City unveils Don Cody Park to recognize Ward 4 Councillor and former Mayor

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Don Cody and his family unveiled the monument for Don Cody Park on Saturday afternoon.

The City of Prince Albert named the second of two parks after prominent Prince Albert politicians with the unveiling of Don Cody Park on River Street East on Saturday.

The park on River Street East is named for current Ward 4 Coun. Cody, who is also a former Mayor, MLA and cabinet minister in his many years in politics. Cody was honoured to have a park named in recognition of his career.

“It’s just fantastic, really, when you think about the work that goes into being a city councillor, being an MLA, being a cabinet minister and all,” Cody said.

“It’s an honour. It’s a big honour. and to have people recognize that you have done those works, it’s quite appreciated and it’s humbling really.”

Cody wondered why he was chosen when there are countless people who do work and never get recognized. However, he still appreciated the recognition.

“It is fantastic if you think about it, to get something like this done.” Cody said.

Cody served as Mayor of Prince Albert from 1994 until 2003 before being elected as councillor for Ward 4.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Don Cody and his family posed with the monument at Don Cody Park on Saturday afternoon; (L to R) Scott Cody, Don Cody, Joan Cody and Garnet Cody.

Former Provincial Court Judge Stanley Loewen read a brief history of Cody’s long life in politics. During his talk, he mentioned how he was a small part of Cody’s decision to run for Mayor.

Emcee and Ward 5 Coun. Dennis Ogrodnick emphasized the importance of the riverbank as a gathering place. Coun. Darren Solomon acted as flag bearer because of windy conditions on Saturday. Coun. Blake Edwards was also in attendance.

Before moving to Prince Albert and opening Buns Master Bakery, Cody worked in several jobs.

He served as MLA for Watrous from 1971 to 1975 and Kinistino from 1978 to 1982 and served in several portfolios as a cabinet minister under Premier Allan Blakeney.

“I’ve enjoyed each one of the jobs I’ve had,” Cody said. “I enjoyed being a railroader for seven and a half years, SGI, Cooperators (Insurance) absolutely, and then I was the mayor and we had a business for 22 years and then a city councillor. How could you have it any better than that? I mean, it’s pretty perfect.”

Coun. Blake Edwards paid tribute to Cody and his influence in City Council as a mentor. Ogrodnick made similar comments about his influence as a councillor.

Cody said he’s proud of the work the current crop of councillors are doing.

“Those people have done a lot of good work already and they will continue to do good work, and it’s only because of the fact that we work in collaboration and together. If you can work together with people, you’ll have no problem in this world of ours at all,” he said.

Both Edwards and Ogrodnick mentioned that they knew they were speaking too long during meetings when Cody would bang his hand politely on his desk.

“It was just a kind of a little tradition that I had that boys get speaking and they reiterate and they reiterate and regurgitate, and then then I just kind of slap my desk a little bit like this and they notice and say, well, maybe it is time to end it,” Cody said.

After family members unveiled the monument, Coun. Darren Solomon brought remarks on behalf of the City of Prince Albert and Cody also made a speech about the honour.

Cody was honoured to have a park right next to the park honouring his longtime friend Eldon Lautermilch.

“Eldon Lautermlich and I have been friends for many, many years, and we worked together on so many projects and so many things, whether it was the project in downtown, whether it was the courthouse or whether it was the Rawlinson Centre or the Forestry Centre or whichever. We work together so well and he and I just have become close friends. That means a lot for us to have this park along the beautiful river,” he said.

The park is situated in such a location that it is right on the border where his Ward begins, along the 1100 block of River Street

The park is also situated 10 houses from Cody’s own house on River Street.

“We walk the park a lot, too. The Rotary Trail is all along here and the most well-used Rotary Trail, I think, in the country and all along the park, which is absolutely fantastic.,” Cody said.

After the two park unveilings on River Street next weekend Myron Kowalsky Park will be the next to be unveiled.