Originally from Meadow Lake, Ferne Hebig recently returned home after living and working in the Village of Viscount to take on the role of city clerk. Recently, Ferne spoke with Northern Pride about her new position, life growing up in the community, her family and more.
Q: What made you decide to return to Meadow Lake?
A: We’ve been talking about moving back home for a while to be closer to family. Everyone needs a support system and my family is mine. Driving around town brings up a lot of memories from when I was growing up, like having fries with friends at Hannigan’s, corn on the cob at the Stampede, and orange floats at Wayne’s Café. Are those all food related? Yes. It’s amazing the memories food and music can bring up, things you didn’t even realize you’d forgotten. I was listening to the radio and heard Bop by Dan Seals come on and I was back in the civic centre at a wedding listening to Jim and Martin play. As far as working at city hall goes, there are a lot of moving parts. I’m excited to get to know everyone I’m working with better and discover what everyone contributes to the team.
Q: What are your day-to-day responsibilities as city clerk?
A: As an administrator in small towns and villages, I’ve had to wear every hat and then some. From dust control, asset management, and ordering supplies to utility bills and tax notices, preparing budgets and council minutes and everything in between I’ve had to do it all and learned a lot along the way. In this job as city clerk, I’m managing only a piece of the big pie. It’s still a big slice, it’s just not the entire pie, which is a nice change. I can focus my efforts to be more effective and efficient putting my talents to work here, mainly in terms of bylaws, policies, contracts, record keeping, minutes, communications, etc. My experience and skill set in customer service, public relations, and communications I think will be particularly beneficial.
Q: What was it like to grow up in Meadow Lake?
A: My husband and I both grew up here. Growing up in Meadow Lake was different when we were kids than it is now, but only in some ways. We still have a very diverse community, and that has only become truer over time. The cultural understanding you gain from growing up in a community like Meadow Lake cannot be matched. We’re looking forward to catching up with old friends who we haven’t seen in a while as well. There are a few things that have changed over the years like the fact there is a theatre again. I’m thrilled about that, as we do love the movies.
Q: What are your pastimes?
A: I do tend to keep extremely busy. Outside of work I run a gourmet sauce company with my mom which keeps us both busy. I’m a very creative person and I write, read books, and play music on occasion. I do several super geeky things like paint miniatures for role playing games, craft up dice boxes, and do some graphic design work like coffee mugs and posters and sell them on Etsy just to keep the creativity flowing. I generally just hang out watching TV, movies or playing games with my family.
Q: Tell me more about your family.
A: My parents, Helen and Tony Beaudry, live nearby in Makwa. My sister, Christine, her husband, Kelly (Schmidt), and my niece and nephew, Samantha and Simon, live just three or so blocks away. I haven’t lived this close to my sister in more than 20 years. My husband, Donald, is a water plant operator. We have three children, Deidre, 25, is a senior animator for Wild Brain Media and lives in Vancouver, Donovan, 23, is a train conductor for CP Railway and lives in Saskatoon, and Evan, 14, lives here in Meadow Lake with us.