The many accomplishments of Ray and Doris Frehlick were celebrated by many on Nov. 16. The Estevan city council, and an assortment of people who’ve worked with the Frehlicks in business and community involvements, came to give the couple accolades for their many achievements, on many levels, from involvement in sports boards and community fundraising, to excellence in conducting business in the oil and gas industry.
Barry Bridges, an Estevan lawyer, spoke extensively to guests at a lunch event held in the lobby of Affinity Place, about the accomplishments credited to the Frehicks over the years.
Bridges congratulated them for their recent induction of Prairie Mud + Chemical Service into the Saskatchewan Business Hall of Fame at the Association of Business Excellence (ABEX) awards. Bridges also spoke of Ray Frehlick’s many business successes, with the assortment of businesses he has started and owned in Canada and the U.S., including his most successful and familiar local business, Prairie Mud.
Bridges looked back on the history of the Frehlick family’s community involvement through their business work, noting that Ray and Doris started a number of other businesses, such as a laundromat and dry cleaning operation in Estevan, motivated by any need they saw in the community, and a willingness to provide for that need. Bridges added that the Frehlick family also participates in another of Estevan’s major industries running successful agricultural operations with both livestock and grain.
“Ray and Doris’ efforts were not all directed at business either. Ray has been a member of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce and they’re active with the Estevan Chamber of Commerce, and Ray is involved in the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, and the Estevan Oilfield Technical Society, along with many other business and organizations,” he said.
Bridges spoke about the extensive community involvement of the family, noting that Ray has been involved with minor hockey, baseball, and was integral in his efforts to support significant sporting events like the Saskatchewan Summer Games and the Western Canada Cup.
Ray also received accolades for his contributions in the construction and improvement of countless pieces of local infrastructure, such as Affinity Place, Frehlick Hall and St. Joseph’s Hospital, and received thanks for the fundraising he has recently done for the construction of the new Estevan Nursing Home.
“Ray put into practice the belief that everyone needs to do their part for the good of our community, our province and our country,” said Bridges. “Whether it’s business, or community organizations, Ray has a saying I like to repeat: ‘It takes leaders.’”
A grateful Ray Frehlick spoke of how necessary it is for the Canadian oil industry to prevail through the approval of pipelines, saying that it is a necessary step in the slow recovery in the value of the price per barrel of oil, and the industry as a whole.
Frehlick also fondly of his past community efforts, celebrating the amount of money the new arena fundraisers he participated in were able to raise.
“This city is very fortunate to have the community support to have a facility like (Affinity Place). One that is first class, universal and accessible to everybody,” said Frehlick. “There aren’t many other in Alberta or Saskatchewan that compare to this facility.’
Ray emphasized the necessity of the volunteer spirit he has sought to exemplify in all his work, noting that there has been a decline in the presence of volunteers over the years, and that such a trend must be reversed.
“There are a lot of of great organizations like the Legion, and the Elks that do so much for communities, that can’t find volunteers, and it’s going to hurt our communities. I hope everyone steps up for any organization. Volunteer your time,” said Frehlick. “We’ve got the best community in the province. Let’s make this province the best in the country. We can all do it together.”