N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 19, 1983
Discipline / contribution: community service ; co-operative organizations
Citation / biographical information:
Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Mr. Charles Stuart Mitchell.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
It is an honor and a great pleasure for me to present Mr. Mitchell in recognition of his outstanding contributions of public service and leadership in his local community, Saskatchewan as a whole, and nationally.
Mr. Mitchell was born on a farm in the Preeceville district in 1909. He obtained his elementary and secondary education there, and farmed in this district until 1944 when he moved to Sturgis where he continued to farm until his retirement from farming 5 years ago.
In his local community Mr. Mitchell was always an active participant, contributor and leader. For example, he was on the committee that organized the first union hospital in the area and served on the Hospital Board for 20 years, including 10 years as Chairman. He was Chairman of the committee that organized and built a large hockey arena in Sturgis in the early 1950’s. He served as Chairman of the Sturgis School Unit, and is still Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Preeceville Senior Citizens’ Home, and Vice-Chairman of the Canora Home Care District.
Mr. Mitchell made a major contribution to the development of cooperatives. He was a founding member of the Sturgis Co-op Farm, formed in 1944. This was the first co-op farm organized in Canada, and served as a model for numerous other farm cooperatives in Saskatchewan and other parts of Canada. The Sturgis Co-op Farm attracted widespread interest in North America and Europe. Mr. Mitchell was also chairman of the committee that organized the Co-op store at Sturgis. At the same time he was a member of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool for about 50 years and served in several capacities in that organization.
Also outstanding is Mr. Mitchell’s contribution to local government.
This included serving as Reeve of his municipality for 25 years, and serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities for 18 years, including 3 years as President and 3 years as
Vice-President. He also served on the executives of the Saskatchewan and Canadian Federations of Agriculture, as a member of the Saskatchewan Committee on Rural Life and Local Government, and as a member of the Saskatchewan Water Management Committee.
At the provincial level Mr. Mitchell served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Power Corporation for 9 years, as a member of the Saskatchewan Farm Ownership Board for 8 years, the Saskatchewan Advisory Council on Transportation for 7 years, and as a member of the Provincial Social Services Committee for 18 years.
Mr. Mitchell has already been recognized and honored for his outstanding contributions by his appointment to the Order of Canada in 1979, receipt of a Queen’s Medal for Public Service in 1977, and several citizenship and leadership awards.
This abbreviated citation would be very incomplete if it did not mention the strong support and assistance Charles received from his wife Beda. Much of the responsibility for maintaining their home and raising their 5 children fell on her shoulders.
In the Preeceville, Sturgis and Yorkton areas Mr. Mitchell is well known for his love of baseball, curling and golfing, as well as his skills in these sports. He has now added gardening and bowling to his list of hobbies.
Mr. Chancellor, I present to you Mr. Charles Stuart Mitchell and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: J.A. Brown, Dean of Agriculture
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