Saskatoon

Don Atchison, Doug Cuthand among Saskatchewan Order of Merit recipients

Don Atchison is used to handing out awards, not receiving them. The long-time Saskatoon mayor was on the other end of the handshake Tuesday night in Regina when he received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

Lyn Goldman, Grit McCreath, Andy Potter and William Francis Ready others being invested

Saskatoon's mayor Don Atchison is now a member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

Don Atchison is used to handing out awards, not receiving them.

The long-time Saskatoon mayor was on the other end of the handshake Tuesday night in Regina when he received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

Atchison is one of six people to receive the province's highest honour this year.

Doug Cuthand, freelance journalist. (Richard Agecoutay)

The Order of Merit recognizes citizens who demonstrate exemplary contributions to the province.

Atchison said he doesn't`t think there is one contribution that helped him become a recipient of the award, but he is most proud of building bridges in the community.

"Well I don't know if there is any one single point other than trying to bring our community together as a mayor," he said. "Having people working together, volunteering together, having a long-term vision for the community."

Lyn Goldman is a noted philanthropist and advocate for the arts in Regina. (Trent Peppler/CBC)

Atchison spent 13 years as Saskatoon's mayor and in that time the city grew from a population of 180,000 to more than 250,000.

Atchison promoted the city whenever he could, attending more than 10,000 community events, meetings and celebrated cultural diversity.

Grit McCreath is the Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan. (University of Saskatchewan/Supplied)

During his tenure the city built a state of the art police station, a world class art gallery, three new bridges, a renovated children's park, an indoor soccer field, a swimming centre and River Landing.

The other five Order of Merit recipients are journalist and film producer Doug Cuthand of Saskatoon; philanthropist and advocate for the arts Lyn Goldman of Regina; educator and author Grit McCreath, Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan; Dr. Andy Potter of Saskatoon, who does infectious disease and vaccine research; former chancellor of the University of Regina Dr. William Francis Ready of Regina.

Andy Potter was the Director and CEO of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. (Submitted to CBC)

Cuthand said it is special being recognized by your close peers.

"I've had awards internationally," Cuthand said, "but it didn't have the same kind of effect as having something where you are right here in your own backyard and you are being recognized. I think that's very important."

Chief Justice Robert Richards, Administrator of Saskatchewan on behalf of Lieutenant Governor W. Thomas Molloy, will invest the six citizens into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in Regina on Tuesday night.

William Francis Ready is the recipient of the Order of Merit. (University of Regina)

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