It’s a most fitting honour.
This Saturday afternoon the Town of Okotoks is holding a ceremony to officially turn Riverside Community Park into Bill Robertson Park in tribute to the late mayor who left such an indelible mark on the town he loved so much.
Robertson, who passed away last July after a brave battle with cancer, played a significant role in the shaping of present-day Okotoks during a civic political career that spanned more than 25 years. He helped shepherd Okotoks from a town of less than 10,000 when he was first elected as a councillor in 1995 to one three times that size, all the while maintaining its small-town charm.
A five-term councillor before another three terms as mayor, Robertson had a hand in everything from the opening of Dawgs stadium and the construction of the first solar community in North America to arena expansion and regional water agreement, among much, much more during his time in office.
However, he will be best remembered for the undying love he showed the town where he lived and taught school for so many years. Town CAO Elaine Vincent might have captured his impact best when she told the Wheel on Robertson’s passing last summer: “Okotoks bled out of his soul and he did his best to amplify Okotoks' voice everywhere he went."
He was more than just a community leader, he was an advocate, a tireless booster for a town that he was proud to call home. A genuine, kind-hearted man who had a smile for everyone, regardless of political view, Robertson set a tone for the entire community with his warmth and compassion, extending a welcoming hand and treating all with the respect they deserved.
Robertson loved Okotoks and Okotoks loved him back, so it’s apropos the Town is naming a park, a place where kids and families and the entire community can come together to enjoy themselves, in his honour.