Notes for Remarks by
the Honourable Cam Jackson
Minister Responsible for Seniors
1997 Senior Achievement
Legislature Building, Queen's Park
June 24, 1997
check against delivery
Your Honour, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen.
The Senior Achievement Awards are a very special honour. This year we recognize twenty remarkable individuals who inspire us all.
Each of the people whom we honour this evening has made outstanding contributions to the community in which they live. The people with whom they share those communities have benefitted from the work and dedication of these individuals. The good effects of their deeds have enriched our province and country.
As you know, the Province of Ontario is fortunate to have many people of all ages who volunteer their time and talents. Our province's volunteers deserve a large share of the credit for making Ontario such a fine place in which to live.
All volunteers are special people and tonight's award recipients are doubly special because they have made very significant contributions during their senior years.
For some, their volunteer work has been the extension of a lifetime of service to their community. Others have found that with the status of a being a senior member of society they have the time and resources to fulfill an ambition of giving something back to society. In either case, this Award recognizes the contributions which you have made after the age of 65.
The writer I.F. Stone had something to say about giving praise to seniors. He wrote "When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed."
Be that as it may, I am sure that tonight we are giving credit for virtues which you do possess and good deeds with you have done.
Those of us who are not yet seniors find your examples inspiring. You are people who not only make a great contribution to our society, but you are setting a fine example of how to live a good and valuable life.
This year, the Senior Achievement Award will go to 21 people. Two of this year's honourees could not be with us for this ceremony, so tonight we have 19 honourees with us. The award recipients who could not attend will receive their Award at ceremonies in their home towns. Many citizens were nominated for this award, and there are many more who continue to volunteer every day in our communities. It has been a challenging task to choose individuals who are particularly deserving of this honour.
I would like to thank the selection committee for their fine and difficult work of selecting the individuals who are to receive the award this evening.
Our first recipient is Mr. Dennis Joseph Alsop of Mississauga.
Mr Alsop is well known in Mississauga for his long time involvement and his dedicated work at the Square One Older Adult Centre. He was a member of the initial Steering Committee prior to the opening of the Centre, and has remained very active as the Centre's Treasurer. I am sure that it is a satisfaction to Mr. Alsop that the Square One Older Adult Centre was able to welcome over 70,000 visitors last year.
Much of Mr. Alsop's many contributions to his community stem from his involvement with his church, and a tradition of service which includes being Treasurer of the Peel Particular Council of the St. Vincent de Paul Society for the past 17 years. He has been a volunteer at the Peel Manor Nursing Home and a very active and caring member of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Dennis Alsop has also canvassed for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and been very active in the fund-raising for the Canadian Cancer Society. He has even found a way to be useful to others while enjoying his hobby of golf by acting for five years as treasurer of the Senior Golfers' Association.
In her letter of nomination for Mr. Alsop's Senior Achievement Award, Mississauga Mayor, Hazel McCallion described Mr. Alsop as a community volunteer of great enthusiasm who shies away from the limelight of public acclaim for himself.
I am sorry, Mr. Alsop, but just this once we are going to focus our attention and appreciation on you. The Province of Ontario has benefitted from your many contributions to our society and the individuals in it, and we are happy to have this chance to show our gratitude to you.
Your honour, may I present tonight's first recipient of the Senior Achievement Award, Mr. Dennis Richard Alsop.
Our next Award recipient is Mr. Willis Blair of East York.
Mr. Blair's name is associated with a long list of accomplishments and with a distinguished public career. For him, retirement and his status as a senior member of society, seem to have been reasons to continue doing even more good work in his own community and in society at large.
Mr. Blair is very active in the East York Kiwanis Club for whom he has been a long-time volunteer, serving on the Food Bank Drives, the Kiwanis Music Festival, and helping with events to support of the Salvation Army Home.
This year he is the co-chair of the Iodine Deficiency Disorders, Robert Moore Gala Fund-raising Dinner which will be held tomorrow.
Mr. Blair continues his commitment to the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation for which he has volunteered for 36 years. He is a member of the foundation's executive, finance, governance and fund-raising committees and is the board member responsible for the telecommunications programme.
Mr. Blair's personal qualities are valued even more highly by those who know than are his very significant contributions to his community. His commitment to his community and his ability to encourage and maintain strong community ties have benefitted many people over many years.
In writing to support Mr. Blair's nomination for this award, his minister at Westview Church praised Mr. Blair's open attitude and his willingness to accept every opportunity for service which comes his way. Reverend Stewart wrote that anyone coming to the church and seeing Mr. Blair with a paint brush in his hand, or cheerfully putting out the garbage would not know that this was the former Mayor of East York. Perhaps it was Mr. Blair's years in municipal politics which taught him not to underestimate the importance of good garbage collection. More likely it is Mr. Blair's longtime dedication to the service of his community and of his fellow man which informs Mr. Blair's actions. It is for these fine qualities and many achievements that we honour him tonight.
Your Honour, I am pleased to present Mr. Willis Blair.
Our next honouree is Mr. Ann Bourton of Saint Catharines.
In her younger years, Mrs. Bourton and her husband were foster parents to 14 children over the period of 13 years. Now, as a senior, Mrs. Bourton devotes her energy and care to her community. She is a volunteer visitor at nursing homes and at the St. Catharines General Hospital, and has canvassed for the Kidney Foundation, the Cancer Society and the Salvation Army.
She has recently begun her 11th term as the president of the West St. Catharines Seniors Centre. Among the many helpful projects in which Ann Bourton has been involved is a programme which encourages seniors to knit or crochet baby outfits for new-born infants in the Saint Catharines General Hospital Nursery Unit. Seniors have often had a special bond with the very young. This program, and Mrs. Bourton's work as a "Grandparent in Action", continue this fine tradition of care and service.
West Saint Catharines receives a significant contribution to its quality of life from the volunteer work of Ann Bourton, and we are proud to honour her with the Senior Achievement Award.
Your Honour, I present Ann Bourton.
Our next recipient is William Robert Campbell of Scarborough.
Bill Campbell began his life as a volunteer community worker at the age of 15. And before anyone points out that this is not the Youth Achievement Awards, I should say that Mr. Campbell has taken the experience gained in his first 65 years of life and put it all to use for his community when he became a senior.
Mr. Campbell's keen appreciation of the diverse nature of Canada and the potential of the dynamic mix of people who make up our country led him to work to build bridges between people of different generations, cultures, languages, and races. Mr. Campbell saw that it takes all the people we have to make our community the best it can be and has worked to see that every person should have access to all that our society can offer.
Mr. Campbell has taught Canadian Citizenship and literacy at the Adult Basis Learning Centre, he was an active member of the Ontario Black History Society and he has made contributions of his time and talents to the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. He was a spokesperson for the White Ribbon Campaign, the Men Against Violence Against Women initiative, and he has held volunteer positions on the Port Union Seniors Centre and on Seniors of Scarborough.
Bill Campbell is someone whose love of this country has been translated into good works which have profitted all of us.
Your Honour, may I present William Robert Campbell.
The next recipient of the Senior Achievement Award is Mrs. Lois Carroll of the Township of Aldborough.
Mrs. Carroll is well known in her community as a person to whom anyone can turn for help. Her friends report that she is always ready to take on more volunteer tasks whenever she sees a need which she can fill. Ms Carroll sees that Christmas is a special time for all the members of her community by packaging and delivering food and gifts to celebrate that season of giving.
The volunteer work of Lois Carroll and her husband, Lorne Carroll, are very much appreciated by their community. The example set by this couple has inspired other people to volunteer their own time and resources.
Because so much of Mrs. Carroll's volunteer efforts are focussed on the Canadian Cancer Society, one of the people who wrote to support of Mrs. Carroll's nomination said that Mrs. Carroll might be known as "Mrs. Daffodil Auxiliary".
We don't have an award by that name for Mrs. Carroll, but we do know that she is greatly appreciated for her work on many projects with the Cancer Society such as driving patients to their treatments in London, participating in the "Walk for Cancer", and the "Coats for Kids" campaign.
Mrs. Carroll is always on hand to do any of the so-called small things which make such a big difference. It is clear that Mrs. Carroll is a very special person, well loved and greatly appreciated by her community.
Your Honour, may I present, Mrs. Lois Carroll.
Our next Award recipient is Professor Yiu Kuen Chan of Weston
Professor Chan believes that all citizens have a duty to make a contribution to the society in which they live. This is the conviction which led to the founding of the Chinese Canadian Intercultural Association, a non-profit organization which has served the Chinese Canadian community since 1981. Under the guidance of Professor Chan, the Association provides educational and cultural services to the Chinese community, particularly for seniors and new immigrants.
The English as a Second Language classes conducted by the Association have been helpful in allowing new immigrants to this country to fully participate in society, and to go on to make their own contributions to life in our province.
In 1985, Professor Chan, the Chinese Canadian Intercultural Association and the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, organized the Chinese Cultural Festival, an event in which 20,000 people participated.
While providing this service to his community, Professor Chan somehow found the time make another contribution to our culture by completing two books, and is now working towards a third. The Chinese Canadian community, and the whole province is grateful for Professor Chan's talents and hard work, and we are pleased to honour him tonight.
Your Honour, may I present, Professor Yiu Kuen Chan.
Our next Award recipient is Mrs. Marion Edmondson of Chatham.
The Chatham Public Library operates an Extension Services Program for library patrons who are blind, disabled or too frail to get out and go to the library themselves. Many people depend on this service for their contact with the world of books and information. The library, the extension service, and the many people who use this service have a debt of gratitude to Marian Edmondson for her years of caring service.
It has been estimated that in her years of volunteering, Mrs. Edmondson has delivered 21,000 talking books and large print books. The Director of Library Services in Chatham has called Marion Edmondson a "literary lifeline" for the community she serves.
The library patrons who are fortunate to receive regular visits from Mrs. Edmondson are unanimous that her cheerful company is awaited even more eagerly than the books she brings. One disabled library patron wrote to say that Mrs. Edmondson "does not just deliver books to me - she is my link to the community."
On June 12th of this year, Mrs. Edmondson was awarded the Kent County Achievement Award. We congratulate Mrs. Edmondson on this recent award and are pleased to add to her honours with the Senior Achievement Award for the Province of Ontario.
Your Honour, Ms Marion Edmondson.
The next recipient of the Senior Achievement Award is Mrs. May Greig of Brampton.
Twenty one years ago, when May Greig was relatively new to being a senior, she was on the committee that founded the Seniors Council and Drop In Centre in her community. She is active in that organization to this day and has put in many hours of volunteer service for her home town.
Last year Mrs. Greig was presented with the Senior Citizen of the Year Award by the City of Brampton, and two months ago the Mayor and Council of Brampton recognized Mrs. Greig as the community's longest serving volunteer.
May Greig believes that we should "Give something back" to our society. Her life is a fine example of the good which can be done by one person who will put this maxim into practice.
Mrs. Greig has been a senior for many years. It is inspiring to note that one of her volunteer activities is to knit clothes for the prematurely born babies. This concern for the youngest of the young is an inspiration to all who know May Greig. I am also told that even though Mrs. Greig now uses a walker to get around, that she still participates in the yoga classes at the Seniors Centre.
This award is not for Mrs. Greig's abilities in yoga but for her many years of service to her community and in recognition of the inspiration she is to all of us.
Your Honour, I am pleased to present Mrs. May Greig.
Our next honouree is Mrs. Izetta Hobbs of Sault Ste. Marie.
Mrs. Hobbs long history of volunteerism has been recognized by the community of which she is a most valued member. Her leadership of the United Way of Sault Ste. Marie has won her the Chair of Distinction Award, presented by the United Way of Canada in appreciation of her on-going contributions. As the current Past President of the United Way of Sault Ste. Marie, and a member of the Executive Council, Mrs. Hobbs continues to serve that organization.
Izetta Hobbs has contributed her time and talents to many other worthwhile causes in her community: the Royal Purple Lodge, the Sault Ste. Marie Business and Professional Women's Association, the Focus Community Coalition, the Algoma Social Planning Council, the Teen Centre Campaign, Telecare, the Canadian Hearing Society and the Big Sisters Association of Sault Ste. Marie - all these organizations have benefitted from her dedicated work.
Her long history of service has won the appreciation of her community and many awards of recognition.
"People Helping People" is the motto of the United Way; these are clearly the words by which Izetta Hobbs lives.
Your Honour, it is with pleasure that I present Mrs. Izetta Hobbs.
Our next award recipient is Mr. Donald Wesley Johnson of Niagara Falls.
In writing to recommend Don Johnson for this award, one of his many friends in Niagara Falls said "Don is best known for his voluntarism, his plaid shirts, and his banjo."
I'm afraid that we don't have a special award for plaid shirts, but we are very pleased to be able to recognize Mr. Johnson's voluntarism and the gifts of music which he shares with his community. Don Johnson's abilities with his banjo and his skills as a square dance instructor and caller continue to bring joy - and some exercise - to many seniors in the Niagara Region.
A few years ago, when asked by a reporter about his love for being a caller at square dances, he explained it this way "How often do you get a chance to holler at people and actually have them do what you say!"
It is no secret that Mr. Johnson enjoys himself when he's volunteering. His very contagious enthusiasm is appreciated by all who come into contact with him.
Mr. Johnson shares his music with people all over the Niagara Region, including patients of the Chronic Care Unit at the Greater Niagara General Hospital for many years. A therapist there wrote to tell us that Mr. Johnson "has brought laughter, cheer, and smiles to many of the patients." This is a marvelous gift to be able to make; I know that many people feel deeply indebted to Don Johnson for the happiness he brings.
Mr. Johnson is the only plaid-shirted, banjo-playing square dance caller I know who has a baseball diamond named after him. "Don Johnson Park" is home to the Over 60 Slo Pitch baseball league. Mr. Johnson also finds the time to be an advocate for seniors causes and to work for the Red Cross, the Alzheimer Society and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Your Honour, I present the gentleman in the plaid shirt, Donald Wesley Johnson.
Our next recipient is Mrs. Pearl McPhee of Garson.
Mrs. McPhee is deeply involved in caring for her community. She helped to form the Nickel Centre Seniors Club in 1985, and continues as a very active member today. She takes a particular interest in linking seniors with one another and in activities which will keep both minds and bodies active.
She volunteers for the Arthritis Society, the Canadian Cancer Society, and organizes the campaign of the Heart and Stroke Foundation in the communities of Falconbridge, Skead and Garson. She established the Neighbourhood Watch program in her area and works a regular shift delivering Meals on Wheels to shut-in seniors.
When the Palliative Care Course was offered in her community, she was in the first class available and was among the first to participate in the Sudbury Regional Palliative Care Volunteer Program. She continues with this group to this day, providing care and compassion to those who need it most. Her warm personality and devoted work has endeared her not only to the patients of the Palliative Care Unit, but also extends to the families of the patients.
Pearl McPhee is the mother of ten children. It is clear from her record of service to her community that the gifts and energy of Mrs. McPhee have been shared with not only her large family, but with her entire community. This contribution was recognized earlier this year when Mrs. McPhee was named Nickel Centre Citizen of the Year.
We congratulate Mrs. McPhee on that honour and are pleased to award her the Senior Achievement Award for the Province of Ontario.
Your Honour, I am pleased to present Mrs. Pearl McPhee.
Our next award recipient is Mrs. Ena Mellor of Bolton
In recommending Mrs. Mellor for this award, Carol Seglins, the Mayor of Caledon wrote that Mrs. Mellor "has become busier and busier in the community since her retirement". I know that there are many so-called retired people in this room of whom we could say the same. Mrs. Mellor sets a fine example of the many things which can be accomplished as a community volunteer. Her many activities on behalf of her community show that she is enjoying a very active retirement.
She is the Secretary Treasurer of the Citizens for a Clean Caledon. She is a member of the Caledon Health Coalition, and she is an active volunteer at "Chez Thrift", a recycling centre.
The activity and achievements for which Mrs. Mellor is most noted in Caledon have to do with the library. Beginning in 1993, Mrs. Mellor negotiated an agreement between the Dufferin-Peel Separate School Board and the Town of Caledon Library Board to realize a new co-operative community library. This facility opened one year ago this month and is a model for Ontario community libraries. The new library offers longer hours and more resources to the community it serves; it has become a place in which the students of the high school mix with the older members of the community.
Mrs. Mellor's encouragement and personal support of her fellow citizens have made her a major asset in her community. She is appreciated for her ever-present good humour, and for the far-sighted leadership she provides which will benefit generations to come.
Your Honour, Mrs. Ena Mellor
Our next Award recipient is Mr. Gordon McCutcheon of Halton Hills.
The crowning achievement of Mr. McCutcheon's 45 years as treasurer of the Acton Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is the Acton Legion's Seniors' Residences.
Making the Seniors' Residence a reality took many years of hard and concentrated work during which Mr. McCutcheon's dream had to overcome many challenges. But he has finally succeeded and we have bricks and mortar to prove it. The non-profit residential facility was financed without funding from any level of government.
The building has 48 one and two bedroom apartments overlooking Fairy Lake. The complex includes craft, woodworking and fitness facilities, and a large "party room". All apartments have their own balcony and the building is well situated in the heart of Acton.
Mr. McCutcheon's courage and unrelenting devotion saw this job though, and the Acton Legion's Seniors' Residences is now a source of pride for the entire community. The building opened for occupancy in April of this year and the seniors who live in the building know that it is a great place to be. I understand that there is now a waiting list for apartments.
Mr. McCutcheon can take particular pride in the fact that this project was begun and completed entirely during his retirement years. This Award is a salute to Mr. McCutcheon's vision and persistence.
Our Honour, I present Mr. Gordon McCutcheon.
Our next recipient is Mr. Marshall Neilson of Hornby.
Eleven years ago, Mr. Neilson walked into the Halton Hills Library and - much to the delight of the librarians and those who have benefitted from his work - he's still there.
On his first visit, Mr. Neilson had come to do some genealogical research on his family tree. In those days this involved going through the old newspapers on microfilm and tracking down references to members of his family.
At that time there was no electronic indexing of this archival material, although the need for it was clear. Mr. Neilson was persuaded to take on the task of indexing of the Acton Free Press on a volunteer basis. He has been responsible for completing the indexing of this newspaper for the years 1875 to 1991.
Since then, he has moved on to index the Georgetown Herald from 1864 to 1992, and the Canadian Champion - a newspaper of Milton, from 1862 to 1970. This represents a total of 342 years and about 170,000 entries. I am told that later this year he expects to start work on the Oakville Beaver. Mr. Neilson himself is still going strong, but in the process of making his entries, he has worn out four keyboards.
The library has posted Mr. Neilson's material on the Internet, and now, thanks to his years of diligent work, people from all over the world can trace their ancestors whose births, deaths or marriages would have been mentioned in any of these newspapers. What began as a small personal quest for family information has become a very large undertaking which makes historical information readily available to many, many people.
Your Honour, Mr. Marshall Neilson.
Our next recipients are Wayne and June Pettie of Elmira.
This couple has spearheaded a campaign to "Make Elmira Beautiful". They have done this by promoting the Elmira Horticultural Society of which they are co-presidents, and by getting people of all ages involved in the activities of gardening and horticulture.
Wayne and June Pettie have accepted speaking engagements in schools, clubs, and businesses, and they have started a local Horticulture newsletter. The Petties have revived the tradition of Arbour Day and the custom of tree planting by the students in local schools. To further encourage young gardeners, they have made the Junior Flower Show a part of the Elmira Fall Fair.
Thanks to their efforts the number of town flower beds has been increased from four to 14. All the beds are planted and maintained by volunteers, and the Petties can often be seen getting their hands dirty working on the town flower bed which they look after themselves.
As well as their work in making Elmira more beautiful to look at, they have found the time to regularly volunteer at the Nursing Home, and to be very active in church work.
The many visitors which Elmira receives at this time of year admire the work that Wayne and June Pettie have done in making the town a beautiful destination, and the people who are fortunate to live in Elmira greatly appreciate the contribution that this couple has made to community spirit and civic pride.
It is somewhat unusual for two people to be honoured together with this award, but it is clear from their record of service that Wayne and June Pettie it would be impossible to separate the works of one from the achievements of the other.
Another reason that we could not separate Mr. And Mrs. Pettie today is that this date, June 24, 1997 is the 52nd Anniversary of their marriage.
We sincerely congratulate you on this happy occasion.
Your Honour, may I present June and Wayne Pettie.
Our next award recipient is Madame Aline Plouffe of Timmins.
Madame Plouffe began her retirement in 1972 and has devoted many of the years since then to the betterment of her community.
In 1983 she joined the committee to examine the structure of the seniors clubs in the parish. The committee recommended that three seniors groups be joined into one, and in 1984 when this change came into effect, Madame Plouffe's organizational abilities were again in demand. She began a service of six years as president of Le Club des Aînés de la Ronde.
Under her leadership, the seniors club was active in many new areas and even organized annual excursions trips for members, including trips to the Maritimes, Québec, and Sault Ste. Marie. While spending many hours in the service of her community, Madame Plouffe was also active as an advocate for francophone seniors at the regional and provincial level.
In 1993, following five years of dedicated work by Madame Plouffe, Le Mirage, a 50 unit residence for seniors opened. Today, Madame Plouffe lives on the sixth floor of the residence she helped to build and remains very active as the President of the residents' association.
Her community knows her as a hard-working individual who is always keen to give credit to the people with whom she works, but is reluctant to accept acclaim herself. Tonight Madame Plouffe we recognize you and the years you have contributed to your community.
Your Honour, I present Madame Aline Plouffe.
Our next honouree is Mr. John Richard Poste of Collingwood
Mr. Poste has made significant contributions to his community and the province in many areas. He was instrumental in the creation of a new YMCA for Collingwood which opened its doors in 1985 and has remained a very active fund-raiser for the Y. He has applied his fund-raising skills for the benefit of the Collingwood Classic Aircraft Foundation and for the Bruce Trail Association.
He has accepted many responsibilities with the Bruce Trail Association including taking the lead responsibility of maintaining some 70 kilometres of the trail. He has recruited many people to assist in this task and has taken responsibility to see that they have the necessary skills to make their own contributions to this very worthwhile project.
Mr. Poste's varied volunteer work has been recognized with honourary memberships in many associations in the Collingwood area, he has received the Order of Collingwood and the YMCA Meritorious Service Award, and his work for the Collingwood Harbour Remedial Action and Planning Process has been recognized by the International Joint Commission. He also has the honour of having a part of the Bruce Trail named for him. I am told that the "Jack Poste Trail" offers some particularly fine views.
A few months ago Mr. Poste was interviewed for a newspaper article on birding. His advice on how to make the best of a day of birding seems also to sum up his ideas on service to his community. When asked how to begin birding, Mr. Poste replied "Have a lot of patience and concentration. You have to have a good attitude if you want to make the best of a day"
Mr. John Richard Poste is certainly someone who knows how to make the best of a day.
Your Honour, Mr. John Richard Poste.
Our next award recipient is Mr. Sidney Roberts of Renfrew.
Mr. Roberts is the most senior of our award recipients tonight, and that in itself is something of an additional honour.
Even considering that Mr. Roberts is a little more senior than the rest of us, the list of his contributions to his community reads like the accomplishments of not one but two dedicated volunteers.
He has been a town councillor, a library trustee, Campaign Chairman for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, organizer and leader of the Boy Scouts and Treasurer of the Rotary Club.
He has a long association with the Renfrew Victoria Hospital and is presently the chairman of two committees of the Board of Trustees.
Last year, in recognition of his long history of service to the community, the Renfrew and Area Chamber of Commerce named Mr. Roberts as Citizen of the Year.
The town of Renfrew is grateful to Sidney Roberts for his many years of good work on behalf of their community and for the inspirational example he sets.
One of his nominators for the Senior Achievement Award wrote to give Mr. Roberts this tribute. He said "Mr. Roberts has a stellar record of voluntary contribution to our community. A true model for his peers."
Sidney Roberts is really a model for all of us. His zest for life and his many interests, including his interest in the well-being of his community, set an example of the sort of senior years we all should hope to enjoy.
Your Honour, may I present Mr. Sidney Roberts.
Our next recipient is M. Armand Simard of L'Original.
M. Simard has lived and worked in L'Original since 1947. In those 50 years he has been a very active member of his community, helping with the Carnival, the baseball club, the hockey club, and raising funds by selling tickets for many different organizations.
In his community Armand Simard is known for organizing fund-raising telethons. Thousands of dollars have been raised for the fight against arthritis with donations to the Arthritis Society. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has benefitted from a similar telethon organized on its behalf by M. Simard.
Simard is a founding member of the St. Jean Baptiste Council of L'Original and is very active as the Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus. L'Original is a small community which does not enjoy many of the facilities of Ontario's larger centres. In L'Original, the Kinghts of Columbus, under M. Simard's leadership, fill an important role. This organization has provides dances and many other social events which bring together community members of all ages.
I understand that M. Simard was among those who collected clothing and household items for a fund-raising sale. The people of L'Original built a kiosk last week, and on the weekend M. Simard was among the volunteers in the kiosk selling the items which had been collected. The event involved many people of the area and raised money for the needy of the community.
This event, and many others in M. Simard's long history of involvement in his community, are tangible expressions of M. Simard's deep commitment to L'Original, and the well-being of his fellow citizens
Your Honour, may I present M. Armand Simard.
Our final recipient for the evening is Mr. Lou Wise of Don Mills.
Mr. Wise's passion, and the reason for his being chosen to receive this award, are unique. Mr. Wise takes photographs. Not as you and I might take photographs, but very specific photographs for very specific purposes.
Lou Wise takes aerial photographs for conservation purposes and to further our understanding of our natural environment.
At present, he is engaged in a large project to document more than 275 locations on the Oak Ridges Moraine. This will involve low level aerial photography and a good deal of time and patience. The Ministry of the Environment has contributed to the costs of this project, but this funding is used only for direct expenses, Mr. Wise is providing his time and talent strictly on a volunteer basis.
The photographs resulting from Mr. Wise's work are used in secondary school geography programs in and around the watershed area, by Conservation Authorities for public information, and by local conservation groups in their efforts to preserve and protect the natural environment. The Oak Ridges Trail Association also finds Mr. Wise's photographs extremely useful in their work to develop hiking trails in the area which will enable more people to have a first hand understanding of this sensitive ecology.
Mr. Wise served in the RCAF for 5½ years, and I am sure that he is pleased to be able to put his flight training to such good use in the peaceful skies of Ontario.
In some ways, Mr. Wise's contribution is completely unique - I don't believe we have other seniors in Ontario whose voluntarism is expressed by taking aerial photographs. On the other hand, the work Mr. Wise does is part of that fine tradition of voluntarism which is exemplified so well in this room tonight. Like the other award recipients, Mr. Wise is a person who has seen a need and has devoted his time and talents to filling it.
Your Honour, I present Mr. Lou Wise.
This concludes our presentation of the Senior Achievements Awards for 1997. I congratulate all award recipients. On behalf of the Government of Ontario and all who live in the province and benefit from your many good works, I offer sincere thanks and appreciation for your many accomplishments. You set fine examples which we should all wish to follow.
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