Ontario seniors receive Senior Achievement Awards

ontario_senior_awardsTwin engineering brothers, a founding member of a local Bruce Trail Association and a suicide survivor are among a group of seniors who have been recognized by the province.

The province of Ontario recently awarded 20 outstanding seniors with the Senior Achievement Award for their significant contributions to their communities and the province.

The Senior Achievement Award is the highest provincial honour for people aged 65 and older and is presented each year by the Lieutenant Governor.

The awards have been given out to remarkable seniors since 1986.

“I am delighted to honour these 20 seniors who have so generously contributed to the strengthening of communities in Ontario — and even throughout the world,” says The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. “Through their leadership, wisdom and talents, they bring us inspiration. We can create just and sustainable communities in Ontario.”

The province is currently home to approximately two million people over the age of 65. According to Volunteer Canada’s Volunteering and Older Adults 2013 report, baby boomers and senior adults contributed more than one billion volunteer hours to Ontario in 2010.

“Ontario’s reputation as a caring place to live, work and raise a family is due to the incredible people that make our province great,” says Mario Sergio, the provincial Senior Affairs minister. “We truly appreciate their dedication and commitment.”


2014 recipients:

Gertrude H.E. Berger of Eganville has volunteered for 25 years with the Eganville and District Seniors Centre. She lobbied for the Fairfields affordable housing project and is also a skilled and accomplished stained glass craftsperson.

Evelyn Burns-Weinrib of Toronto shares her experience with late-life depression. Her video, Surviving Suicide, is used around the world to teach medical students and residents about mental health.

Don Cassan of Havelock spent 56 years volunteering with the Havelock Lions Club and 21 years as a volunteer with local community care programs and as a coach in the Havelock Minor Hockey Association.

Antoinetta Ciccarelli of Toronto began volunteering as a food server at Casa d’Italia community centre during the 1940s. For more than 65 years, Antoinette has served all manner of needs in her community and her church.

George Currier of Maxville is a former municipal councillor and has been a member of his local Lions Club for nearly four decades. George also volunteers for the monthly fundraising breakfasts for the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the North Glengarry Fire Department and the local beaver and scout troops.

Luena Daley of Collingwood is 101 years old and still an energetic musician at the Bay Haven Senior Care Community. In addition to her daily music program, Luena often fills in as the pianist for church services and hymn sings.

John H. Douville of Aweres Township has been involved in his community for more than 50 years. His volunteer contributions include activities at the local school, the Aweres policing committee, the recreation committee and the Sault North Waste Management Council.

Jean Ede of Newmarket brings a love of history to her long-time story-telling volunteer activities at the Elman W. Campbell Museum in Newmarket. A former teacher, Jean engages kids and adults alike in different community events, such as the annual Spooktacular Halloween Party and the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, where her costumes are always memorable.

William K. Ferris of Burlington has volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross for more than 20 years. He has taken on various leadership roles and assisted with deployments to floods in Mississippi and Manitoba, forest fires in Northern Ontario, as well as the aftermaths of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ike in the United States.

William D. Goodings and Robert A. Goodings of Toronto are twin brothers and distinguished civil engineers. Bill has shared his knowledge in solid waste management on projects in the Philippines, Bolivia and Sri Lanka. Bob has taken his expertise in water and wastewater systems to Nigeria, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, Bolivia, China and the Philippines.

Shirley Johnstone of Tobermory has volunteered with the Royal Canadian Legion for more than 30 years. She is president of the Seniors Connect program, a founding member of the local Bruce Trail Association, the Friends of Tobermory Library, chair of the Grey Bruce Tourism Association, and a member of the Trillium Foundation board and Tobermory Health Clinic Auxiliary.

Brian D. Keys of Oshawa is a retired high school English teacher, an avid gardener and a long-time volunteer at Hillsdale Terraces long-term care home. Brian can be found every day of the week assisting with the daily needs of residents and editing the Terrace’s monthly activity calendar and quarterly newsletter.

Kwok-Yee Ng of Toronto is a talented musician and has revitalized the Chinese United Dramatic Society, an 81-year-old, not-for-profit organization for the preservation and promotion of Kwongtung music and opera.

Josephine Pelletier of Wikwemikong is an Ojibwe elder, actress and retired teacher, dedicated to keeping the Ojibwe language and culture alive. She is a member of the Wikwemikong Board of Education and served on the board of the Amikook Seniors Centre and Rainbow Lodge, a substance abuse centre.

Pauline Roberts of Aylmer is a trained nurse, volunteer and president of the Chateau Gardens Nursing Home Auxiliary. For the past 23 years, Pauline has volunteered at the Aylmer and District Museum where she has fulfilled many roles, including researcher and transcriber of historical diaries and letters.

Mae Smith of Chesley has been a volunteer in her community for more than 60 years. She is president of St. Mark’s Lutheran Ladies Church Council, head of the arts and crafts for the Chesley Fall Fair and secretary for the Chesley Horticultural Society and is also a palliative care visitor at Chesley District Hospital and Parkview Nursing Home.

Reverend William H. Steinman of St. Catharines, an ordained Anglican priest, has been an active volunteer with the Ontario Special Olympics for more than 20 years and is a member of the St. John’s Ambulance Association. He currently sits on the executive committee of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 24 and serves as padre.

Peggy Wiechno of Brockville set out to keep the children of Brockville warm 15 years ago when she heard about Brockville’s annual snowsuit campaign. Since then, she has collected more than 750 snowsuits and for each one, knitted a set of mittens, a scarf and a hat.

Stuart Wright of Carrying Place retired from a successful career in the telecommunications industry and was appointed to the Loyalist College board of governors in 2008. Under his leadership the college raised $6 million to equip and complete the Sustainable Skills, Life Sciences and Technology Centre.

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