Evelyn Winer was so shocked at being named Puslinch’s Senior of the Year she was rendered speechless.
“My one nephew said, ‘Ive never seen Auntie Ev lost for words in my life,’ ” Winer said with a laugh.
She was persuaded to attend the June 17 council meeting by her son-in-law, Bob Jefferson, under the guise of a recognition of former Puslinch councillors.
And even when Mayor Brad Whitcombe revealed that was untrue and council was actually saluting one selfless senior, Winer still did not realize she had been had.
“I’m 81 years old, but I don’t consider myself a senior,” she said, adding she was curious who would be the recipient.
But when Whitcombe read her name and a brief biography, she finally clued in and fired a look of shock at Jefferson.
“I was absolutely astounded that they thought of me,” Winer said. “It was wonderful. I’m so grateful.” It was not until she went to the front of the council chamber to receive a certificate from Whitcombe that she noticed her family and friends had packed the room.
“It was great to see so many people there … but how awful it was not to thank [the township],” she said the next day, adding she had already started writing a letter of thanks.
Born Evelyn Alexandra Gilmour in 1928, Winer married Roy Winer in 1947 and the couple bought a 100-acre farm on what is now Victoria Road.
They worked the land and established a commercial dairy operation and were blessed with five daughters.
A longtime fastball player herself, it was not long until Winer became involved with her daughters’ teams as a coach. And even when her teams weren’t playing, Winer was a fixture at the ball diamonds in Aberfoyle and Morriston for years as an umpire or just a fan.
Over the years she has been a volunteer at Aberfoyle Public School, and was involved with Duff’s Presbyterian Church, the Red Cross, cancer fundraisers and the Women’s Institute, in addition to helping countless relatives, friends and neighbours whenever called upon.
“I never thought about doing those things. It’s nothing new to me – I just do them,” she told the Advertiser.
Winer, who now lives on County Road 36, east of Morriston, has 13 grandchildren and remains active with Duff’s church and can still be found in the bleachers at local ballparks.
Relatives and friends have called Winer the ultimate host, as identified by the family’s motto: “It is not the number of square feet in your house, but the number of feet that cross the door [that matters].”
Despite her relative silence at the ceremony, Winer could not stress enough how thankful she was for the honour of being named the township’s Senior of the Year.
“But [Bob] should have warned me – he should have given me a hint,” she said with a laugh.