The Citizen of the Year for Plum Coulee says to keep a community going, especially a small one, it's important to get involved. Jake Dueck was presented with the honour of Citizen of the Year at the Plum Coulee Foundation awards ceremony Thursday night for his years of involvement in the community.
Like many before him, Dueck said he hopes he's been able to play a part in setting an example for the future generation. "When I moved to Plum Coulee, we started going to church here, and there were all these older fellows coming to church, and they always greeted you," said Dueck. "He said he realized these people wouldn't always be there to fill those roles. "So we need to be willing to move up the ladder. I enjoy those people, and I hope I can be a role model and an influence to other people."
As for the recognition as Citizen of the Year, Dueck said it's an honour. "I always kept a low profile so I wouldn't be recognized. So much you do is always with other people involved, so to be recognized is an honour but it's also humbling."
Dueck has been active in the development of the Plum Coulee elevator and has been involved in organizations such as the local thrift shop and the Winkler and District Food Cupboard.
The foundation also honoured the late Harold Schultz, who was awarded posthumously as the Community Builder of the Past.
Over nearly 3 decades Schultz worked in the school system as a teacher and principal and also helped lead the community as its mayor for many years.
Harold's son, Cameron, who accepted the award on his father's behalf, said it's always humbling to receive an award whether it's posthumously or while a person is still with us. "One thing about my father, he was always very proud to say he came from Plum Coulee, and I think he was very proud to contribute to things that happened in the community. It's nice memories for us all."
"I do have memories as a youngster when he came home from the first election and there was a big party at home. At the time it seemed like it was all about the celebration and the victory, but when he went on to another 8 or 9 terms, you realize it was more than that. It's about serving your community and really giving back."