By Carlie Connolly
The Citizen of the Year in Redcliff has been going on for a while now, and honours a citizen who has done a lot of work within the community. This year’s citizen of the year is Fred Hauck, who has done several volunteering with various organizations in both Redcliff and Alberta.
“It certainly wasn’t something I exactly wanted or needed. I thought if a person does volunteer long enough for various organizations, I thought possibly some day this would happen. This isn’t the reason that you volunteer,” said Hauck.
His work in the community started many years ago with the Redcliff Museum. He had a lot of knowledge about Redcliff history along with agriculture history, stampede history and music history as well that he could contribute. He joined the museum board and was vice president for many years, becoming president in 2003.
When on the museum board, he volunteered everywhere he could. He then later quit with the museum but had made an agreement with them to come back as a volunteer, not a board member. He has a whole display in there now with old antique and collectible toys for others to view.
“I don’t ever remember anybody having toys like those years ago.”
He also picked a timeline to use, titling the display, Childhood Toys, Idols and Icons and put in as many familiar things that people would remember.
“When you go into a museum, you jog people’s memory and you try to coax a few stories out of them, what they remember about some of that stuff,” he said.
At the same time as the museum, he had been with the Redcliff Anglican Association, which was the local fishing club that started in 1953 and unfortunately shut down. He was a president in 1996 there, and was there for one year.
“It had been such a long time since I had done any fishing, but you do it because you’re a volunteer,” he said.
A few years later he had joined the St. Ambrose Anglican Church, and by then he had long since quit the fishing club. He’s on the church board and on the men’s club.
“You have so many men going to the church and so automatically they just try to get them all on the men’s club,” he said.
He also joined the Redcliff Legion and had been a member for one year. With some convincing from others, he was later on the executive at the legion, and was on there for a year. After that, he was convinced to be the first vice president and then had been so a couple of years ago.
He had originally started going to the United Church to begin with, and came to the Anglican Church on Psalm Sunday. They had said they were looking for ways to make money at the church, and Hauck had an idea. He had put on an antique and collectibles sale at the skating rink for a couple of years, but it became too much work, and so he told the church he would do it there, and they thought it was a great idea.
The church had mentioned they are happy they have him on board because he does so much for them on a volunteer capacity.
There is also what is called the volunteer of the year award every year, where every organization picks one volunteer, adding up to a number of people who are selected as volunteers of the year.
Hauck has been was volunteer of the year for several organizations.
“In the early days, it always took so long for a person to get volunteer of the year because there was always so many ahead of you and they had been veteran volunteers,” he said.
His mother and father also got citizen of the year several years ago, and it’s rare that so many are nominated from one immediate family.
Hauck said his volunteering all stems from his parents, starting back when he was a child. They had volunteered with the church and they sang and played in every nursing home in Medicine Hat.
“If you have an interest in something and you have the time, I always thought why not go ahead and do it,” he said.
Since 1999, he has also been on a volunteer basis, writing for various magazines in the United States and Canada. He’s done a lot of history pieces, as he knows a lot of various things. He always does a Calgary Stampede Article and has a big stampede collection, writing the stuff out of his own collection and knowledge.
“I write about something I know about and if it comes naturally to me, I just sit down and I write.”
Back in 2012, he also wrote for the Commentator about the Redcliff Centennial. He started writing in chronological order every two weeks, and many of the events he wrote about included the brickyards, the gold mines and the stair ranch. He also wrote about Redcliff’s history as well in the magazine in Calgary.
He still writes for the publications and volunteers for the church, having a 20 to 25 year career as a volunteer.
“It just gets to the point where you’ve kind of done as much as you can do,” he said.
He also belongs to an outfit on the Calgary Stampede Grounds called the Grain Academy, which is the history of agriculture in western Canada, and helps out at the Medicine Hat Museum as well, donating stuff to them and helping them out.
“I think Fred is a very deserving person of becoming citizen of the year. He does a lot of community work not only for the museum, but also for the St Ambrose Anglican Church and for the Legion. Fred is an all-around citizen, he helps anybody,” said Vi Rieger of the Redcliff Museum.
Last year, the victim’s assistants had a golf tournament and he volunteered for it, sitting in the pouring rain on a golf cart on hole number eight to see if people would get a hole in one.
The Redcliff Legion also had a New Years Eve draw where they sell tickets, and he wound up selling 18 books of tickets, which was the largest amount sold.
“You don’t only volunteer for the organizations you belong to but you volunteer for the organization that needs help.”