Above: Sean Swaney, Tom Eppjnga, Chad Low, Don Speers, Dan Derouin, Pat Tighe and Susan Evans.
Jan. 13, 2019
by Lucie Roy
The Jack Speers Community Rink Grand Opening took place Saturday, Jan. 12 at Namao.
The Opening Ceremony, speeches and presentations were held at the Namao Community Hall followed by the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Skating Rink and Building and then a Community Skate.
For the Opening Ceremony emcee, Brian Reed provided introductions of guests which included Sturgeon County Councillor Pat Tighe, Deputy Mayor/Division 5, Councillor Susan Evans, Acting Mayor/Division 2, and Councillor Dan Derouin Division 1.
Speaking at the ceremony was Sean Swaney one of the Area Foreman of Pembina Pipeline Corp., Tom Eppinga of Providence Grain Solutions, Len Harasimiuk Past President of the Namao Agricultural Society, Betty-Lou Kindleman, Vice Chair of the Namao Museum Society, Daniel Low, head of the Namao Rink Committee and also a member of the Namao Ag Society and Arlene Speers.
Sturgeon County representatives made a presentation of a picture of the Sturgeon County mural to Chad Low, President of the Namao Agricultural Society.
Derouin said, “Sturgeon County is pleased to have been involved with the Namao Ag Society in the construction of the community rink. I am sure Jack would have been honoured and proud to be recognized in the community with the rink named after him. Jack was an active member and volunteer and real example of community spirit and his hard work and dedication to Namao area will be remembered.”
Daniel Low made two presentations, one to the Reed family and one to the Speers family.
To acknowledge the work and dedication of the Reed family, the plaque, in Memory of Keith Reed read, “Lifelong Member of the Namao Community. Keith lived a life of service, generosity and volunteerism. He loved to help others and he left an impact on every person he met. Keith’s legacy will be an example for generations to follow.”
The plaque to the Speers family read, ‘In grateful appreciation, the Namao Agricultural Society is honoured to dedicate our new rink building and skating rink to Jack Speers to celebrate more than 70 years of outstanding service to the community. Your countless hours on the ice have built a legacy of winter fun for many generations to enjoy. Thank you for your time and unselfish commitment to making Namao a better place to live. You are an inspiration.”
Daniel Low spoke of a gentleman who told him of the idea to fundraise with pucks and the pucks and plaques were so well received they have brought in over $14,000 in donations and they are still accepting donations.
The pucks are hung on a wall in the Jack Speers Community Skating Rink Building.
John (Jack) Speers was born in February 1925 and passed away August 2017.
He grew up in Namao and attended school there.
When Canada was involved in World War II he enlisted with the RCAF as an Aero Engine Mechanic and posted for training to St. Thomas, Ontario.
After the war, he returned to Namao to join his brother Don in farming operations.
In her presentation of Jack and his legacy Kindleman said, “We are today each of us recalling a special place in our memories and our hearts about Jack.”
Among many things she mentioned was his support and caring for his mother Bertha in her later years, his wonderful homemade cinnamon buns, his generosity, and his teaching from his example the value of community work and dedication to the community.”
Brian Reed with Jack’s brother Don Speers and the plaque the Speers family were presented with.