It was good to see the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce take the opportunity last week to recognize two worthy individuals by bestowing life memberships.
Both Ruth Shaw and Allan Bailey have a long list of volunteer accomplishments not only with the Chamber but other organizations within the city.
But what now for the honour?
There is a plaque onto which their names will be inscribed, and it will likely be hung in the Chamber office where it will be glanced at by whoever had the job of dusting it, and otherwise be pretty much ignored. That is the fate of such plaques.
As a result it is a pretty good bet few in our community could name even a few of the previous life members, even though it is a very short list.
The Chamber, which is more than a century old, only began bestowing life memberships in 1969, and in the 44 years since the list is only 11 with the latest presentation. Previous life members are; 1969 - Brigadier General Alexander Ross and Howard Jackson, 1974 - George Morris, 1975 - G.H. Howie Alberts,1991 - Stan Stephenson,1997 - Norman Roebuck and 1998 - Keith Harper, Winnie Spence and John Miller.
It would be great if these deserving individuals were honoured with something closer to the picture and brief biography you would see at our Sports Hall of Fame for those inductees.
On a wall at the combined Chamber and Tourism office the business leaders would gain some added profile in the city.
Which brings us to a need in our city to better recognize those individuals who have gone above and beyond in terms of helping making Yorkton the community it is.
We have done a good job of marking the best among our athletes and sport community with the aforementioned Sports Hall of Fame, although it is stuck in a location where visibility in the community is far to restricted. The inductee citations and associated memorabilia deserve to be more visible, and logically that means new display cases and a move to the Gallagher Centre. It is something long talked about, and far past due in terms of action to make it happen.
But there are opportunities to honour others in our city which should be considered.
Many early city developers have been honoured by having a street named after them. The question is, how many among us, can tell you why they deserved such recognition? For most the reasons have been relegated to documents locked in City Hall somewhere. A simple plaque mounted along a key street such as Broadway would inform citizens and visitors of our early history, and create another interesting walking tour for the city.
With the park next to City Hall installing a wall on which past Mayors could be listed, potentially with key developments which took place during their term, would be another way to bring our history more into focus.
And then there is past talk of the Yorkton Exhibition Association launching a ‘Wall of Fame’ where those contributing to local agriculture could be honoured.
Again it would be a great addition to the somewhat sterile surroundings of the Gallagher Centre, and yet it has remained only talk to-date.
It is such undertakings which help a community stay true to its history by pausing to recognize those who did so much work to build the Yorkton we have today.
The Chamber effort last week was a worthy one, but there is certainly room to build upon that to make history come into greater focus in our community.