Long-time Green Lake mayor passes
by Phil Ambroziak
Fred McCallum and the impact he had on the Northern Village of Green Lake will never be forgotten.
That’s how family, friends and colleagues feel following the recent passing of the long-time Green Lake mayor. Mr. McCallum died Jan. 14 at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon following a brief illness. He was 69.
“Fred will be deeply missed,” remarked village administrator Tina Rasmussen. “We offer him our heartfelt thanks for his many years of leadership and commitment to the well-being of this municipality and the people of Green Lake.”
Mr. McCallum served as a councillor on Green Lake’s community advisory board for three years, from 1975 to 1977, prior to Green Lake becoming a municipality. He was later elected mayor in 1994 and served until October of 2003. He was re-elected as mayor in October of 2006 and served until October 2012. In total, her served as Green Lake mayor for 17 years.
“From a municipal perspective, Fred was such an excellent leader,” Rasmussen continued. “He was a strong, vocal person who always had the community in his heart, and who always did things to try to move the community forward.”
Most recently, McCallum was instrumental in seeing the community’s efforts to establish an RV park come to fruition. The park was officially opened last summer and McCallum was on hand for the proceedings.
Aside from his community involvement, however, Mr. McCallum was also described as a dedicated family man. Although he had no children of his own, his niece, Florence Bell, said he became like a parent to her following the death of her own father.
“I was his closest niece – he treated me like he would his own daughter,” Bell said.
A self-employed man, Mr. McCallum raised cattle alongside his nephew, Gordon McCallum.
“We worked together,” Gordon McCallum noted. “I’d be racing chuckwagons all summer, and he’d be doing the haying. He knew a lot about cattle.”
“He had a lot of friends and family members who would help him out with the farm work,” Bell added.
She also noted her uncle held the distinction of being the first man from Green Lake to graduate from high school, adding he remained a very active individual throughout his lifetime when it came to serving on various boards and committees. Meanwhile, Gordon McCallum also talked about his uncle’s dedication to the community.
“He really helped Green Lake,” he said. “He was a great guy and he’ll be missed by a lot of people.”
And, although Mr. McCallum’s contributions are now in the past, their effects are still being felt today while Rasmussen said his efforts were always aimed at creating a more prosperous future.
“Many times, if there was a difficult issue before council, he would always look out the window to St. Pascal School across the street, point and say ‘look you guys, we do what we do because of those guys’ meaning young people,” she noted. “He had such a great personality and truly exemplified what you’d expect from a community leader.”
Mr. McCallum was predeceased by his three brothers and two sisters, as well as three wives. He is survived by his long-time partner Viola Dumont.
A memorial service for Mr. McCallum was held Saturday (Jan. 18) at the Roman Catholic Church in Green Lake during which Bell performed the eulogy for her beloved uncle.
“I’ve had a lot of support from so many people, which has made this a lot easier for me,” she said. “It’s been hard to let him go on my part, but I’m happy he’s going to be with his family. He was a gentle-hearted man.”