Carlyle paid tribute to one of its own as the Carlyle Airport was officially renamed the E.J. (Ted) Brady Regional Airport on Saturday, June 25.
Brady was a longtime mayor of Carlyle and not only served 22 years on town council and 15 years as mayor; he also served as president of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) and as president of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities.
“Look at this another way,” says Carlyle mayor Wayne Orsted. “A mayor from a small town of less than 1,200 people at that time, representing cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal at the federal level. That's an accomplishment.”
“The airport here with paved runway, landing lights and directional beacon which makes (the airport) useable 24 hours a day probably wouldn't be here without Mr. Brady,” added Orsted.
“Mr. Brady sought and obtained grants so there could be a 24-hour airport in this corner of the province outside of Weyburn and Estevan. You just have to look at the other towns in the area and see how many don't have a 24-hour airport today.”
Brady's daughter, Sherry Klatt of Regina-one of many family members in attendance-explained: “He wanted to involve the surrounding communities, especially White Bear and the lakes. When we were approached to what the comunity could do to recognize Dad, Mom imediately said, 'Name the airport in his honour.'”
“Mom and Dad were travelling to the Maritimes for a Canadian Federation of Municipalities convention. Dad was president at the time. Federal minister Eugene Whelan was travelling with them... Anyway, he asked Dad what the government could do for a 'hot shot small-town mayor.'”
“Dad was often teased about being a small-town mayor from a community of 1,100 people, but representing cities like Vancouver and Montreal as well,” added Klatt. “Mr. Whelan commented that Dad definitely deserved some favour. Immediately, Dad replied: 'A paved runway for our airport.' The airport was used by the RCMP planes, government planes, oil and agricultural companies, and above all, some local pilots who just loved the sport of flying.”
“(Whelan) told Dad to forward the request. 'You can consider it done.' And the rest is history.”
“The red lettering on the sign is perfect,” said Klatt. “Dad will be smiling down with his vote of approval. Dad loved red.”
“Today we feel so blessed to be witnessing this dedication,” she added. “Dad loved Carlyle... He was passionate about the growth of this town... He was a great role model. He had a desire, a dream, and a vision for this town.”
“He, to us, was a champion.”