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Fryters ‘surprised’ to receive community recognition

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Fryters ‘surprised’ to receive community recognition
John Fryters (left) receives the Award of Merit from City of Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne on Thursday, March 10. – Submitted photo.

John Fryters has played a large part in organizing, leading or supporting many Prince Albert causes over the years, but he was still surprised to be recognized for those efforts.

Fryters received the Award of Merit from the City of Prince Albert on Thursday, and was recognized by the Seniors Advocacy Centre as a Pillar of the Community.

“I was surprised that I got it,” he said on Friday. “My wife didn’t tell me very much. She just told me to be there. I thought it was going to be to recognize someone different in the community.”

Mayor Greg Dionne was on hand to present Fryters with the Award of Merit. Fryters said he was humbled to be recognized for his efforts.

“I felt that is was something that might have been better for someone else,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of work on behalf of the City, and I’ve done a lot of work on behalf of the elderly, but it made me feel different.”

Fryters and his wife Hannelore arrived in Prince Albert in 1990. They instantly through themselves into the community, advocating for vulnerable citizens in areas like substance abuse recovery, seniors advocacy, and the pro-life movement.

He also began writing a newspaper column called Grey Power for the Daily Herald, where he continued advocating for those in need.

Hannelore said John was always eager to get involved and speak up for the vulnerable. It started when they moved to Canada 32 years ago, and started a halfway house for recovering alcoholics.

“John always studied, always gave out, always wanted to give more,” she said. “He was reading, and writing and studying, on airplanes or trains or in the car when you’re driving. He was always studying…. He was always helping. Then we moved here (to Prince Albert) and there was even more need.”

Fryters occasionally left Prince Albert to take part in missionary work in Africa, South America and India. After returning home, he would help train missionaries and pastors.

He became a licenced and ordained pastor with Open Bible Faith Fellowship, and founded three government-recognized Bible Training Institutes, including the Canadian Revival Training Centre in Prince Albert

Hannelore said she’s pleased to see John receive an award, but emphasized he’s not done yet.

“I’m happy at this time John really got the recognition, but he still will go on and do more work.”