StettlerLocal.com July 28, 2022 @ 5:00pm
Long-time Stettler lawyer and council member Robyn William Sloan was an active community member for many years. In addition to his time as a town council member, he served two terms as mayor by acclamation. He was also a member of the local Rotary and was recognized provincially for promoting the sport of swimming in Alberta.
Sloan came from the St. Paul District and attended school at Mann Lake and t Ashmont, Alberta. In his grade 12 year, he attended Alberta College in Edmonton, where he won the W.T. Henry Prize for Proficiency and the Alberta College Prize for Religious Education. After grade 12, he returned to the St. Paul area, where he worked on the family farm for a year before attending the University of Alberta. In 1952, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree and then his Bachelor of Law degree the following year.
In June of 1954, Sloan was admitted to the Alberta Bar. He was introduced to the bar by Messers. G.M Peacock of Edmonton and S.V Legg of Stettler. . Mr. Sloan came to Stettler and replaced Mr. Bennett of Bennett and Legg, changing the firm name to Legg and Sloan.
After serving on the town council for six years, he became mayor by proclamation when Walter Kloepfer announced he was retiring. Two years later, he again took the mayor position by acclamation. In 1967 the six-foot-five Sloan was deemed the tallest mayor in Alberta, beating out the former mayor of Medicine Hat.
In August 1969, Sloan decided not to run again and was succeeded by John Brennen. At the new council's first meeting, Sloan was appointed as the new Town Solicitor, taking over for.T.J. Costigan, who had held the position for many years. At the Board of Trade Citizens of the Year banquet that same year, Sloan and former councillor Erwin Crawford were awarded commemorative plaques for their services on the town council.
During his time as mayor, Sloan opened the town’s new airport and the town’s new Centennial Swimming pool. At the opening ceremonies for the newly constructed pool, Sloan was the first person in the water when some other attending officials gave him a gentle shove. His time on the council saw a boom in building permits, including a $40,000 town works shop and the development of the new Marathon Developments Shopping Center along Railway Avenue. Sloan also had the distinction of being one of the town Council members to attend the last meeting in the old Town office and the first meeting in the new Town Office in 1966.
In December of 1973, Sloan was on the list of 26 lawyers given the prestigious title of Queen’s Council. It is a title given to those who have achieved great things in their legal professional or public life.
In 1984, Sloan and his wife Betty-Lou received achievement awards for their contributions to swimming in Alberta for helping launch the Stettler Swim Club in 1968. The Swim Club produced world-class swimmers such as Cameron Grant and Sloan’s daughter Susan who earned a bronze medal in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The Sloans also spent nine years travelling around the province, conducting clinics for officials; Betty-Lou was an international calibre official, and Robyn was vice-chair of the Alberta Section of the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association.
In 1986 Mr. Sloan was named male citizen of the year by the Stettler Board of Trade.
After a few years, Mr. Sloan had to retire from law practice due to health reasons, and they moved to better climates. He passed away on May 26, 2006.
Carson Ellis, Local Historian
Our Town Stettler