, Metis and Northern Affairs. Larry served as a member of the SaskBuilds Corporation Board, a member of Treasury Board and the Public Accounts Committee, the Standing Committee on the Economy and as Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Highways. Larry’s highlight was his involvement with the Pacific North West Economic Region, which he served on since 2013, including one year as President of that organization. All together, Larry has served for 30 years in municipal and provincial politics, ending his term as an MLA in October 2020. Today, Larry is the mayor of the Resort Village of Metinota.
Donald Schille, son of former Wilkie resident Terry Schille, received a Platinum Jubliee Medal from the Province of Alberta, in a ceremony held at Lloydminster, Jan. 15. He was commended as “a leader who is relentless in his efforts to stand up for what is right” and being “instrumental in the organizing of IAFF Local 5182 as the first president. He is the trusted voice of reason, guidance counselor, advocate and friend. His resolute efforts have made his community safer.”