WEYBURN – Lieutenant-Governor Russ Mirasty paid a double homage to heritage and history on Saturday, during his official visit to Weyburn to attend a High Tea event.
Organized by Weyburn Tourism, the Lieutenant-Governor was invited ostensibly for the celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, but also to honour a piece of Weyburn’s heritage, the Charlie Wilson Silver Collection at the Soo Line Historical Museum.
The original plans were for the High Tea to be held inside a large tent on the museum grounds, with a pancake breakfast, bouncy houses and face-painting offered, along with free tours of the museum. Strong winds rose up overnight Friday and into Saturday morning, making it impossible to do the event outdoors.
The tent was blown down, so the High Tea was moved over to Weyburn’s Credit Union Spark Centre, while the breakfast, bouncy houses and face-painting were cancelled.
Free tours of the museum were still offered, and Lt.-Gov. Mirasty and his wife Donna, along with a number of dignitaries and organizers, took a tour of the museum after the High Tea, focusing on the Charlie Wilson collection.
The Lieutenant-Governor and his wife were led in to the Legacy Park gym by his aide, former Weyburn deputy police chief Rod Stafford, and O Canada was sung by the Variations community choir.
Lt.-Gov. Mirasty was impressed by the choir’s rendition of the national anthem, which he mentioned in his opening remarks to the gathered group for the High Tea.
“Weyburn is certainly rich in community spirit,” he said. “Having history and heritage is important. We were to be at the museum today … Charlie Wilson understood history, and that heritage was important. He generously left his entire collection to the museum, which we will be happy to see.”
He added that arts and crafts, history and heritage all play an important vital role to the community and province, and noted that this event was to pay tribute to an important milestone of history, the 70th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
“As the Queen’s representative, it’s my privilege to bring greetings to you on her behalf. What an incredible role model of hard work and commitment to the people of the Commonwealth,” said Lt.-Gov. Mirasty.
Education minister and Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA Dustin Duncan brought greetings on behalf of the provincial government, and also paid tribute to the Queen’s years of dedication and duty in her role as the monarch.
He noted the province was honouring her with a Platinum Jubilee medal, and nominations are being accepted from the residents of the province to honour those who have contributed to the province and her communities.
Duncan said there are two great historical aspects the Lieutenant-Governor should know about Weyburn, one as the home of author W.O. Mitchell, writer of “Who Has Seen the Wind”, and the other for being known as the “Opportunity City”, and formerly the “Hospitality Capital of Saskatchewan”, as the city extended its hospitality to welcome him and his wife to visit them.
“We are delighted to have you today among us,” said Duncan.
Mayor Marcel Roy also remarked on the Queen’s jubilee, noting the many changes she had seen over her 70 years as the Monarch, going through wars and upheavals during that time.
He noted when she was crowned as Queen in 1952, the filming of her coronation was rushed onto a plane and flown to Canada, so the next day CBC showed the film of her coronation ceremony on TV.
“Weyburn has seen a lot of changes too through those times,” said Mayor Roy. “Welcome to Weyburn.”
Coun. Dan Cugnet spoke on behalf of the RM of Weyburn, and noted the Weyburn area has many people and cultures represented, “which is wonderful to see.”
He added that in his view, the greatest attribute of the area’s residents is that of volunteerism, noting the volunteers helping with this event, including members of the Weyburn Rotary Club on hand to serve the tea and dainties to each table.
“I truly believe that is our greatest strength, that’s our best attribute, our volunteerism,” said Cugnet.
A gift of a glass wheat sculpture was presented to Lieutenant-Governor Mirasty by Ryan Janke, on behalf of the Young Fellows Club of Weyburn, as they were the title sponsor for the event.
Following the High Tea, residents were invited to greet the Lieutenant-Governor and his wife before they left and had a tour of the Soo Line Museum, and a number had their photos taken with the couple.