The Lloydminster Archives research room has been renamed in honour of its longstanding champion Dr. Don Duncan.
Duncan in accepting the accolade is crediting the work of community volunteers for making the archives what it is today.
“This achievement, the development of the archives, as it has become. And I really do believe it’s one of the best, small archives in western Canada, that’s not my doing. That’s the doing of the volunteers who have been tireless for almost 26 years now in some cases. And I am honoured to see my name on the research room, but the room should really be attributed to the work of several others and I do look forward to people coming in and learning more about Lloydminster’s history.”
Duncan says the naming ceremony held Monday February 7th was emotional for him.
The archives now located at the new Lloydminster Museum and Archives building has traditions dating back to the 1990’s when the Lloydminster centennial committee was holding its planning sessions.
Duncan got involved in the Archives back in 2004 after his retirement as director of the Lloydminster Public School Division. He would go on to lead the volunteer group from 2008 to 2020.
The Friends of the Lloydminster Regional Archives credits Duncan with getting grant funding for the archives, as well meeting with City officials to secure its future within the city and making the Lloydminster Regional Archives what they describe as a sustainable enterprise.
Officials say the Archives hold hundreds of fonds or collections of documents, television and video recordings, newspaper, photographs, recordings of personal interviews, local books and lots more.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers noted the important role that the Archives play in preserving and making accessible the history of the region.
“Inquiries are made I understand on a regular basis of people trying to connect with people. Family histories. The history of our community and neighbouring communities, which are all very important to all of us.”
Duncan underscored what he calls the important values of the numerous people who put their efforts into making the Archives a reality and how this should be cherished.
“All of that didn’t come about by accident. It came about because people believed in important values. They applied themselves to achieving remarkable accomplishments, in what some would describe as a bit of a hostile natural environment. And I think the models that people have given us will serve our youth very, very well as they succeed in life.”
Archivist Corine Price reciprocates the sentiments of the staff in the renaming of the archives space.
“It’s such an honour. We are so happy for Don that we could have this opportunity to name our research room after him. He’s been such an integral part of our organization, a really great leader and a cornerstone of our organization.”
The renaming is taking place during Archives Week from February 6th-12th and the archives team is hosting several activities for the community including two workshops and an open house.
The Preservation workshop will be held Tuesday February 8th and the Digitization workshop is Thursday February 10th. The open house will be an informal drop in during regular hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,Wednesday February 10th.
On Friday February 11th, the Archives will be having a door prize draw in conjunction with the Lloydminster Museum.
More information on these activities is on the Lloydminster Regional Archives website.