For Bob Lesko, Lac du Bonnet’s annual Canada Day fireworks display was a true passion. Bob served as the fireworks coordinator for the Lac du Bonnet Lions Club for over 30 years. Sadly, he passed away in February at the age of 77, leaving behind him a legacy that every year draws thousands of people to the town dock to witness what’s become known as one of the best Canada Day weekend fireworks displays in the country.
Bob was born and raised in Lac du Bonnet. Friend and fellow Lions Club member Roland Simard remembers him as a dedicated volunteer who always gave his time and effort to make Lac du Bonnet a better place. For several years Bob co-owned a local newspaper before moving on to real estate, which was his favourite occupation, according to wife Joan.
But volunteering was his real passion, and in 1987, he got involved in organizing the annual fireworks display. Under Bob’s guidance, the fireworks show has gone from a mere 125-shot presentation in 1987 when it first started, to well over 6,000 shots today.
“He loved watching fireworks,” Joan says. “It was just something he wanted to take on and it was a lot of work every year. So much preparation went into it, but he loved doing it.”
Bob won numerous awards for his Lions Club work, including the Hope Medal (presented to a volunteer who has shown outstanding leadership and accomplishment in service to others), the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award (the highest honour a Lion can receive), and the Ben Ward Fellowship Award, given to a long-serving and dependable Lion). In 2018, the Lions Club will posthumously present Bob with its Life Membership Award.
“He put a lot of his heart and soul into the community. He was always very proud of Lac du Bonnet,” Roland adds.