A small group gathered Sunday afternoon to honour the late Jim Penner and watch the unveiling of an honourary street sign in his name. 

A sign topper, Jim Penner Way, sits on top of the Park Road West sign. 

Penner’s wife Bev was on hand for the emotional ceremony. 

“It feels like a big honour,” she says. “It's certainly not something he would have asked for.” 

She says Jim was the kind of person who genuinely liked being around people and helping them wherever possible, and he did so without the need for any recognition. 

Steinbach Mayor Earl Funk says Jim Penner touched many lives, as a business owner at Penner Foods, while serving on city council, and then as Steinbach’s Member of the Legislative Assembly. 

“And I’m hoping that people, as they drive by, people that have connection with him or even people that don't know, will look up the story and find out that the mall was started by him, it was his brainchild.” 

Current Steinbach M.L.A. Kelvin Goertzen spoke at the ceremony, wearing his Penner Foods T-shirt underneath his suit jacket. Goertzen first got to know Jim and Bev Penner through his employment at the grocery store. 

To be speaking at the event, honouring his friend in this way, Goertzen was thankful and reflective. 

“It’s very special because Jim Penner was a very special person to me,” says Goertzen. “I know he was a very special person to the community and to thousands of people who were employed at the store and touched by him, either indirectly or directly.” 

Goertzen hopes the Jim Penner Way honourary street signs will trigger many wonderful memories for those who drive by.