Okotoks' late Mayor Bill Robertson was given an honour by the Calgary Stampede over the weekend.

He was the recipient of the White Hat Award, presented during the Calgary Stampede Community Round-Up at the Cavalry FC Fieldhouse.

His wife Elaine and a few other members of his family accepted it on his behalf.

It was an emotional experience for Elaine, but a joyous one.

"The Stampede was near and dear to Bill's heart. To be presented with this award, he would've been so thrilled, so honoured. He absolutely loved the Stampede, it was one of his favourite times of the year. To work with the youth and welcome tourists to the community, he just thrived on it, just loved it."

Also in attendance were several current and former town councillors including Brent Robinson, Cheryl Actemichuk, Ray Watrin, and Matt Rockley.

Mayor Bill's love of the Stampede might not have been known to all Okotokians, but Actemichuk says anyone fortunate enough to have run into him at the annual show isn't likely to forget their experience.

"Mayor Bill was an ambassador for our community and also an ambassador at the Stampede. There's a lot of people that may not know that he worked so many Stampedes at the entrance gate greeting people as they came in, and he absolutely loved it... Mayor Nenshi, at the time, came to the Calgary Stampede, and our Mayor Robertson happened to be at the gate. So Mayor Robertson announced to everyone in the crowd, 'hey everybody, the mayor's here!'"

Elaine recalls Mayor Bill trying to make attendees feel special at every opportunity.

"If he found out 'oh, you're from Germany, we need to give you the red carpet treatment!' And working with the youth on the gates, for a lot of kids, it's their first job and he always tried to make sure it was a positive and uplifting experience for them. I think that's the teacher in him."

Former Foothills County Reeve Larry Spilak also received a posthumous White Hat award on the same day.

The venue, the Cavalry FC Regional Field House, is especially significant given the collaborative partnership between the town and the county.

For now, the hat sits atop the piano in the Robertson home and might get a tour of the Stampede in a few weeks' time.