Rhonda Meakin is going to have quite a story for her daughter Grace one day.
The two came home from hospital on Thursday, just in time for Rhonda's enshrinement in the Prince Albert Council of Women's Hall of Fame on Saturday afternoon.
"It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks," she said with a chuckle after the ceremony.
Meakin has a flair for understatement.
She found out she was receiving the award on Sunday, Feb. 17, celebrated her 40th birthday on Monday, Feb. 18 and gave birth to her daughter on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
"I'm truly humbled and at a total loss for what to say," she said in her acceptance speech. "I'm humbled, very emotional and totally blown away."
Pictures of the members of the women's hall of fame can be seen on the east wall of the second floor at City Hall.
The Saskatoon native has made an impact since moving to Prince Albert in 1995 to become a police officer.
Meakin's community involvement involves a wide swath of activities, including the Special Olympics, the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Compassionate Community Response Team, co-ordinating Police Ventures and coaching in bowling, golf and curling.
"She doesn't have to do these things, she does them because she is who she is," says her boss, Prince Albert Police Service Chief Troy Cooper says.
Her father Ron Meakin said Rhonda has always demonstrated drive and leadership.
"She always believed you get what you give, and by giving you receive many times over," he said.
Meakin, a good student and daughter growing up, spent five years in the Canadian Forces Reserves, joining at age 17. She earned a degree at the University of Saskatchewan at the same time.
"To us, Rhonda has always been that generous, giving, 100 per cent dedicated daughter, friend and mentor," Ron said as his wife, Rhonda's mom Sylvia, sat watching and listening. "It's especially humbling to us as parents to see her recognized by others."
That work ethic has served her well in her profession
Cooper noted that Meakin has made a strong impression on the force since her first day on Dec. 27, 1995 at age 22.
"In the world of policing, there are no shortcuts," Cooper noted. "Being a woman does not qualify you for special treatment and you don't get select positions just because you're female. Rhonda has worked without complaint under some very distasteful circumstances."
Cooper said she has improved every unit that she has served in, also earning two commendations for her police work and an award as school mentor of the year in 2004.
"I don't know what motivates Rhonda to work as hard as you do or volunteer as much as you do but as a community member I'm grateful for your work," Cooper said. "As a parent of daughters I'm appreciative of you as a role model and as an employer and co-worker who works alongside you, I think you've succeeded as a community leader."
Cooper said the application that Meakin submitted to get her job with the police service offers up some foreshadowing.
"I would like to make the community different," Cooper said she wrote, adding "I think you have Rhonda. The doors are open a little wider."
Meakin was promoted to sergeant in 2006, the year she received the Saskatchewan Centennial medal.
MLA Darryl Hickie, a former city officer, said the two of them worked just a single overtime shift together on patrol. But he knew who she was.
"She was always giving to the community," he said. "Every day, looking for a different cause to champion, to be part of a community organization."
Coun. Lee Atkinson, speaking on behalf of Mayor Greg Dionne, was struck by the impact she's had on Prince Albert.
"The legacy that you leave is the mentoring of various individuals within our community that make those lives better," he said. "Those are walking legacies you've left in the community that really illustrate the work you do."
Meakin, who has been married to fellow officer Shawn Rowden for 11 years, received a Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012.
In her six-minute acceptance speech, Meakin said the way she was raised has been a major influence on everything she's accomplished and who she is as a person.
Subsequently there were friends and co-workers who helped her out.
"It's not a journey I've taken alone," she said.
While Meakin used the opportunity to thank family and friends, she also provided some insight into what makes her tick.
"When you stand up and put your name forward or walk into a situation, it's very effortless to participate when it's something that you believe in," she said. "Everything I've done has been from the heart -- certainly not for any recognition -- because I wanted to do something that was a great fit in my life, something that I cared deeply about."