LETHBRIDGE: It was a day to remember for five Lethbridge residents awarded the key to the city. Their contributions received several standing ovations at a city hall ceremony Wednesday morning.
"It was a great day. It's always a great day when we're able to honour our citizens," said mayor Raijko Dodic, who chose the recipients based on suggestions from the community. "Being able to recognize people who have been involved in the community as long as all five recipients have been, was just something that I took great pleasure in.
Former Lethbridge West MLA Clint Dunford was the first recipient to come forward. He held several cabinet positions during his time in elected office between 1993 and 2008, including Ministry of Economic Development, Minister of Alberta Human Resources and Employment and Minister of Advanced Education and Career Development.
Former aldermen Barbara Lacey and Shaun Ward were also honoured. Dodic warmly recognized Lacey's passion for the arts and social issues, which took the form of 40 years serving the community through public health programming and five terms on city council. Ward served on council for just under 20 years and held leadership roles with a long list of community organizations.
Retired Chamber of Commerce Manager Jody Nilsson and former mayor Bob Tarleck rounded out the list. Nilsson previously won a Chamber Manager of the Year award and a Years of Service Award for her contributions to the local Chamber of Commerce. Tarleck, who was mayor from 2001 to 2010, is known for active leadership in many community organizations as well as his work with aboriginal communities.
"It was an interesting mix and to a large extent quite a diverse group," said Dodic. "But I think what they all had in common was a sense of service to the community and love of this community."