Thomas Settee Park unveiled to remember First Nations veteran and athlete

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The family of Thomas Settee unveiled the sign for Thomas Settee Park on Saturday afternoon.

The City of Prince Albert held the second of what will be several ceremonies as they begin the final stage of a plan to name city parks after local veterans.

The park on McDonald Avenue in Crescent Heights was the second to receive its new name. It will now be officially called Thomas Settee Park after Thomas Settee, a Prince Albert veteran and athlete of note from Prince Albert.

Several generations of his family were in attendance including daughter Liz Settee and son Tim Settee. Both children were proud to see their father have a park named after him.

“(It’s) Very heartwarming, long overdue, very heartwarming. It’s a beautiful park. It’s very calm and quiet and relaxing,” Liz said.

“I find it just such an honour to see Dad’s name on a sign that will be there forever,” Tim said.

“So many people in the city knew Dad and to recognize him this way (is special),” he added.

This is also the first of several parks to be unveiled to be named for First Nations veterans.

Tim said that his father would talk to anybody because he knew people from several aspects of his life.

Emcee and Ward 5 Counc. Dennis Ogrodnick gave a brief history of Settee’s life that he researched. When the family was invited to speak Tim spoke on behalf of the family and after others were asked to speak Brad Pearson shared a story on the legacy of Settee in Prince Albert.

Because the park is named after a veteran, there was an ANVAVET Colour Party in attendance.

Liz also did the prayer and grandson Christopher Settee concluded the ceremony with a reading of the Act of Remembrance.

Settee was born in 1914 and passed away in 2012. Settee is a member of both the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame and the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame.

Settee served as part of the Regina Rifles and was part of the landing party on D-Day, while serving overseas he made three consecutive appearances in the Canadian Army Overseas Boxing Championship.

Settee was injured later in the war and after his discharge became a professional boxer. Despite having a piece of shrapnel lodged in his hip, Settee went on to win 13 of 15 professional fights.

After returning from overseas he met his wife Jean and along with his love of boxing also ran a barbershop. Settee spent over 70 years in Prince Albert excluding his time in Residential School and serving in World War II.

Being a barber also meant everyone seemed to know him because he was their customer.

This is one of several parks to be named after veterans and both Tim and Liz think the city is doing a great thing.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The family of Thomas Settee poses with the monument for Thomas Settee Park on Saturday afternoon.

“Well of course it’s always nice to see our veterans honoured. With the great sacrifices they gave for our freedom. And there’s so many that, you know, that don’t get recognized and they don’t do it for recognition. But to see their name honoured, that’s huge,” said.

“They put their life on the line in other countries so that Canada doesn’t have to go through that. Right. And they look like some of them were 16 years old saying they were older so they could go and fight for Canada,” Liz said.

Liz explained that members of the family were at a Regina Rifle reunion in 2010

“Some of the stories that came out were just wonderful and at times some of the things that they went through and that they shared, we were very privileged to be able to be a part of that,” Liz said.

Tim explained that one of his grandsons and great-grandchildren live across the street from the park.

“It’s quite an honour for the Settee family to see Dad’s name immortalized by the city,” Tim said.

After family members unveiled the monument Mayor Greg Dionne brought remarks on behalf of the city of Prince Albert. Ogrodnick, Councillor Dawn Kilmer and Dionne placed a Legion memento by the new sign.

The next park expected to be unveiled is named for veteran Ed Laird. There will also be an unveiling of the three parks named after Don Cody, Myron Kowalsky and Eldon Lautermilch at the same time at some point in August.