Jubilee Jeff

Congratulations to our friend and my co-writer for Saskatoon HOME magazine, Jeff O’Brien. In March, he was awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal by Lt. Governor Russ Merasty. We are busting our buttons!

Just to fill you in in case you don’t know, but Jeff uses the power of story to breathe life into Saskatoon’s history, and through his stories he nourishes a sense of character and cultural identity that defines our thriving city.  A veritable raconteur, he’s been called “a Saskatoon treasure,” an “effusive advocate,” and a human repository of historical facts, legends and quirky details about our city. With vast knowledge and good humour, he brings the colourful past to life for hundreds of people annually. He emphasizes it began long before 1883 and the Temperance colonists. He reminds us that people had been living in these lands for 11,000 years.

Jeff’s been the Saskatoon’s full-time archivist for 25 years. In 2019 alone he made 48 public presentations, visited 14 classrooms, did 14 media interviews and hosted two public displays. In post-COVID 2022, his pace quickened, doing even more presentations, walking tours on the Meewasin Valley trail, talks to seniors and community groups, and educating Prairie Lily passengers with fascinating stories replete with fun facts, grim details; personal stories that paint the city’s past with humanity and meaning.

Born in Saskatoon, Jeff earned a degree in Canadian history in Regina, and a master’s in archival studies from UBC. He co-authored Saskatoon: A History in Photographs (2006), wrote a regular newspaper column, “From the Archives,” and four years presented over 150 historical vignettes, “Saskatoon Stories,” on CTV with Rob Macdonald, still available online https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/saskatoon-stories. Jeff currently writes the popular “Hometown Reflections,” Saskatoon HOME magazine.

Congratulations, sir! But your article is still due for the Summer issue….


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