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COUNCIL COLUMN: Passing the torch of volunteerism, community leadership

Ronnie’s memory will inspire us to rise.
Cochrane Mayor Jeff Genung
Cochrane is built on the shoulders of many great men and women: community members who rise by lifting others, who give back so often and in so many ways, and do so selflessly. For them, it is not just a way of life, but a way to live fully.

In 2019 our community was forever changed with the passing of a resident who was one of our community’s roster of tireless volunteers and leaders. Ronnie Knowles had an infectious smile, an incredibly positive attitude and was always brimming with great ideas. As a local business owner he backed many worthy causes with financial and in-kind support. He was never too shy to roll up his sleeves and pitch in when needed. He was deeply committed to creating positive experiences and opportunities for youth and families.

I had planned to attend Ronnie’s memorial, but it took place on the same day as my grandmother’s celebration of life in Saskatchewan. Following her service, we gathered in her home and talked about how she had shaped our family and inspired us. We realized that it’s now up to us to keep the values she embraced alive so we can help shape future generations.

As I drove back home and thought about Ronnie, I thought how best to honour him. In the same way our family recognized our role in keeping Grandma’s finest qualities alive, the onus now passes to us to ensure Cochrane’s spirit of volunteerism and community leadership remains strong and vibrant. Ronnie’s memory will inspire us to rise. 

He will be missed.