Ted Jaleta didn’t know he was nominated to have his name on the list for future street names in Regina. As a refugee to Canada, he didn’t think it was even a possibility.
But he got an email in the middle of February congratulating him on being added to the list.
“When I read the email, I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. ‘Is this real?’ I asked my wife, sitting beside me. She said ‘Wow,’ and (was) excited. I was speechless,” Jaleta said.
To the Regina Civic Naming Committee, Jaleta was an easy and obvious choice. The committee’s chair, Dana Turgeon says she nominated him based on his community involvement and passion for the city.
“The achievements he had in the running world, not only as an athlete but also as a builder and a coach, and the wonderful work he has done with motivational speaking. (Also) the all around volunteer work he has done,” Turgeon said.
Names can be nominated by individuals or other people. Right now there are over 400 options on the list. Even with a high volume of choices for future street names, there is still strict criteria that has to be followed when it comes to names getting approved:
- The person has to have lived in Regina for 10 years;
- The person has to have made a special contribution to the city, through a number of criterias;
- Titles and names of members of properties associated with the British monarchy or royal family;
- Big roles in Saskatchewan historic events;
- Regina and area residents awarded with selected civilian medals for acts of bravery and courage.
“High achievers in the field that are in sports, politics and all kinds of different fields of business and education, there’s a category in there for local heroes,” Turgeon said.
Once a name is on the list, it stays there until a developer chooses it for a street or park, which could take years. It took over 30 years for the name Dethbridge to be used. The name is used for a development in the north part of the city: ‘Dethbridge Bay’.
As for Jaleta, he is honoured to just have his name on the list.
“People (on the list) have done significant contributions, and I never thought I was in (that) class of people,” Jaleta said.
If he gets to see his name put on a street, he has big plans.