Volunteers considered heartbeat of community

Long-time Meadow Lake residents Sheila and Bill Hart share a few laughs prior to the Meadow Lake and District Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards March 27.

Long-time Meadow Lake residents Sheila and Bill Hart share a few laughs prior to the Meadow Lake and District Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards March 27.

by Phil Ambroziak

When it comes to ensuring the continued success of the Meadow Lake community, it helps to have a Hart – or two.

Long-time Meadow Lake business owners and avid volunteers Bill and Sheila Hart were recognized for their ongoing contributions to the community March 27 during the ninth annual Meadow Lake and District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. The Harts were named this year’s recipients of the Wall of Fame Community Builder Award, which recognizes business people who have spent their lives building the community in an effort to make it a better place.

“We’ve both been proud to be residents of Meadow Lake and to have called Meadow Lake home for almost 45 years,” Bill Hart said during his acceptance speech. “We wouldn’t be up here if it wasn’t for the help of a whole lot of people.”

Hart – a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Pharmacy – came to Meadow Lake in 1967 to work as a pharmacist for Emma Madill. In 1991, he and his wife purchased the store while, over the years, he’s also served as a town councillor and been involved with a number of initiatives including the local recreation board, the Meadow Lake golf and curling clubs, the Meadow Lake Hospital Foundation and more. Meanwhile, he is still a member of the Meadow Lake Lions Club, a group he joined 44 years ago.

Sheila Hart graduated from U of S with a bachelor of science and nursing degree in 1965. In 1969, she accepted a job as a public health nurse in Meadow Lake. During her career, she served in communities throughout the Northwest. She also assisted her husband at the pharmacy while her free time often involved numerous volunteer initiatives including the local Lioness Club and the Meadow Lake and District Music Festival among others.

Together, the couple have helped with various fundraising carnivals, were actively involved as parent volunteers in their children’s schools, have helped with Meals on Wheels and volunteered for the 2012 Saskatchewan Summer Games. They have been married for more than 40 years, have two children and three grandchildren.

“I worked at the store for almost 40 years,” Bill Hart stated. “We had the greatest staff in the world and some of them are still there. They helped us out quite an awful lot and there are 33 other members of the Meadow Lake Lions Club who do an awful lot of work in this community too. We don’t have any intention of leaving – we will always be here. Thank you very much for this award. It is truly humbling.”

Sheila Hart echoed her husband’s sentiments.

“We met here – it can’t be all that bad,” she joked. “It’s been a lot of work, but nothing we did did we ever do by ourselves, nor did we do it as just the two of us. There have always been many other people involved. We are representing all of you and we’re representing a whole bunch of people who aren’t here tonight – people who are still involved in the community and people who have passed on. We’ve had a lot of fun and we’re still having fun.”

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Comments
One Response to “Volunteers considered heartbeat of community”
  1. Marlene krause says:

    Congratulations, From Marlene Krause, N Battleford sk

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