"We celebrate Rhonda when we honour her name in this way, but we also honour the lake where we can now celebrate her spirit.” — Les Saskowski, Local 9 President, The Pas Correctional Centre
Winnipeg (21 Jan. 2016) — On January 19, the Manitoba government announced it will commemorate the life of Rhonda Commodore, a dedicated correctional officer who lost her life while serving her community and the province, by naming a lake in her honour. Commodore was a member of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE).
Manitoba Attorney General Gord Mackintosh and Les Saskowski, President of the The Pas Correctional Centre bargaining unit, joined Commodore’s mother, Blanche Commodore, and Commodore's eight-year-old son, Anthony, for the announcement.
Commodore recalled as kind, good-natured colleague
“It’s an honour to have this opportunity to say a few words about our sister,” Saskowski said. “As you can imagine, a jail is not an easy place to work and the days are often challenging. In an environment like that, you come to appreciate your co-workers and the relief they bring to you. As Rhonda’s co-workers, we benefited from her good nature and kindness. And in a lot of ways she also made life a bit easier for the inmates she worked with.”
Commodore began serving as a correctional officer at The Pas Correctional Centre in 2000 and was chosen to be a part of the officers’ Honour Guard in 2004. On November 6, 2014, she was killed in a motor vehicle collision while transporting inmates from The Pas to Dauphin.
Commodore Lake, 45 minutes north of Flin Flon
“I want to say to her family, and all those gathered here today, that we were lucky to have known her," Saskowski said. “And I’m proud that this lake will bear her name. We celebrate Rhonda when we honour her name in this way, but we also honour the lake where we can now celebrate her spirit.”
A lake approximately 45 kilometres north of Flin Flon was selected and will be named Commodore Lake.
“Naming a lake in Rhonda Commodore’s honour, and thereby recognizing for eternity her contributions to community safety and service, is a very special and appropriate gesture in remembering her,” said Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President. “It is comforting that now all Manitobans, including her extended family as well as her correctional-officer family, have one more reason to think of and cherish her and keep her memory alive.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE