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Archives makes room for VIP

By February 9, 2022February 13th, 2022No Comments
Don Duncan, former board chair of Lloydminster Regional Archives Association, was taken by surprise on Monday having a research room at the facility named after him during a special celebration on Monday during Archives Week in Saskatchewan. Geoff Lee Meridian Source

 

Don Duncan has become part of the rich history of Lloydminster that he has helped to keep alive.

His lengthy volunteer leadership role with the Lloydminster Regional Archives Association (LRA) will be recognized for posterity with the naming of the Dr. Don Duncan Research Room.

The honour was a complete surprise to Duncan following speeches at the Lloydminster Museum +Archives on Monday — during Archives Week in Saskatchewan.

“Totally unexpected —I’ve been involved in the archives for many years. The important thing to remember is, doing important work is its own reward,” said an emotional Duncan with his wife and family in attendance.

Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers also unveiled a plaque about Duncan to officially name the room. 

“I’m honoured to see my name on the research room, but the room really should be attributed to the work of several others, and I do look forward to people coming in and learning more about Lloydminster’s history,” said Duncan.

Lynne Smith, vice-chair of Friends of the Lloydminster Regional Archives Association, says the naming idea is a fitting way to honour Duncan for his work after he retired as the board chair last year.

“This is perfect. It really gets his name out there and what he did contribute over so many years,” said Smith.

The Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists also awarded Duncan a volunteer recognition award for 2021 earlier this year.

Duncan has a doctorate in education and was a former director of education for the Lloydminster Public School Division until his retirement in 2004.

He got involved with the archives that same year after it opened in 2003 as the non-profit Lloydminster and District Centennial Commemorative Association, next to the Lloydminster Public Library.

Duncan has also served on the boards of Prairie North Health Region and Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, and more recently, helped get the Trishaw transportation project going for local seniors.

Archivist Corine Price says everyone at the new museum and archives is honoured to have their research room named after Duncan and his passion for research and history.

“He’s really been there almost since the beginning of our organization and has served in many leadership roles as chair and committee leaders,” said Price.

He became association president in 2008 with a knack for securing grants to keep the archives going.

“When we were a non-profit organization—it’s kind of hard making ends meet,” said Price. 

“He was an integral part of helping us become a part of the City of Lloydminster.”

The city took over operations of the archives in January of 2020.

The ceremony for Duncan kicked off Archive Week activities that end on Friday, with a draw for a door prize basket of goodies from the facility gift shop.

The special week will also bring awareness to the need to preserve the documented history of the Lloydminster region that Duncan says is important to protect and share.

“We’re all familiar with the expression, ‘if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well,’” he said.

“If it’s worth doing well, it’s worth remembering, and that way, the past can guide our choices and values as we go forward as a community.” 

Duncan adds the history of Lloydminster is rich. 

“We should recognize the achievements of the past and recognize the qualities that people displayed as they built what is a really wonderful place,” he said.