Two inspiring leaders

To Lyn Radford and Madiha Mueen, two shining examples of how good this community can be.


To Lyn Radford and Madiha Mueen, two shining examples of how good this community can be.

Radford, the Red Deer Citizen of the Year, and Mueen, 18, the Young Citizen of the Year, were honoured this week at a banquet.

Their sacrifices, leadership and depth of caring are remarkable. Both have given countless hours, shown vision and awareness beyond any normal standard, and helped inspire so many others in our community.

And they have helped shape Central Alberta into a better place to live.

The annual event, driven by the four Rotary clubs of Red Deer, is intended to draw attention to the best leaders, young and seasoned, in our community.

But it also shines a spotlight on the many causes and organizations that are supported so selflessly by people like Radford, Mueen and so many others.

A strong community is based on a solid foundation of caring people. Radford and Mueen and others like them are that foundation.

— John Stewart


A dozen roses to all the mothers whose special day is Sunday. It’s Mother’s Day, a time to show our appreciation for that loving person who devoted most of her life in caring for some of the most important souls in her life — us kids.

The unconditional love of a mother is a blessing, radiating far more warmth and comfort than the sun.

They have was always been there with comforting hugs and kisses when the monsters had to be chased out of a closet at bedtime, or a skinned knee required immediate medical attention.

When their children hurt, they felt the pain twofold. When their children wept during difficult times, the moms wept silently. When the children were joyful, mothers were in their glory.

In Thursday’s Advocate, columnist Shannon McKinnon addressed the topic of motherhood. A mom herself, she recalled the ups and downs of her personal experiences — good and bad — and concludes: “Being a mom is just about the greatest job on earth. . . .”

She also saluted her own mother, calling her “a woman who sees her glass as half full even though her thirst for living life to the fullest continues to drain it to the last drop.”

She concluded: “My sisters and our children are all fortunate to have her indomitable influence in our lives.” Now that speaks volumes of truth.

So to all the moms out there, have a great day on Sunday.

— Rick Zemanek


To the homeless man and his buddy in Winnipeg who last weekend saved the life of a teen drowning in the Red River.

Faron Hall, a chronic drinker and homeless for seven years, exists in the shadows of Winnipeg’s bustling downtown and sleeps on the bank of the Red River.

He has become a celebrity overnight. He has been overwhelmed with praise, offers to help him to a better lifestyle and awarded the mayor’s medal of valour.

Rightly so. Hall and his pal Wayne Spence were sitting on the riverbank when they saw a boy in trouble in the swift current. Hall swam out to the 13-year-old and, while swimming back with the teen, he lost energy several metres from shore. Spence waded out and pulled both to the safety of the river bank.

We are often too quick to judge the homeless as non-productive members of the community.

Hall and his pal demonstrated that is not the case. They too possess the gift of compassion and courage.

— Rick Zemanek