The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Outstanding Service to Rural Saskatchewan was presented to the family of the late Harold Martens. 

In presenting the award, Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty talked about Harold Martens dedication to public service noting that it started in 1973 when Harold was first elected as a councillor for the RM of Saskatchewan Landing, later serving as Reeve.

"In 1982, Harold was elected as a member of the legislature for Morse serving until 1995. During that time, he was appointed Associate Minister of Agriculture, which included responsibilities with the Saskatchewan Water Corporation and overseeing the completion of the construction of the Alameda Dam in 1999. He was elected councillor for the RM Excelsior and became Reeve in 2005, holding that position until last fall when he resigned due to health reasons."

Although Harold and Sylvia moved off the ranch into Swift Current in 2003, Harold maintained his commitment to the agriculture sector by contributing to various committees and boards.

"He joined the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association working on numerous committees and serving as president from 2011 to 2014. The Stock Growers asked Harold to represent them on the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association Board of Directors. That board also appointed him to various committees and he was elected to their executive as Finance Chair. The Cattlemen's Association in turn appointed Harold as their representative on the board of Livestock Services of Saskatchewan. Harold only recently stepped down from his role as Livestock Services Chair."

He also was active for several years with the Swift Current Creek and South Saskatchewan River Watershed stewards.

Mirasty says as a producer, Harold understood the importance of sustainable access to good water for irrigation, livestock and crop production. 

"Harold was also heavily involved with the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Brand Inspection Services Advisory Committee and Prairie Pioneers Independent Housing."

He noted that Harold leaves an extraordinary legacy of generosity, accomplishment and service. 

The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Outstanding Service to Rural Saskatchewan is awarded to a Reeve, Councillor, or Administrator for his or her lifetime contribution to rural Saskatchewan.

Harold's wife Sylvia and son Chad accepted the honor on behalf of the family.

Chad thanked the Lieutenant Governor and his staff, and the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities for extending the award to his Dad.

"Dad spent many years coming to these conventions and participating in the important decision-making that goes on here. He was proud of the people who like him sacrificed their time and energy to serve their neighbors and their friends. I'd like to thank the councillors and staff at the RM of Excelsior for nominating Dad for this honor. He loved working with you and often spoke with pride of the decisions you made, and the high-quality staff that work there. Dad was most satisfied when he was part of the decision-making process. He loved the challenge of going to a meeting with a group of people who had differing opinions and gathering ideas and coming to a decision that almost everybody agreed with. Mostly, I'd like to thank the people that lived in the RM of Excelsior, and in the old constituency of Morse. You gave Dad the opportunity to grow and develop into the wise old sage that he ended up being. Dad was proud of where he came from and he was proud of his family, his neighbors and his friends. If he were here today, he would likely tell you how proud he is of all of you for the resiliency and strength that he sees in your faces as you face the future. He would paint a picture of hope in the midst of hardship, and laughter in the celebration of life lived together. Then he would get in his truck, and head home with prayers in his heart for the decisions made here."

Harold Martens passed away in January at the age of 81.