Merv and Betty Mann’s strong sense of community was always based on a long history in the business and social life of Saskatoon. Betty has lived her entire life here, while Merv was born in Saskatoon, raised in Tessier and Prince Albert, and returned to Saskatoon to finish high school.
Betty’s greatest responsibility and joy was being a wife and mother, raising her young children in the Eastview area. She remembers block parties, kids’ sleepovers and driving to sporting events, but more than anything the safety, security and sense of belonging that the community provided for the family growing up. Betty worked for a time at A.A. Murphy and Sons and in later years at the Catholic School Board office, making friendships that have lasted decades and continue to this day.
Merv learned the value of teamwork early through sports, especially curling. Merv played second on the rink that won the Dominion High School Curling Championship in 1955. The team was inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. He was a long-time member of the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club. He was also a member of the Riversdale Kiwanis Club for many years. After school he began work for his father at Saskatoon Motor Products, working his way up from the bottom in every aspect of the business and ultimately taking over the company when his father retired in 1973. Merv worked at the dealership every day until he was unable to do so due to health reasons, reflecting his values of working hard, serving his customers, respecting his employees and customers and providing the best opportunities for his family. Betty recalls the grand opening of the dealership in 1973, where their daughter, Cathy, and a friend held the ceremonial ribbon while then Deputy Mayor Dayday cut it.
Betty chose to provide a gift to the Saskatoon Community Foundation after she learned about it through her accountant, because she wanted not only to be charitable, but also to have the opportunity to support a wide variety of causes in the Saskatoon community. Because she created a Donor Advised Fund, she has the flexibility to choose where her grants are directed each year. As well, the gift will live on after her through her family. Her contribution to the Saskatoon Community Foundation is in her words “a way to help keep Saskatoon the vibrant and beautiful city that she knows and loves, not only for the family that still lives and does business here, but for the whole community.”