Long-time Pine River business owner Anthony (Tony) Semeniuk is the recipient of the 2016 Community Service Award, presented ‘In Grateful Appreciation and Recognition of Outstanding Dedication and Community Service in the Rural Municipality of Mountain’.
The award recognizes a resident, past or present, who has provided exceptional community service within the municipality, making an outstanding contribution of both time and effort for the benefit of others. Nominations close Oct. 31, annually.
Semeniuk, now 93 years old, has been a business man in Pine River for 70 years. He operates Semeniuk Lucky Dollar, a general store in the small community. It offers a variety of products and services, such as food, clothing, and $10 haircuts in a 100-year-old barber chair.
“Semeniuk is still extremely active in the town,” said Mountain councillor Willie Malcolm, representing the Pine River Ward. “He was involved in the school division and was one of the founding members of the credit union. He’s also still active in his church and in the local Lions club.”
In an interview with the Western Producer, Semeniuk revealed the many other ways he has served his community over the years, including operating a taxi service, pool hall, tax service, egg grading, real estate, and insurance, as well as working as a census and returning officer.
In his 40 years running a taxi service, the cab has even become an impromptu ambulance, as he has had to deliver six babies on the way to the hospital.
“The man is an encyclopedia,” said Malcolm. “Every time I talk to him, I learn something new. He’s still very sharp. He doesn’t even wear glasses or use a hearing aid.”
Semeniuk has stated he is honoured to receive this recognition from the community that he has served so diligently.
“Anything you do, whatever you do, do it with love and you will be successful,” he said. “I run my life with love, and I like working with people.
“I’ve been in business for 70 years. This is what it’s all about.”
In a shrinking rural village, a solid rock like Semeniuk helps keep the wheels of the community turning.