South Peace News
Cori Burgar will be the lone nominee added to the High Prairie Citizens Monument later this year.
Council was to select a nominee for 2020 and 2021 but two other nominees declined the offer including Brian Gilroy and Barry Sharkawi.
Burgar, who was born and raised in High Prairie, received the most votes [five] in a vote amongst council and was named for 2020. Gilroy and Sharkawi tied with four votes. It prompted an unexpected turn of events.
“Could we not give out three?” asked Councillor Judy Stenhouse.
“What does it hurt?”
However, Councillor Donna Deynaka replied council’s policy is to draw from a hat if a vote was tied.
“Follow your policy,” advised CAO Brian Martinson.
Stenhouse agreed, withdrew her motion and Gilroy’s name was selected before he withdrew on ethical grounds. It left Sharkawi as the recipient but he also declined saying council did not follow its policy and he felt “uncomfortable” receiving the honour.
Council’s policy states it selects an annual winner. But because council did not select a winner for 2020, a motion was made awarding winners in two years. An argument can be made a vote should have occurred separately for each year, as it was council’s intent to declare a winner when the policy was drafted.
Burgar was nominated by Chris Clegg, who cited Burgar’s outstanding record of volunteering and community involvement including:
- 2000-current: member of High Prairie Royal Purple [now Royal Purple Elks] including past service as Honoured Royal Lady.
- 2008-2018: High Prairie Dolphins Swim Club executive.
- 2008-Current: Ukrainian Cultural Society of High Prairie executive.
- High Prairie Community Beautification Association [20+ years].
- High Prairie St. Andrew’s School Parent Council.
“While Cori is not front and centre of these organizations, she works tirelessly behind the scenes doing organizational and secretarial duties. She does the ‘dirty work’ of taking minutes and organizing agendas. I cannot begin to tell you how many hours she spends preparing minutes and agendas in addition to her job. Her service is invaluable,” wrote Clegg.
“I know first-hand her involvement in Beautification,” wrote Clegg, who chairs the organization.
“Preparing agenda minutes, sending out correspondence, now acting as treasurer, we would be lost without her. As a Beautification member and Royal Purple Elks, she is one of many running around behind the scenes at HP Light-Up at the Fire Hall making sure everything runs smoothly.”
He also noted that Burgar, with the help of her husband, Tony Gomes, also broadcasts the Santa Claus Parade, High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Parade, and annual Nov. 11 Remembrance Day service on South Peace News’ website ensuring shut-ins can watch when they otherwise could not.
Burgar has also worked bingos and casinos for many local charitable organizations.