Each year since 1996, Antigonish County Recreation has invited organizations and individuals to nominate volunteers whom they feel deserve special recognition for their work within their communities. From among the nominees, one person is then selected at random to represent Antigonish County volunteers at the annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Luncheon held in Halifax.
The 2011 Antigonish County representative was Renée Brown, who was nominated by the Lochaber Community Development Association. Renée’s greatest achievement within the community has been her work with the yearly Strawberry Festival. To quote from the citation from the Awards Ceremony program; “Using her outstanding leadership, marketing and organizational skills, Renée has transformed what has always been an integral part of the community’s social and fundraising activities into, by far, the largest event in Lochaber by any measure“. In addition, Renée is a member of the local St. Patrick’s parish council and has also organized fund raising and social events in Lochaber.
Renée is the latest in a long line of nominated volunteers from Lochaber, three others of whom were selected as the Antigonish County representative at the provincial Awards Ceremony. Those three were Ella Stearns in 2010, Dorothy Ostewig in 1999 and Marie Gillis in 1998. Other nominees from Lochaber are; Dana Murphy, Merle Taylor, Gloria Greene, Kevin Sponagle, Bob MacKinnon, Pat Gillis, Melvin MacDonald, Allister & Harriet Cameron (jointly), Jennifer Carter, Reg Lagacé, Karen Stewart and David Brown. All of these 17 people richly deserve this recognition, but they are only a sample of all the people who have, over the years, given of their time and efforts to contribute to making Lochaber the community it is.
Two other regional volunteer representatives who many people in Lochaber are familiar with are Donald MacLellan representing the Town of Antigonish and Fleur Mainville of New Glasgow. Among some of Donald’s many areas of involvement are the Antigonish fire dept. and the Eastern Nova Scotia Exhibition. Fleur, who entertained us last summer at Sylvan Hall, was recognized for donating her musical artistry to many causes and especially for her contributions to her community as a big sister and role model to young women.