The University of Lethbridge celebrated the culmination of years of hard work and achievement of the newest group of graduates at the Fall 2019 Convocation ceremony Oct. 19.
The U of L awarded 272 degrees, diplomas and certificates at the ceremony to their Lethbridge and Calgary campus students. The ceremony also celebrated the nation-building contribution of Canada’s 21st prime minister, Paul Martin, by presenting him with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Martin’s term as prime minister was marked by a dedication to ensuring the health and welfare of all Canadians, with a distinct focus on improving the lives of First Nations peoples across the country, which he still fights for today with his foundation, The Martin Family Initiative. Martin says to be receiving an honorary degree from a university and a city that is working to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples means so much more to him.
“The University of Lethbridge is an outstanding Canadian university, but what adds to that is their involvement with the Indigenous peoples,” says Martin. “What the leadership that the university has shown in terms of the transition program, helping young Indigenous people who have not had the same educational background, but to give them that chance to give them that transition is so important and you can see that really the school embodies that reach-out, and I was so pleased to be taken to everybody’s attention.”
Climbers reach new heights
Over 100 competitors from all over Alberta and western Canada competed over the weekend in Lethbridge’s first sanctioned Alberta Climbing Associations Regional Climbing Competition.
Saturday, bouldering competitors took on the challenge of the difficult course built on the walls of Coulee Climbing Lethbridge to make the best time and put their skills to the test against some of the area’s best climbers. Coulee Climbing says they were excited to host their first sanctioned ACA competition and to bring a more difficult challenge to the area.
“Today is Alberta Climbing Association’s Bouldering Competition, we have athletes from Lethbridge but also from Cranbrook, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina and lots of other towns as well,” says Randy Prete, owner of Coulee Climbing. “The is the first sanctioned ACA competition that we have done, we have done a few other community competitions just for community events, but this is our first ACA and it is really cool, it’s intimidating to have so many incredible athletes but it’s good.”
The bouldering competition consists of competitors climbing the difficult obstacle without the use of safety ropes up the wall, using their whole body for balance, strength and momentum to get around warped walls and grasp onto the oddly shaped and difficultly placed objects.
Sakamoto receives Order of Alberta
“It was a highlight of my life.”
Lethbridge entrepreneur Ron Sakamoto has received many honours over the years, as one of the nation’s busiest concert promoters.
He’s been given an eagle feather headdress and a Blackfoot name, presented an honourary degree from the University of Lethbridge, and inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.
But this week’s formal ceremony in Edmonton was different, he says. Sakamoto was presented the Order of Alberta, along with seven other distinguished men and women.
“It’s so humbling,” he said, after meeting the other recipients. “I was floored, hearing about all their accomplishments.”
Ron’s wife Joyce and family members were on hand to witness the investiture, with the lieutenant governor making the presentations in the name of Queen Elizabeth.
Chamber honours LC official
A Lethbridge College development officer was honoured as the overall winner of Lethbridge’s Top 40 under Forty recognition by the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce. Sydney Wakaruk was honoured at the chamber’s Business of the Year Awards on Thursday evening.
Wakaruk, an alumna of the college’s Business Administration program, joined the college in 2018 as the Alumni Engagement co-ordinator. She was promoted to development officer this year. As Alumni Engagement co-ordinator, Wakaruk worked with alumni, donors and stakeholders to build lasting relationships that benefit students. She also successfully organized the 2018 and 2019 iterations of Coulee Fest, the college’s annual community festival.
“Thank you to the chamber and BDO for this incredible honour,” said Wakaruk. “I am proud to call Lethbridge home and am proud of the way this community continually comes together to support business and each other. Although I’m early in my career I’m extremely grateful for the many opportunities I have received and the mentors who have made them possible. It’s humbling to be recognized alongside 39 other people who are doing amazing things for our community.”
In her current role as a development officer, Wakaruk connects and builds relationships with community members and donors to create opportunities that benefit students.
Two charged in hotel robbery
Lethbridge Police have charged two men in connection with a robbery Oct. 16 at the Superlodge Hotel in the 2200 block of 7 Avenue South — and subsequent search warrant in the 4000 block of 43rd Street South.
Corey Nelson Amyotte, 32 of Lethbridge is charged with one count of robbery, one count of unlawful confinement and one count of wearing a disguise in the commission of an offence. Amyotte was remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 25.
Kyle James Youngpine, 29 of Lethbridge, is charged with one count of robbery, one count of unlawful confinement and one count of wearing a disguise in the commission of an offence. Youngpine was released on a recognizance by a Justice of the Peace and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 8.