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Council chamber packed to honour ‘Canada’s unsung heroes’

Senate sesquicentennial - Canadian Senator Rob Black says the Centre Wellington recipients of Senate 150 medals are some of the “unsung heroes of Canada.” Centre Wellington Mayor Kelly Linton, left, joined Black, right, at the Dec. 17 presentation of the medals to Patricia Mestern, Donna McCaw, Deryk Smith, Rick Goodfellow and Tom Skimson.  Photo by Mike Robinson

Council chamber packed to honour ‘Canada’s unsung heroes’

by Mike Robinson

ELORA - Centre Wellington’s council chamber was packed on Dec. 17 as Senator Rob Black handed out Senate 150 medals to five local residents.

The recipients include: Patricia Mestern, Donna McCaw, Deryk Smith, Rick Goodfellow and Tom Skimson.

“We are recognizing five outstanding individuals, of many, in Centre Wellington,” said Black.

Awarded in celebration of the Senate’s 150th birthday, the medals recognize “extraordinary” Canadians “whose contributions, volunteer efforts and dedication ... help make our communities better,” Black said.

“These are individuals who I consider to be Canada’s unsung heroes. They deserve our thanks and gratitude as we all benefit from their tireless efforts.”

Patricia Mestern

Black said, “as a lifelong resident of Fergus, Pat Mestern contributes to Centre Wellington and Fergus through her community advocacy work and as a local community historian.”

In addition, Mestern   “is a renowned author and several of her works of historical fiction are centred around and focused on the local area,” Black said.

“Pat contributes to the community’s better understanding of our history and culture ... and is an advocate for the community’s built heritage.”

Donna McCaw

Black said McCaw, a retired secondary school teacher, contributes “to the vibrancy” of Centre Wellington and Elora through advocacy work and Save Our Water.

“Donna is an advocate for clean, accessible and abundant water ... and through her endeavours our community is a better place to live, work and play.”

McCaw thanked council and the community for their support and added she wants to share the recognition with Jan Beveridge of Save Our Water.

Deryk Smith, Rick Goodfellow and Tom Skimson

Though recognized individually, Smith, Goodfellow and Skimson were all lauded for their efforts leading to the creation of the Elora Cataract Trailway.

Black said the trio helped support “one of the first rails-to-trails conversions in Ontario” and worked hard to achieve success, “raising funds, attending public meetings and meeting with government and CP Rail representatives to sort out the rails-to-trails conversion.”

He added, “Today, the 47km Elora Cataract Trailway is used by tens of thousands of people each year.”

Black concluded, “On behalf of the Senate of Canada and all Canadians, I would personally like to thank you for all you have done for Centre Wellington.”


December 21, 2018


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