Bertha Harris, Jim Barnstable and the late Lawrence Lafrentz were the inaugural inductees for the Estevan Motor Speedway's (EMS) Wall of Fame.
The trio was enshrined during the track's year-end banquet on October 26 at the Days Inn Plaza. They all contributed countless hours to the EMS, particularly during the track's infancy.
Harris has been involved in racing for most of her life as a fan and as a volunteer. When the EMS was born in 2000, Harris was the concession manager.
The original kitchen saw her and other volunteers flip burgers outside of Reg Stephens' camper. A concession building was constructed by the end of the EMS's first year.
“Bertha's time was consumed with ordering, booking volunteer groups to operate windows, preparing and cooking,” said the track's current concession manager, Joyce Mack, who inducted Harris. “She loved feeding people.”
Harris was an energetic, diligent and well-prepared leader, Mack said, and Harris was always looking for new items to add to the menu.
Harris said a lot of people made it possible for her to run the concession: her family, the volunteers, the executive who ran the track those first few years, and Mack.
“It was very hard work, but I really enjoyed it,” said Harris. “When you volunteer for a job, you don't ever think of a Wall of Fame. You just do it. But it's truly an honour to be recognized.
“And I will always remember the people I worked with on race day, because they were my extended family.”
Barnstable has had a career that spans almost 45 years in racing. He has raced super stocks, modifieds and snow mobiles, but is best-known locally for his flashy red late model with the No. 99.
Jim Harris, who inducted Barnstable, referred to Barnstable as "the grandfather of Estevan racing."
Barnstable was a founding member of the modern EMS and was part of the team that negotiated the land lease. The first grandstand, which he helped build and tin, were constructed at his welding shop.
He remembers there was one day when 32 people were working on the grandstand. Many businesses donated time and equipment towards the project.
“But here was the mission: how were we going to get the grandstand from my shop out to the race track,” said Barnstable.
It proved to be a two-day initiative, and they needed four hours to clear one corner. But the 850-seat structure eventually arrived.
The next grandstand would be constructed on the speedway's grounds.
Barnstable also helped with enclosing the original grandstand, adding to the comfort of the spectators.
Barnstable has also worked as a tech official at the track, and he enjoys watching his family race.
Lafrentz was an avid supporter of the EMS until he passed away in February. He volunteered his time, his company, his equipment and the dirt that laid the foundation for the track in 2000.
Dave Mack, who inducted Lafrentz, said the new EMS wouldn't have happened without Lafrentz, who wanted a great racing venue for Estevan.
“All the stories that we've told, all the years that have gone by, all the events, all the champions, all the races, and everything that you guys are able to talk about with the new Estevan Motor Speedway, is because of Lawrence Lafrentz's efforts,” said Dave Mack.
Two of Lafrentz's children, Darren Lafrentz and Janine Carlisle, accepted the recognition on his behalf. They said the family always enjoyed watching racing in Estevan and other communities.
“Dad was very pleased to be part of building this track here so that we could have a top-notch facility here in Estevan for people to enjoy quality racing, and attract top-quality drivers,” said Carlisle.
Darren Lafrentz said that he could count on one hand the number of races his father missed at the EMS, because he loved the venue so much.
“I'd like to thank Bertha and Jim (Barnstable for their efforts), because I know dad would be really honoured to be in the Wall of Fame with the two of you,” said Darren Lafrentz.