Former Mayor Morris Flewwelling will receive the highest honour the province of Alberta can bestow on a citizen.
Last week, it was announced Flewwelling will be honoured with the Alberta Order of Excellence.
“It is a huge honour,” said Flewwelling. “I’m feeling quite chuffed. I’m thrilled and of course whenever you receive an honour like this you are also humbled because you realize it’s your name that has been selected, but we all know that nobody does anything by themselves. Very often you might lead the parade but the award is really shared with all the people I have worked with over the years.”
The lieutenant governor will preside over the investiture ceremony in Edmonton on Oct. 15. This will bring the total membership of the Alberta Order of Excellence to 140.
Nominations for the award are accepted and considered year-round and can be considered for up to seven years. Candidates might not be selected in the year the nomination is received.
“I knew I had been nominated at one point, however what I didn’t know at the time was that the award is never given to a sitting politician. So when I retired in October, that was the trigger,” said Flewwelling.
By honouring their remarkable achievements and steadfast citizenship, their stories and legacy are preserved for future generations.
“The Alberta Order of Excellence is about recognizing those who have made a difference, who have served Albertans with distinction, and whose contributions will stand the test of time,” said Lieutenant Governor Donald S. Ethell, chancellor of the Alberta Order of Excellence.
Meanwhile, since retiring from politics last October, Flewwelling said he is enjoying life and has kept busy.
“Since October I have been doing all of the things that I put off for 10 years while I was mayor. I turned to projects that I had just left,” he said. “The other thing I have been doing is enjoying living in the moment. When I was mayor, it didn’t matter what I was doing at any point in the day, I was always thinking one or two hours ahead and you had to change gears so quickly. Now I am not rushing out the door first thing in the morning, I can enjoy a coffee, read the newspaper and do the crossword.
“Living in the moment is really a big change for me and I’m really enjoying that.”
Immediately following the municipal election last October, Flewwelling and his wife Hazel traveled to Palm Springs. In January the couple traveled to Vietnam for the month.
“It was a wonderful holiday and it was with a group of about 20 people. It was a rigorous holiday; it wasn’t a lie on the beach kind of holiday. We had the opportunity to work in a market garden one morning and we did a home stay, we went to cooking classes and had clothing made. We did the tourist stuff too but we did a lot of neat stuff with the people there.”
Morris added after the election he also purchased 16 heifers, 13 of who have had their calves this spring. “I am able to go to my ranch every day and I can ride and fuss around with the calves and the cows – that part of it is also a lot of fun for me.”
As for the transition out of politics, Morris said it has been interesting.
“I kind of thought that as soon as I was no longer the mayor, I would be kind of forgotten. That has not been the case, nothing like that has changed,” he said. “However, it is a new council and a new mayor and I didn’t want to be engaged in municipal affairs at all. I felt it was important for me to back off completely.”
Moving forward, Flewwelling said he plans to get involved in politics by serving on a board of some type.
“I don’t want to get tangled up in the work that I used to do. I want to do something more expansive where I can use my experience as mayor and my experiences in organization to move the ball along, rather than repeat what I have done before.”