Long-time Kinistino Mayor Leonard Margolis recognized for service by SUMA

SUMA photo (L to R) SUMA President Randy Goulden, Leonard’s children Kari-Lyn and Kurt, and the Honourable Don McMorris, Minister of Government Relations.

Leonard Margolis was synonymous with the Town of Kinistino.

In recognition of his years of service to the town as Councillor and Mayor, the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) honoured Margolis’ legacy during the President’s Banquet and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 5 in Regina.

Margolis, who passed away in February of 2021, was recognized with an Honorary Service Award by SUMA.

Honorary Service Awards are granted to elected officials throughout the province with 20 or more years of service. It recognizes their longterm dedication to, and involvement in, their local communities.

Margolis’ son Kurt and daughter Kari-Lyn accepted the award.

“Obviously we are very proud Dad is being recognized after 40 plus years of serving on town council and as mayor for the majority of those years,” Kurt said. “It is nice to see him honoured for that time he put in here. He was just committed to our community.”

When people thought of Kinistino they thought of Margolis, along with the Junior B version of the Kinistino Tigers and the Swen Cafe among other things, according to Kurt.

Margolis served on council in some fashion for nearly seven decades before his passing. He first was elected as a councillor in 1965 where he served until 1967. Margolis was re-elected in 1974 and had been there ever since, first as a councillor until 1981 and then as mayor in 1982 until his passing.

“I don’t think he ever did the job for recognition,” Kurt said. “He did it because he wanted to make Kinistino the best possible place that he could make it for everybody who lived here.”

There is a new community centre under construction in Kinistino and that project is a big part of his legacy.

“This community centre that I think is scheduled to open September, he was very instrumental in getting that up and running and securing some private money, private donation and also government funding towards it,” Kurt explained.

Construction on the project began in September 2021, with the foundation and partial framing completed to date. The centre will include the town office, a commercial kitchen, a main hall with a performance stage and another room that can be used by members of the Royal Canadian Legion. Either room may be used for various purposes such as weddings, meetings, and day programs, along with the potential to house a medical clinic or other amenities.

During his time on council, Margolis had a hand in a number of projects and boards. One of the most significant was constructing the Kinistino Sports Complex in the 1970s, which is home of the curling rink and the hockey arena.

Margolis was also active with the Junior B Tigers around the time they won the Western Canada Championship in 1992.

Every year at the President’s Banquet and Awards Ceremony, the SUMA Board of Directors recognizes individuals from across the province who have demonstrated a commitment to outstanding service in the municipal field. Through the awards program, SUMA acknowledges the contribution of individuals in the municipal field to an improved quality of life in their communities and to the advancement of local government in our province.

“It is nice that his peers took the time to recognize his time and dedication and what value it brought to the community,” Kurt said.

The SUMA Board accepts nominations from communities and councils throughout the province.

The individuals nominated are considered the most deserving of recognition for their outstanding service to their communities.

Honorary Service Award recipients are individuals who demonstrate leadership in their communities and who strive for an improved quality of life. SUMA said that their generous contributions of time and talent have strengthened their local governments

Margolis was the longest term of service recognized this year. Other recipients included Edmund Collins, Town of Watrous for 32 years, Barry Elderkin, Town of Maple Creek for 25 years, Gail Erhart, Town of Asquith for 21 years, Bernard Flynn, Town of Beechy for 29 years, Kenneth Klemenz, Town of Ogema for 27 years, Greg Linnen, Town of Wadenaf for 20 years, Neil McDonald, Town of Watrous for 20 years and Rod Wolfe, Town of Grenfell for 21 years.