Saskatchewan Rivers well represented in Queen’s Jubilee Medal presentation

The Sask Rivers Education Centre/ Daily Herald File Photo

The Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division was well represented at the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal presentation on Friday, Nov. 18.

Government of Saskatchewan representative Tim McLeod presented Medals to education director Robert Bratvold, as well as trustees Barry Hollick, Arne Lindberg, and Grant Gustafson.

Hollick and Lindberg were recognized for their contributions to education and Gustafson was recognized for his contributions to healthcare. Each individual was surprised to be recognized in such a way.

“I was shocked and excited and honoured to be nominated to receive the award. It was a complete surprise for me and it made me feel honoured to be nominated,” Bratvold said.

“When I was first contacted that I was being considered for the medal I was pleasantly surprised and then when I was notified that I was being awarded with the medal I felt humbled and I felt honoured,” Hollick said.

Lindberg, who has not only served on the Saskatchewan Rivers board but also on City Council and in other parts of the community was surprised to be selected for education.

“Well initially I didn’t know what it would be for,” he said. “I thought it was for volunteerism myself because I have worked in very many different roles and capacities throughout the city as long as I have lived here. It was very humbling to be nominated and it actually took me by surprise.”

Gustafson was not the only member of his family to be recognized. His wife Barb also received one.

“I knew I was being nominated,” he said. “I think I would say I was surprised, but it just was the numbers of them. I knew what the process was. We don’t do anything on our own in that house. Even when they were doing the presentations we didn’t get to do just individual pictures alone. It was like, ‘hey you, come back.’”

Gustafson recently retired from the Prince Albert SHARE program, and that was part of the reason he received the award.

“Over half of my life I was in that job and that’s where I am seen,” he said. “I have had other health awards too, like there is a health region one years ago, there is a provincial healthcare award and it’s for doing the same stuff.”

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Provincial) commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal (Saskatchewan) recipients are to be of all ages and from all walks of life who have contributed to their community and society. Being recognized after the passing of Queen Elizabeth was special for Bratvold and Hollick.

“To be honoured with the Queen’s Jubilee at the end of her reign, that’s an interesting piece,” Bratvold said. “It is one of those last pieces of her long career and to her volunteerism and service to people and all of those sorts of things. There is something kind of extra special about that I think.”

“I was so pleased to see the Government of Saskatchewan issue these Jubilee Medals because Queen Elizabeth’s life was one of service,” Hollick added. “Wanting to recognize individual’s service in this community, I think, was noteworthy and I was very pleased.”

Hollick took his medal to an executive meeting of the Superannuated Teachers. He said everyone was impressed the province did something like this, especially for people in education.

“It’s been a really good experience,” he said.

Bratvold said it was difficult to accept the award because there were so many other deserving people. He credited the hard work of everyone in the Sask. Rivers school division for his recognition.

“I know the work that we have done in Sask Rivers is not just by me or one other person or two other people nominated for this award,” he explained. “It is a full team that does this work. On the one hand, it is an honour to be recognized and nominated for the award but I’m also fully aware of the success that we have in our division certainly is reflective of really hard work and great skill by many, many people.”

Lindberg said that the reason he got into education at all levels was for the children from his time as a teacher and principal to serving on the board.

“Being on the school board it allows me the opportunity to visit the schools and see the teachers in action, and see the lights in the kids eyes when they grasp a concept or they come to a realization that learning is actually really fun,” he explained. “You can just see their faces and they just illuminate. It’s beautiful to watch. It was something that I missed from while I was teaching and now I get to enjoy it again as a member of the board of education.”

Hollick recently stepped aside as board chair for the remainder of this term and also recently celebrated 65 years in education.

“It really was something like I said I was humbled because I got a medal for something that many other people do in this city and it’s for doing something that I do enjoy,” he said. “I was certainly honoured because it came at the time when I had just reached that lifetime milestone of 65 years.”

Gustafson was not specifically recognized for education, but it is part of the larger picture.

“I know part of when the nomination part when it goes in, it’s a whole background. There was a line, shall we say, saying I had done 26 years plus on the division board already, plus I was involved before my kids started school. Then a few years I was off the board I was still involved at the school level so I never really disappeared from it,” he said.

Gustafson said that receiving an award among so many great community members made the day extra special, especially since friends like Harris May, fellow SHARE employee Robin Knudsen, Elder Liz Settee and 11-year-old Laryn Constant were recognized.

“It’s people that are in your circle and you realize that you are not alone in doing stuff out in the community. It’s recognition of the accomplishments that we have had, not an individual thing,” Gustafson said.

Hollick also thought the cross-section was a great representation of Prince Albert.

“Going up and receiving the medal and seeing all of the other people who have served our community in so many ways and had dedicated their lives to making Prince Albert a better place to be, I think is great,” Hollick said.

Lindberg described the entire event as a block party by the end with everyone visiting after the presentation.

“I ran into people that I hadn’t seen for years and because they were all from Prince Albert everybody knew one another,” he said. “It was people that you worked with, people that you admired, people that you looked up to, people that shared the same vision and it was just like a big reunion. It was a really comfortable, relaxing, uplifting atmosphere and everybody that I spoke to was very humbled as well being nominated and being presented with a Jubilee Medal.”

Hollick knew presenter Tim McLeod from his previous time on a board of education.

“It was a great event and to have Tim McLeod a former board chair from Moose Jaw who I knew very well, was a good friend of mine while I served on the board, to have him present the medals was special too. We got some good pictures with Tim and had a good visit and it was just a great day,” Hollick said.