Posted by Richard (Rich) Gibbons on Feb 14, 2020

Every February brings a very special announcement, the recipient of the Sax Koyama “Citizen of the Year” award for our municipality.

The name Sax Koyama elicits fond memories from long-time residents. He was a highly respected member of this community who gave tirelessly of himself as a local volunteer. When he tragically lost his life in 1986 the Oceola Fish & Game Club, of which he was a long- time member, decided to honour his memory. An award would be made each year to one community volunteer whose efforts deserved recognition.

Over the ensuing decades dozens of our volunteers have been recognized. While this year is no exception in recognizing a truly outstanding citizen, it will be the first time it will be awarded posthumously.

On February 2nd, our community was shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of Bob Rymarchuk.

From the time he and wife Ursula opened UBR Printing in 1995 Bob has never stopped working as a community builder. In the early days he volunteered with his two sons’ hockey and soccer teams in many capacities. He was part of the group that built the Beasley soccer fields and clubhouse, now operated by our District. He was a Charter Member and President of the LC Chamber of Commerce and our local Rotary Club. Bob chaired the committee responsible for the planning and construction of Creekside Theatre and Community Complex which opened in 1999.

When Lake Country Rotary Club agreed to take the lead in planning and building our new Food Bank, Bob once again put his hand up to assume responsibility. It was a proud moment for him and our entire community when it officially opened in 2018.

While the award of Citizen of the Year to Bob Rymarchuk for the year 2019 will be made posthumously, the nomination was not. Members of his much-loved Rotary Club had made the nomination a month prior to his passing.