University of Lethbridge Community Members Receive Keys to the City

Several individuals and community organizations with 'key' connections to the University of Lethbridge will receive the City of Lethbridge's highest honour on Friday, July 10 – the keys to the city.

"This recognition is well deserved for all these recipients who, from many different walks of life, serve their community in a variety of ways," U of L President Bill Cade said. "These awards also show the remarkable connections – and affect – the University has on the community. Our congratulations go out to the entire group, in particular our employees, alumni and friends who are honoured."

Recipients include Dr. Leroy Littlebear (BASc 1972, DASc 2004), a respected Native American Studies professor and researcher, U of L Alumnus, Honorary degree recipient and Distinguished Alumnus of the year (2003); Darcy Novakowski, an award-winning author and the Faculty of Education's communications coordinator; and Brigadier-General (Ret) Raymond Romses (BASc 1975), a distinguished Alumnus of the Year (2005) who has returned to Lethbridge following a varied career in the Canadian military which included directing several UN-sponsored missions, the command of CFB Calgary and Land Forces Atlantic area, among others. A complete list of recipients is outlined below.

The "Key to the City" is a gift made by a city to a visiting dignitary or deserving resident. The key represents the city's welcome of the visitor by, symbolically, placing the city at the visitor's disposal.

The practice of giving a key may be traced back to medieval times, when admission into a city was hampered walls and locked gates. Possession of the key symbolized free entry. In Lethbridge, the act of giving a key to the city is symbolic only, since the city has no gates to unlock.

Keys 1 to 4
Shirley McPherson, Chris Wilson, Shirley Kohuch and Diane Foster, playing out of the Lethbridge Curling Club, won the 2008 World Senior Ladies Championships in Vierumäki, Finland.

Key 5 - Darcy Tamayose Novakowski
Darcy received a literary award from the Canada Council for the Arts for her first novel, Odori. This award recognizes literary excellence by Canadian authors writing on Japan, Japanese themes or themes that promote mutual understanding between Canada and Japan. Darcy also wrote and illustrated an art exhibit, Riding Back and the Sacred Circle, which travelled throughout the Alberta School system encouraging the understanding of the Blackfoot culture. Her latest work Katie Be Quiet is targeted at youth.

Key 6 - Del Allen
Del is a well-known businessman and philanthropist. He was chosen Lethbridge Citizen of the Year for 2008 in appreciation for his work with groups as diverse as the Boys and Girls Club, the Third Academy, the Lethbridge Food Bank, the Royal Canadian Legion, Ducks Unlimited, the Lethbridge College and the City's Bright Lights Committee. Del's most recent achievement is convincing CP Rail to allow the lighting of the historical High Level Bridge to celebrate it's Centennial and then being pivotal to getting such a large task ready to go this coming fall.

Key 7 - Vic Stasiuk
Vic was recently inducted into the Alberta Sport Hall of Fame in honour of his commitment to the game of hockey. He enjoyed an NHL career with important roles in the line-ups of the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins. Vic played 745 NHL games, scoring 183 goals and 437 points. Thanks to his time with the Red Wings, he sports a very impressive Stanley Cup ring. After his playing career ended, Vic enjoyed a long coaching career in both the NHL (including a stint with the Vancouver Canucks) and the minor leagues.

Key 8 – Lethbridge Iron Works

John and Bart Davies are accepting a key on behalf of Lethbridge Iron Works.
The company was recently included in a book entitled "Little Empires" (written by University of Lethbridge professors M. Gordon Hunter and Dan Kazakoff) which highlighted the value of Lethbridge's long-standing inter-generational corporate citizens to the community. Lethbridge Iron Works is a fourth generation family business, more than a century old. Like the family which operates the foundry, several generations of Lethbridge families have earned their living through the foundry in that length of time. The foundry is modern, automated, safety-oriented, high-production and known for quality.

Key 9 – Leroy Littlebear
Dr. Leroy Littlebear (BASc 1972, DASc 2004) was recently awarded the first-ever "Lifetime Achievement Award" presented by the Aboriginal Council of Lethbridge. That award recognized a lifetime of achievement in education and politics, in giving back to the community and advocating for youth and families. Leroy was instrumental in developing the Native American Studies department at the University of Lethbridge, which he chaired for 21 years. He is also the founding Director of Harvard University's Native American program, a U of L Distinguished Alumnus of the Year (2003) and an Honorary Degree recipient (2004). Leroy contributed to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in the area of criminal justice, and for the Assembly of First Nations on constitutional issues. He is considered one of North America's leaders in Indian philosophy.

Key 10 – Raymond Romses

Retired Brigadier-General Romses (BASc 1975) was awarded the 2005 University of Lethbridge Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award for exceptional professional achievements and service to Canadians. He served on a variety of operational tours and appointments, including two tours with the UN Force in Cyprus, a tour with NATO Stabilization Forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a tour with the UN Force in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Romses's service in Canada included command of the First Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Joint Task Force Two – Canada's counter-terrorism unit; Canadian Forces Base Calgary; and the Land Force Atlantic Area. His leadership abilities have resulted in his progression to the most senior ranks of the Canadian Forces, but his illustrious military career all began with the Army Cadets in Lethbridge.