Brown Road dedicated in south Estevan

 

Debbie Packet believes Brown Road is in a perfect location for a road to be named after her father, Russell Brown.

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After all, it gives people a really good view of the Boundary Dam Power Station to the south, and her father played an instrumental role in the construction of Boundary Dam, back when he was the minister responsible for SaskPower as part of the cabinet for Tommy Douglas.

The City of Estevan dedicated Brown Road in honour of the late Russell Brown on Tuesday afternoon, with numerous members of Brown’s family in attendance. The road is in south Estevan, and extends from Collins Road to Souris Avenue South.

Among the sites that Brown Road passes are the Cactus Park baseball diamonds.

Brown lived in Estevan for only a few years, but he made a big impact on the city. And he was already a well-known individual before coming to the city.

He was a captain in the army during the Second World War. He served as the MLA for the Last Mountain constituency for the New Democratic Party, and was the minister responsible for SaskPower when the Boundary Dam Power Station (BDPS) was commissioned in 1959.

He moved to Estevan in 1966 and purchased the Empire Hotel. After selling the hotel, he purchased A&A Jewellery.

In the community, Brown was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Estevan branch and the Estevan Elks.

Brown was elected to Estevan city council in 1969 and was re-elected in 1970. Then he was elected as the MLA for the Souris-Estevan constituency in 1971, a position he held until his death later that year.

“He liked to help people,” said Packet. “And he felt that’s why he was on council. He wanted to make things better for the citizens of Estevan, and that’s why he was an MLA. He always wanted to serve.”

Even though he was busy, Packet said her father always had time for his family, and Sundays were always a family time.

Another daughter, Pat Garvey, said her father was very proud to live in Estevan, and he fell in love with the community.

“He loved everything – the people, the weather, the businesses – he enjoyed it all,” said Garvey. “But he really liked the people.”

Garvey wasn’t living at home when the family moved to Estevan, but she could tell how happy he was to be in the Energy City.

“I know that every time I spoke to him, I asked ‘How come you left Regina, Dad?’” And he said ‘You have to come and find out.’”

And when she came here, she found out why his dad was happy to be here.

They were surprised when they found out the city was going to name a street after him.

Mayor Roy Ludwig said Brown’s name was submitted to be considered for a road recognition. Estevan city council decides who should have a road named after them, and they selected Brown for the previously unnamed route.  

During their research, council found out how much Brown accomplished in the community despite only being here for a few years. They also discovered the impact he had before moving to Estevan.

Ludwig said Brown made a big impact on the community.

His role as the minister for SaskPower during the construction of Boundary Dam was a factor in the decision to honour him.

“These are all factors that came together and … we’re proud to unveil his name on the sign, and we can tell from the family attending here today is his family is proud as well,” said Ludwig.

Brown and his wife had six children, 13 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren. 

© Copyright 2018 Estevan Mercury

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