Everybody loves Lyle Karasiuk

Tyler Clarke
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What goes around comes around, and on Saturday Prince Albert 2013 Citizen of the Year Lyle Karasiuk received back some of the love he’s given to the community.


2013 Citizen of the Year Lyle Karasiuk wipes away a laugh-induced tear during a banquet in his honour at the Prince Albert Inn on Saturday. 

“It is truly an honour,” Karasiuk said, capping off a banquet in his honour at the Prince Albert Inn. “It’s a humbling experience. I feel very appreciative.”

A tradition that dates back to 1958, Karasiuk said that being named the latest Prince Albert Citizen of the Year is something that he does not take lightly.

“It’s a league of people who have strived to make this community a better place.”

Karasiuk is no exception to this sentiment, with the nomination form Marvis Wilm wrote clocking in at several pages, highlighting the efforts of a very devoted man.

Although perhaps best known as Parkland Ambulances communications officer or “safety guy,” Karasiuk’s name has been linked with just about every non-profit and fundraiser in the city for the past few decades.

“When does this guy sleep?” Prince Albert Carlton MLA Darryl Hickie asked during his remarks. “He’s part of everything you hear of all the time.”

Hickie was two grades behind Karasiuk at St. Mary High School, and remembers seeing Karasiuk driven to accomplish great things from an early age.

His parents Bob and Olga instilled this drive to success, his sister Lynn Karasiuk James said after the evening’s speeches wrapped up.

“The hard work and success and being determined -- those things were values that we had growing up at home,” she said.

Bob, who died in 1982, was a hard working self-starter who owned and operated Modern Market with Olga, who was at Saturday’s banquet, beaming with admiration for her son.

“Lyle is very much the same kind of person,” James said, comparing her brother to their father. “He’s busy with a lot of things, but when it comes to family, something for mom or something for me or my sons -- Lyle drops everything and he’s there for us.”

It’s a humbling experience. I feel very appreciative. Lyle Karasiuk

The evening’s emcee Mitch Holash also took a moment to thank Karasiuk’s parents for a job well done in raising a community leader, telling Olga, “You’ve meant the world to Lyle, and therefore the whole community is appreciative of the good work you’ve done with Lyle.”

Presenting Karasiuk with an Award of Merit, Mayor Greg Dionne commended Karasiuk with exemplifying the best qualities of an engaged citizen.

“I’m so proud that he got citizen of the year, because there isn’t a place you don’t see him … I don’t think Lyle knows how to say ‘no,’” Dionne said.

“Lyle has a heart for Prince Albert … When you’ve got somebody like that that who loves the city, it’s incredible.”

With the Citizen of the Year event a joint effort of the Prince Albert Daily Herald and the Kinsmen Club of Prince Albert, managing editor Perry Bergson and Kinsmen Club president Jared Devers provided their own thoughts on this year’s recipient.

Bergson capped his speech with a quote from philosopher and missionary Albert Schweitzer, reading, “Wherever a man turns, he can find someone who needs him,” adding, “Prince Albert is fortunate that we can turn to you.”

In his remarks, Devers concluded that Karasiuk lives by the Kinsmen Club motto of “To Serve the Community’s Greatest Need.”

“Lyle has been doing just that,” he concluded. “Lyle donates countless hours to serving the community to make it a better place, and I am grateful that I am raising a child in this city for the years to come.”

Organizations: Prince Albert Inn, Mary High School, Perry Bergson and Kinsmen Club

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