Maple Creek News
Jakob Wiebe is going to miss Maple Creek a lot.
The 64-year-old Swift Current lawyer has been practising out of the Creek once a week for three quarters of a near 40-year career. On Dec. 31 he will say goodbye to the profession for good.
“I have very much enjoyed Swift Current,” Wiebe says. “However, Tuesdays in Maple Creek have been the highlight of my professional career for 30 years.
“I love coming to Maple Creek.”
Wiebe enjoys everything about coming to the Creek — the people, the scenery, the quiet, relaxed office. “It’s just a different setting, and, frankly, I love it.”
Born in Paraguay in 1953, and raised in Winnipeg from 1956 on, Wiebe first came to Swift Current in 1978, where he articled out of law school. A few years earlier, he met the reason for that final move.
“I was chasing a good woman from Swift Current, who I’ve now bee married to for 43 years. So I applied in Swift Current and got a job with Wilson MacBean Maurice McIntosh, where I articled from 1978 to ’79.”
Wiebe started with the firm — now known as MacBean Tessem — on June 1, 1978, passing the Saskatchewan bar exam a year later. His last day with the firm will be Dec. 31, 2017 — exactly six months shy of 40 years in one spot.
“For those in private practice, I think value grows with staying in one place, developing the clientele,” Wiebe says. “If you serve them well, they come back, and it’s been very rewarding (throughout my career).
“I’ve got clients now that are children of clients, so it’s kind of neat.”
Wiebe specializes in corporate and commercial law, estate and trust planning, as well as real estate law — needless to say, these are complicated subjects. Many clients are coming from an already intimidated place, looking to put their trust in a lawyer who has their best interests at heart.
Wiebe gets a lot of enjoyment out of providing that.
“It’s assisting, it’s providing service, it’s helping,” he says. “Sometimes it’s trouble (they are in), sometimes it’s stuff everyone needs.”
Obviously, like everyone else, Wiebe had to work to provide for his family, but he specifically does what he does because he loves helping people. He says some are meant to be doctors, or storytellers, while others might be meant to teach — his four brothers are teachers and he has two sons in education, both of whom were born to be teachers, he says.
Wiebe knows now he was meant to help people through the complicated world of law, a field he credits his wife for getting him into in the first place.
“My wife and I admire the teaching profession greatly, and I’m proud that so many from my family are in the teaching profession,” he says. “But my wife said, ‘Jakob, you’ve got skills here. You should try for law.’
“I thought about it and asked myself if I wanted to that. And I did.”
Nearly four decades later, he knows he made the only decision right for him and his family. There are many ways to help others, he says, but this was the best avenue for him, and that’s allowed him to assist as many people in southwest Saskatchewan as possible.
“I have been able to help people, and when I haven’t been able to help them, I have been able to understand the problem and try to minimize the damage — sometimes that’s all you can do.
“But it starts with wanting to help them.”
Of course, nearly 40 years of hard work came with nearly 40 years of long hours —hours he now gets to fill with his own interests. But when you have four kids and five grandchildren other provinces, a grandpa’s time is quite easy to fill. Toss in some time at the lake, and you’ve got yourself a solid retirement plan.
“The short-term project is to build a cabin at Lac Pelletier. Longer term, my wife and I like to travel, and being from Saskatchewan, our kids are in Alberta (one daughter in Winnipeg), so that’s where our grandchildren are.”
NEWS PHOTO MEGAN CHAMNEY
Jakob Wiebe began his law career at a firm in Swift Current in June of 1978. Exactly 39 years and six months later, Wiebe will walk away for good, as he is set to retire on Dec. 31. He spent Tuesdays in Maple Creek for 30 years, calling his time here the highlight of his professional career.