By Anna Smith
Cypress County’s own Richard Oster received his Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal to recognize his years with Community Futures.
Jan. 25 marked the occasion as friends and colleagues gathered in the county council room to celebrate the significant contributions of their fellow Albertan.
“Richard has been involved in community futures. For my recollection at least nine years he’s turned out,” said Corrie Stolz, Cypress County Chair with Community Futures Entrecorp. “He’s a very dedicated person to this organization. I’ve been involved in boards for nearly 30 years.”
Stolz remembers the onset of boards, when they used to receive packages, hand delivered before electronically being delivered.
“I really remember an occasion where one of the boards I sat on, we had trouble making a quorum. There was one member standing outside on her phone, she was the quorum. It took about 15 minutes when she came in, she opened her package at the board meeting and sat down. No preparation in any way, shape, or form. Richard reads every word on every page and when you have a board package that could be sometimes close to 100 pages,” explained Stolz. “That was a lot of reading.”
Oster’s quiet influence over the board was remarked on fondly, as was his constant curiosity and how he was never afraid to share his opinion and help keep the board running as smoothly as it has.
This curiosity, however, is something that Oster attributed to those surrounding him, as they “kept him curious” throughout the years.
“I got a phone call one day, Sandy asking me to come down to the office. She had some paperwork. But that time, I wasn’t signing cheques, so I was a little bit surprised by that, I thought maybe there was something I forgot,” said Oster. “So I went down there for a break. Corey hands me a letter congratulating me on being awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal. I was speechless. And that’s something that people who know me would say that doesn’t happen.”
“Being a Community Futures board member has kept me curious. For me, life is just for fun, but we must stay curious. So I thank you to the board and staff members for doing that,” said Oster. “Receiving this medal is pretty humbling and also really awesome. Thank you all for nominating me, and thank you; I really have enjoyed this, working with Community Futures.”
While Oster presently has to take time away from the board according to policy, many hope that he will be returning after a year away, to continue to bring his energy and dedication back to the future of this corner of the province.
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