ESTEVAN - For the first time in his tenure, Saskatchewan’s lieutenant-governor was able to make a public appearance in Estevan.
Russell Mirasty came to the Energy City on Saturday for the Vimy Ridge presentation organized by Craig Bird, founder of the Southeast Military Museums. Mirasty is the honorary patron for the museums and came away impressed with what he heard and saw.
“It was very detailed,” said Mirasty. “I was surprised with a couple of things there that I never knew about, so it was very informative.”
He noted that he wasn’t aware the Canadian military went to such lengths to prepare the troops for the assault to dislodge the Germans from the ridge, which was a key strategic point in northeast France.
“It was amazing the amount of work and detail that they went through to prepare,” said Mirasty. “And it seemed to really be an important factor in terms of how they were able to achieve their goals.”
This marked the first time that Mirasty has seen the military museums and the collection of memorabilia that is contained at the Royal Canadian Legion’s Estevan branch. Additional items are located at Bird’s farm outside of the city. He didn’t expect to find so many artifacts.
“Most Canadians, we don’t realize that people are out there who are so dedicated to make sure that these artifacts, these stories are being collected so that at the end of the day we don’t forget,” said Mirasty.
He is the honorary patron for approximately 70 different organizations in the province, so he does his best to support them in some way, such as by appearing at events and taking an interest in their work. But none of them would be an organization quite like the museums.
He was also impressed with the Estevan legion branch.
“It’s not very often that you see legions of this size. The facility, I was quite surprised, is quite large, and I’d say, quite active, so that’s a positive,” said Mirasty.
Mirasty said he didn’t want to miss the Vimy presentation because he hasn’t been able to be in Estevan since becoming the lieutenant-governor. Most of his work would be attending public events and interacting with people and recognizing people for what they do. It couldn’t happen during the restrictions associated with COVID-19.
“We stayed in contact the best we could, like everybody else, through technology, but it’s not the same and it’s nice to get out,” said Mirasty.
Last fall there was a lull in the restrictions that allowed him to get out to communities. Most of their work was happening virtually. It has forced him to use technology and make the best of it to ensure he didn’t lose complete connection with people in communities.
Prior to the pandemic, he was busy with his responsibilities. And he’s looking forward to meeting Saskatchewan people for the remainder of his term, which is scheduled to expire in July 2024.