Johnson named SCBEX Ci­ti­zen of the Year

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Ded­i­cated vol­un­teer Larry Johnson was at a loss for words af­ter be­ing saluted with a sec­ond ma­jor recog­ni­tion this year.

On Fri­day night Johnson was sin­gled out as the SCBEX Spirit of Swift Cur­rent Ci­ti­zen of the Year and was given a stand­ing ova­tion by the ca­pac­ity au­di­ence at the Gala. His Ci­ti­zen of the Year hon­our comes just months af­ter his July 7 in­duc­tion into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame.

“I wasn’t ex­pect­ing this,” Johnson said mo­ments af­ter re­ceiv­ing his award. “It’s been a tremen­dous year. No words I can ex­press right now.”

Johnson was quick to thank the en­tire com­mu­nity for the sup­port he has re­ceived for his var­i­ous en­deav­ours.

“The com­mu­nity’s re­ally sup­ported me over the years. What­ever I did.”

Johnson is in­stantly rec­og­nized around Swift Cur­rent for his ded­i­cated vol­un­teer ef­forts as a hockey coach which spawned from 1974 to 2015. He was also one of the in­di­vid­u­als re­spon­si­ble for launch­ing the Swift Cur­rent Wheel­chair Hockey pro­gram.

His ef­forts as a coach al­lowed him to be pre­vi­ously rec­og­nized with an SHA Out­stand­ing vol­un­teer award in 2001, and he was also given the Sasken­ergy Vol­un­teer Cham­pi­onship Award in 2013.

“It’s been fun. I met a lot of great peo­ple in the hockey pro­gram over those years. And be­ing in­stalled in the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame was a real hon­our as well.”

Johnson’s long coach­ing ca­reer was mem­o­rable for more than just wins and losses, but rather the im­pact he had on the play­ers he was coach­ing.

“I was taught when I was young to de­velop the in­di­vid­ual, both as a hockey player and their char­ac­ter. And re­spect each other. If you teach them the right way, the wins will come.

“I go back the four decades, and I have great friend­ship with a lot of the kids that I coached then, 40 years ago. And we still have that con­nec­tion.

“I love teach­ing the game and teach­ing them to make de­ci­sions. Its easy to open the door, you’ve got to let the kids make the de­ci­sion. That’s how they learn to play the game right.”

Johnson has also been in­flu­en­tial in other ar­eas through­out the com­mu­nity, as he has served as the pres­i­dent of both the Swift Cur­rent Ki­wa­nis Club and the Swift Cur­rent SPCA’S board of di­rec­tors.

“I re­ally love the Swift Cur­rent Ki­wa­nis Club. We do a lot of great work for the youth of the com­mu­nity. We’ve got some great fundrais­ers. We meet once a week and have great fel­low­ship within it.

“The SPCA, I have been in­volved with it and help­ing out. But my daugh­ter talked me into get­ting onto the board, and now I’m the pres­i­dent of that.

“I love putting in time. I love this com­mu­nity. And it’s just such a great place to live and bring up my fam­ily.”

SCOTT AN­DER­SON/SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Larry Johnson was sin­gled out as the Ci­ti­zen of the Year at the SCBEX Spirit of Swift Cur­rent Awards. Cham­ber Board Chair­man Doug Ev­jen was as­sisted by cat­e­gory spon­sors Kara Thomp­son from Com­mu­nity Fu­tures South­west and Lawrence Carr from Whisky Jack Creek Con­struc­tion in pre­sent­ing Johnson with his award.

Olea Oil and Vine­gar won the Start-up/new Busi­ness of the Year SCBEX Spirit of Swift Cur­rent Award. Cham­ber Board Chair­man Doug Ev­jen and award cat­e­gory spon­sor rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dan Johnson from In­no­va­tion Credit Union present the award to Olea Oil and Vine­gar co-own­ers Amanda Leibel and Brigitte Price.

The Sput­ter­gotch Toy Com­pany was se­lected as the Small Busi­ness of the Year SCBEX Spirit of Swift Cur­rent Award win­ner. Cham­ber Board Chair­man Doug Ev­jen and award cat­e­gory spon­sor rep­re­sen­ta­tive Derek Wiebe from MNP pre­sented the award to Sput­ter­gotch owner Garry Koebel.

LEFT: Mem­bers of the Ecole Cen­ten­nial School Stars Choir per­fomed at the Swiftlink Char­ity Expo at the Swift Cur­rent Mall on Satur­day. RIGHT: Bands from all Swift Cur­rent schools were on stage Sun­day at the Beef and Band Blast.

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