Isabelle Butters


Honorary Life Membership
In Recognition of

Margaret Isabelle Butters

Margaret Isabelle Butters, known to us as Isabelle, was born and raised on a farm south of the City of Weyburn. She has been employed by the Weyburn Co-operative Association for the past 39 years and has been General Manager of that organization for almost a decade.

Let me tell you of her contributions to this province and beyond its borders over the past 35 years.

She has been a leader in community affairs in the City of Weyburn. She was an Alderman, when they still were called that, for twelve years and Mayor for six years. She served on the Weyburn Union Hospital board and executive, the Arts Council, the Recreation and Parks Board, the Weyburn and District United Appeal, the Weyburn Ladies' Curling Club, the Alexandria Rebekah Lodge and the Quota Club of Weyburn, a member of the Community Development Committee and the Aid for Aging Committee. She currently is a member of the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce, president of the Special Care Homes Corporation. She is an active member of Grace United Church and is presently chairperson of its Board of Stewards.

Now let us turn to her contribution at the provincial, national and international levels. She was a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Rehabilitation of the Mentally Ill, the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts Board, the Co-op Guarantee Board, and the Saskatchewan Division, Canadian Arthritis Society which she served as president for three years. She was a member of the Oddfellows World Eye Bank and Visual Research Committee and is past president of the Rebekah Assembly of Saskatchewan. Isabelle is past chairperson of the Finance Committee of the International Rebekahs, was a committee member of the Job Creation Program Advisory Committee for Saskatchewan and Canada and was area vice-president for Canada, Quota International. She is currently serving on the Public Service Appeal Board.

She has received several honours, the most noteworthy being the Decoration of Chivalry from the Independent Order of Oddfellows in 1961 and the Order of Canada in 1980.

This is a dazzling array of accomplishments that leads one to ask what else did she have time for? You may have noticed that I haven't yet mentioned libraries. Marian Ridge, Southeast Regional Librarian writing in behalf of the executive committee of Southeast Regional Library, lists her many contributions to libraries. Isabelle has served on the local Weyburn Library Board and the Southeast Regional Library executive from 1971 to 1976 and 1985 to the present. She is presently chairperson of the Weyburn Public Library Board and chairperson of the Regional Board's Policy Committee. She was a member of the former Library Development Board from 1972 to 1983 and is presently on the Saskatchewan Library Board representing Southeast Region.

Isabelle's contributions to library service in Saskatchewan are indeed significant.

In addition to all of these things, Isabelle is a pretty fine human being - and I can personally attest to that. A number of others agree with me. I talked to one person in Weyburn, who shall remain unnamed, and was told that to become General Manager of an organization with 180 employees spread all over the City of Weyburn takes more than good luck. It takes good management and this person pointed out that in a male dominated industry, Isabelle had to be better than her male counterparts to get the job in the first place. Further, says this nameless source, she's persevering and competent, she can weed out the chafe quickly and make a decision, she is open minded and has the respect of her management team and employees. Well, I thought, I know all that, but what else is there about this more mature version of Anne of Green Gables? And then it came to me. It is her spirit - an indomitable spirit; bend it but not break it; dampen it but not squelch it. It is a spirit touched with vulnerability but, consistently, a spirit of steadfastness and resilience, of good humour and optimism.

Another thing that stands out about Isabelle is her faith her faith in God, her faith in her friends and associates and her faith in this province and its people. And her unwillingness to accept things as they are including the injustices and wrongs of our society, but persistently and courageously working for the betterment of our society, our province and, indeed, all of Canada. It is an honour and a real privilege to present to Isabelle Butters, in behalf of all of us here and in behalf of the Saskatchewan Library Trustees' Association, the 1987 Honourary Life Membership Award.