Queen’s medal donated to Stettler by late Mayor Richards’ family

Written by Stu Salkeld

The Town of Stettler received a special gift from the estate of the late Mayor Dick Richards.

The presentation was made by Richards’ family at the regular meeting of council July 21.

Richards’ father, Ron, appeared before council to present the town with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, which Ron described as a highlight of his son’s 15-year career as a councillor and mayor of Stettler.

Ron said the Richards family wanted to give the medal to the town and would like to see it publicly displayed.

Each councillor made a few comments about the late Mayor Richards, who recently passed away after a lengthy illness.

Coun. Al Campbell stated he worked with Mayor Richards the longest out of those present. “All our hearts go out to you,” said Campbell to Ron. “We all miss him.”

“It was a pleasure to know him,”  said Coun. Scott Pfeiffer, adding he was a great contributor and respected local businessman.

Coun. Malcolm Fischer stated Mayor Richards had a legendary sense of humour and was fun to work with, a man who had great love for Stettler. 

“There was never any question who represents this town,” said Fischer.

Coun. Cheryl Barros had difficulty speaking as she was overcome by emotion. She stated Mayor Richards was a very special person who encouraged her to run for town council.

Coun. Gord Lawlor stated he knew Mayor Richards for many years, a member of the respected Richards family. 

Lawlor stated Mayor Richards also encouraged him to run for town council. “We share in your loss,” said Lawlor.

Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Greg Switenky stated he was honoured to be asked to speak at Mayor Richards’ funeral. 

Switenky stated Mayor Richards took his responsibilities very seriously, was a fine mayor, a caring person, deeply cared for his family and made sure that people knew they mattered to him. 

Switenky remembered something he learned from Mayor Richards. “It’s never too late to say thank you,” said Switenky.

Coun. Wayne Smith stated he didn’t know Mayor Richards as long as others, but he had tremendous respect for the late mayor and his reputation and noted Mayor Richards also encouraged him to run for town council and even signed his nomination papers.

Assistant CAO Steven Gerlitz stated he grew up in Stettler with Mayor Richards and appreciated the mayor’s help when he went through difficulties.

“Dick was a very, very special friend,” said Gerlitz.

Mayor Sean Nolls stated Mayor Richards was a mentor to him on his first term on council, teaching him there was a time to be calm and a time to be angry.

 Nolls stated he’ll remember Mayor Richards for the way he treated other people with respect and Nolls appreciated everything he learned from the late mayor. 

“Dick is the reason I am where I am,” added Nolls.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.