La Ronge town council is mourning the loss of one of their councillors.

Hugh Watt died unexpectedly Saturday at the age of 58.

He was elected as a councillor in 2016 and re-elected in 2020.

Colin Ratushniak, mayor of La Ronge, said Watt was a mentor to many new councillors and to himself.

“Hugh was someone who was extremely passionate to the residents he represented and really just wanted the best for the community,” he said. “(He was) an extremely smart man who was a mentor to a lot of new councillors and mayors like myself.”

Ratushniak said he admired Watt’s passion on town issues.

“Anyone who can fight and believe in what they stand for makes a much more balanced debate when we are debating different issues at that table and (he) made me learn a lot to how I want to move forward with the way that I lead (at) that table.”

Ratushniak said Watt’s seat will not be filled right away as the town takes time to honour him and support his family.

He said there will be a huge hole on council without Watt.

“It will be an absolutely huge loss to that table as we navigate and find our way moving forward.”

Watt’s funeral is scheduled to take place Friday at the Mel Hegland Uniplex in La Ronge.

(PHOTO: Hugh Watt moved to La Ronge in 1977 and volunteered on multiple committees in town. File photo.)