Four Kipling residents amongst 40 local recipients
Last year, Saskatchewan became one of six provinces to establish a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal. The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal commemorates the 70th Anniversary of Her Late Majesty’s ascending the throne as Queen of Canada and honours her service to this country, while also recognizing significant contributions and achievements by Saskatchewan citizens.
Individuals throughout the province were nominated to receive these Commemorative Medals. A total of 7,000 medals will have been presented to Saskatchewan residents by the time the Platinum Jubilee Year ends on Feb. 5, 2023.
Last week, several residents in this area were awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal at Presentation Ceremonies held in Broadview and Arcola. Among those receiving medals were:
It is difficult to know precisely why Alan Batters was nominated to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for Community Service/Business.
That is because there are so many ways in which Alan (either personally or through Gee Bee Construction) has found ways to support and benefit the Kipling community.
For example, Alan says that the Outdoor Rink that he built in memory of his son Benjamin benefits those who work to build and maintain it as well as those who come out to enjoy it.
“I think that the Outdoor Rink has proven to be a really good thing for all of us at Gee Bee – as well as the volunteers that pitch in to help (because we really like doing it) and for the community. It’s got a unique kind of atmosphere because it’s not structured or anything. People can just show up whenever they want and go skating – or enjoy a bonfire.”
At the same time, he points out that there are other opportunities to contribute to the community in very specific ways.
“My daughter is playing on a volleyball team that travels to Montmarte for their practices. Since we have a 12-passenger Gee Bee Van, I told their coach (Garth Shoemaker) that I’d donate the use of the van – so that they could travel back and forth to the practices together.
“So, Garth drives the team to the practices and brings them all home again when they’re done. The girls get to hang out together and have some fun while they’re traveling. And the parents don’t have to drive back and forth to Montmarte every time there’s a practice.
“It’s a little thing. But little things like that can make a difference too.”
While he was pleased to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal, Alan says that his goal is not to receive awards. Rather, he is motivated by a desire to support his hometown.
“There are a lot of other good people doing good things in this community. For example, I have a huge amount of respect for those people who are always willing to give of their time and effort, and volunteer for various things. There’s so much that wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for them.
“I’m always busy or on the road. That means, I don’t get many opportunities to volunteer. So, I look for other ways that I can support Kipling because I grew up here. I want to give back to this community too.
“It was an incredible honour to be nominated for this medal. But I don’t do things for the recognition or to get noticed. I do these things because I like helping people – and because I can.”
Pat Beaujot has spent much of his life working to bring new innovations to market that will benefit both farmers and the folks who depend on the products they provide – and ensure that the Agriculture ‘Business’ in Saskatchewan will continue to flourish and grow.
His 11 years of experience in the Wholesale Fertilizer business and 22 years of experience “in the field” as a grain farmer, has given Pat the ability to know a good idea when he sees it.
Pat held the position of CEO of SeedHawk Incorporated from (the Langbank area company he co-founded) from 2002 to 2013.
Motivated by a passion for soil conservation – Pat helped to introduce and encourage the concept of no-till agriculture and facilitated the development of patented technology that would change the way farming is done (both in fields in Saskatchewan as well as those that lie well beyond our borders).
Pat would remain with the company as Research & Development Consultant after it became Vaderstad North America, and was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2016.
Not long after that, Pat made the decision to move into retirement, and he was enjoying it.
But then, an old friend contacted him to discuss the possibility of creating a new grain storage alternative for farmers.
That conversation led to the development of the T-Bin – a 10,000-bushel Telescoping Bin that can be lowered to a height of 17 feet and width of 27 feet (making it an easily transportable method of secure grain storage.
Given the innovative agricultural technology that Pat has helped to develop and bring to market – is hardly surprising that he would receive the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for Agriculture/Business.
But as Pat has noted – it was lessons he learned growing up on the family farm – that have been the foundation that his work was built on.
“Growing up on the farm and being part of a small community like Langbank,I learned how to relate to all types of people. That also gave me an understanding of how valuable ‘sweat equity’ is, and how important it is to be willing to commit to working at something without being focused on what you’re going to get out of it.
Although it did not become “home” for Joe and Eunice Daku until the couple retired from farming in 1993, Joe says that Kipling has always been their town.
“We farmed 12 miles south of Kipling” explains Joe. “This is where we came whenever we needed something. And I’ve spent my whole life in this area. So, Kipling is ‘our town’.”
Over the years, Eunice says that Joe has been a very active member of their town.
“Joe served with the Lions Club for many years and did a lot of work with them. He became a lifetime member in 2009 and was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellow for Humanitarian Service from the Lions Club International Foundation.
“Joe also drove the Handivan and took seniors shopping as well as on many trips to Yorkton, Kenosee Lake and Kennedy for different events.”
However, much of the work that Joe has done to enrich and support Kipling has been rooted in his faith and commitment as a member of Bekevar Presbyterian Church.
Joe has served on the Boards of both the Bekevar Presbyterian Church and the Old Bekevar Heritage Church. As well, Joe has long done (and continues to do) grass cutting and maintenance at Bekevar Cemetery and the Old Bekevar Church yard.
Although the congregation moved to the “new” Bekevar Church in Kipling many years ago (and recently began sharing space with the United Church in Kipling after their church building was purchased by the People’s Church) Joe says that the old Bekevar Church continues to be important for the community.
“The old Bekevar Church was there in 1911 – before Kipling got started” he notes.
“So, it’s always been a part of this community.
“Even after they decided to build the new Bekevar Church right in town, there were still community picnics held at the old church every year, right up until COVID happened.
“And we’ve had many visitors come here from all over to see the Old Bekevar Church and ask to take a tour inside of it. It was built to be exactly like another church in Hungary. So, the Hungarian Ambassador came here twice to visit the church. And the Hungarian government has given money to help maintain it.”
Currently, Joe is a member of the committee working to restore and preserve the Old Bekevar Church and says that the committee is looking at ways to raise funds to help cover the cost.
“The old front steps were becoming unsafe. So, they were taken off last year and we built brand new steps. We also started shingling the towers and will keep going with that this year. And there’s other work that must be done. So, we’re going to be looking at different things we can do to raise money to help with that.”
Last week, Joe Daku received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for Arts and Culture, which he says is a tremendous honour.
“I feel very proud, but also very humbled to receive this. I’ve never wanted to get any award for what I was doing. But it’s nice when the work that you do is recognized.”
In the future, Joe says that he hopes that young people will step forward and continue working to preserve the Old Bekevar Church as well as other important parts of our shared heritage.
“History is still a part of our story. In the future, it would be nice to see young people get involved in helping to keep it and share it.”
During her long career as an Elementary School Teacher, Marlene Tarr had the opportunity to teach in a number of different communities.
However, Marlene says that she was able to work in schools that were close enough to Kipling to allow her to remain connected to her hometown and the people she cared about most.
“I began teaching in 1975 and taught mostly Grade One (and some Special Ed) in Grenfell, Wawota, Manor, Carlyle and Redvers. I always taught at schools that were within 100 miles of Kipling, so that I could come home on the weekends and be with my family and my Bekevar Church family.”
When she retired in 2011, Marlene moved back home. She assumed the role of caregiver for her aging mother and began working at a variety of local businesses. Marlene also became a Marriage Commissioner, performed graveside services and became part of the Kipling Ministerial.
However, it is the volunteer work that Marlene began taking on at that time which she continues to remain committed to today.
“Around 2011, I began volunteering to drive friends and neighbors to appointments in Regina. This has been very rewarding for me, because I enjoy spending time with my neighbors, and this is something I can do which is a real help to them.
“During COVID, it was a very different experience. I could only walk with people as far as the door of whatever building they were going into. Most of the time I had to just sit in the car. It was certainly a ‘different’ experience!
“I’ve also been happy to be able to be involved with the Swimming Pool Committee, and I’ve had the chance to do some Mentoring. I’ve really been blessed to be able to participate in many other volunteer opportunities too.”
Marlene says that she was thrilled to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for Community Service.
“I was so excited to receive this beautiful medal, it is a tremendous honour! Honestly, I can think of many people that I would like to be able to share this with if I could. And to know that somebody in my community thought enough of what I do to nominate me for this, makes it all the more special!
“For me, volunteering is such a neat way of blessing other people, and it is always an enriching learning experience. This loving community has given so much to me throughout my life. It’s wonderful to be able to give something back in return!”
Rodeo has been part of Jim’s life… for most of his life.
“I remember being a little kid, probably about 3-4 years old, peeking through the fence at the Kennedy Rodeo. I knew that was what I wanted to do.”
That certainty led Jim into the rodeo arena and grew into a career as a successful and highly acclaimed bull rider.
After retiring from bull riding, Jim and his wife Leanne began a breeding program and established a herd of outstanding rodeo stock. At the same time, the couple also worked hard to build up their family business…Prime Time Rodeo Incorporated – and earned success as producers of numerous bull riding and ‘rough stock’ rodeo events.
When the COVID pandemic forced the shut-down of all rodeo events, Jim and his family worked hard to bring themselves, their herd of 175 carefully bred horses and Prime Time Rodeo through a crisis which Jim says had left them with “no real income.”
That meant finding ways that rodeo could be done differently.
As the pandemic restrictions eased, Jim and his family once again began to organize various Prime Time Rodeo events.
Then in May of 2022, close to 30 young men and women came from as far away as B.C. to take part in a Saddle Bronc/Bareback Development Camp hosted by Jim and his family at the Kennedy Rodeo Grounds, something that he says they plan to do again this year.
“Getting on the back of a bucking horse and having a successful ride is something that you can only learn to do… by doing it.
“But there are a lot of things a person needs to do when they are getting ready to ride. These are things that someone who hasn’t done this before wouldn’t think about. So, those were the things that we worked to teach the students at our Rodeo Development Camp.
“We’d offered to pay the fees for any of the students at our Rodeo Development Camp who came out to compete in a Prime Time Rodeo Event. And we did have some of them take us up on our offer.
“So, we are planning to have another Rodeo Development Camp on the weekend of May 12th to 14th in Kennedy. We’re looking forward to helping to introduce some new people to get a sense of whether or not rodeo is something they want to be a part of.
“At the same time, we’re hoping to see some of the students we had here last year coming back, ready to learn at a whole different level.”
Jim says that receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for Sports “is the kind of thing that a person just never expects.”
“Before I got the letter from my MLA’s Office telling me I’d been nominated to receive this medal, I didn’t know it existed!
“Rodeo has evolved since the years when cowboys off the ranch (who had gotten naturally tough and strong because of the work they did) were competing.
“By providing the young athletes who want to get involved in rodeo today, with an opportunity to learn how they can gain that strength and tenacity through training and experience, we’re hoping to build them up at the same time as we build the future of rodeo.
“So, I appreciate the fact that rodeo is being recognized as a sport in this way. Receiving this medal was a huge honour.”