Alnwick-Haldimand honourees announced

By Cecilia Nasmith

Among the celebrations and activities at the 28th annual Alnwick-Haldimand Township Canada Day celebration last weekend was the announcement of citizenship awards inside the Haldimand Memorial Arena.

Acting Mayor Gail Latchford made the awards, with a bit of background for each recipient

Ross Poole was named Citizen of the Year.

Poole worked in the former Alnwick Township (prior to its amalgamation with Haldimand) in the public-works department, but gave a lot of time to volunteer work as well as a member of St. Paul's United Church in Roseneath and on the Roseneath Agricultural Society fair board.

He was active in the establishment of the Alnwick Township Fire Department in 1966. He served as its chief for years, resigning from the department of the amalgamated township in 2011 and becoming district chief thereafter. He was also a member of the Northumberland County Chiefs Association.

He and his wife Blanche are still on the family farm, but they remain involved in the community.

“He is one of those ones who is forward-thinking for the municipality,” Latchford said - “a guy anybody could go to and get an answer.”

Genevieve O'Neill is Junior Citizen of the Year.

Genevieve is active with the Centreton Community Centre and its projects and fundraising (and with the library occasionally as well). She is a 4H leader, helps the Knights of Columbus with their breakfasts and, at school, was a Linked-In member whom Grade 9 students could e-mail when they needed help.

Community Service Awards were also given to several recipients.

Mary Catherine O'Neill (mother of this year's Junior Citizen of the Year) is an active fundraiser for the Centreton Community Hall and library, and has been quite active with Haldimand Court. She is a local 4H leader, and also volunteers in Cobourg with legal services.

Heather Brereton is co-chair of the Centreton Community Centre with O'Neill. She is very active in fundraising for the library and other community projects.

Donna Reeves was a long-time volunteer for the Centreton Community Centre and one of the founders of Friends of the Library. She continues to help with fundraisers for both and is a dedicated volunteer with seniors.

Sarah Holland is often seen in the company of a golden retriever as one of the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog volunteers. She visits schools, hospices and correctional services through this program. She also recently helped organize the largest single gathering in the Northumberland's Biggest Coffee Morning, raising the most money of all the various coffee parties for Northumberland Hills Hospital.

Olivia Gibbs is a member of the Grafton Horticultural Society an can often be seen tending the beautiful gardens in the community (and bringing in special greenery for Christmas). She is also a member (and past chair) of the board of Haldimand Court.

Gay Hoskin created a lot of stir on the hockey rink in his day, but he also was a long-serving member of the old Haldimand Arena board. He has also been a key player in building and maintaining the lovely Haldimand Court flower gardens.

Joan Kelly is a treasured Heritage Alnwick-Haldimand committee member whom Latchford considers a walking history encyclopedia. “If anyone wants any information, Joan will get it for them,” she said.

Mosaic master Anja Hertle won the Art Achievement of the Year award. Hertle's commissions are unique in that they can incorporate some family treasure – a button, a bit of your grandmother's broken china, an old piece of silverware or some other sentimental trifle – into a mosaic that will last for generations. Hertle also organizes an annual arts fair on her Grafton property called Art Salad.

The Grafton Jays Peewee baseball team (with Darryl Hall as coach) won the Sports Award. The team has only been around for three years, but recently won the Eastern Ontario B championships. Next year, they will play host to the Eastern Ontario B championships.

“Darryl said they were thrilled to be nominated, and he is very proud of that team getting the award,” Latchford said.