Puslinch residents receive 2023 Luella Logan award, scholarship

GUELPH – A former Puslinch council member and a current political science student from the township were respectively recognized with an award and a scholarship named for female pioneer in local government.

Warden Andy Lennox announced the recipients of the 2023 Luella Logan Scholarship and Luella Logan Award for Outstanding Service by a Woman in Politics at the Nov. 30 county council meeting.

The scholarship annually grants $1,500 to a young woman pursuing postsecondary studies in political science, public administration, or a related undergraduate or graduate degree at a Canadian college or university.

Selection is based on academic excellence and demonstration of leadership and interest in local government.

Wellington County council, on behalf of the Logan Family, awarded the fifth annual Logan scholarship award to Claire Atkins of Puslinch.

“On behalf of County council, I would like to congratulate Ms. Atkins on receiving the 2023 Luella Logan Scholarship,” Lennox stated in a press release.

“Ms. Atkins already has an impressive political resumé and we all look forward to her future political contributions,” the warden added.

Atkins is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a minor in economics at McGill University.

The award for outstanding service by a woman in politics is presented to a retired female politician who has shown outstanding service in local politics with the county or a member municipality.

The recipient receives a donation of $1,500 to allocate to the charity of her choice.

The award is funded through a donation the county received from Robert Logan in recognition of his late wife, the first female councillor to sit on Wellington County council, Luella “Lou” Logan.

The 2023 recipient is past county councillor Barb McKay, who was elected to Puslinch council in 1993 – at the time just the second woman to be elected to that council.

While on Puslinch council from 1993 to 2006, she served on the Puslinch planning advisory committee, Wellington Community Futures, Wellington Farm Safety, Community Orientated Policing (COPs) and Friends of Mill Creek.

After nine years as a Puslinch councillor, McKay was elected as the Wellington County Ward 7 councillor in 2006.

As a county councillor, she served on the planning and land division and social services committees, as well as the St. Joseph’s Health Care Board and MacDonald Stewart (Art Gallery of Guelph) board.

McKay selected Guelph Wellington Women in Crisis as her charity beneficiary. The community-based organization provides services to women and their children who have experienced domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking.

“On behalf of county council, I would like to congratulate Barb McKay on receiving 2023 Luella Logan Award for Outstanding Service by a Woman in Politics Award,” said Lennox.

“Luella Logan contributed so much to the county during her political career. This annual award is a wonderful way to honour her legacy.”

“I’d like to thank the Logan family for encouraging women in politics. It’s a very important duty and task,” said McKay after receiving her award at the meeting.

McKay recognized her husband Don McKay, also a past county councillor, for his support in her political endeavours.

“One person does not a politician make. My most important supporter and encourager is my husband, Don. He supported and encouraged all my projects, including politics,” she said.

“I’ve worked with great mayors and wardens in my time, and councillors. They are what makes the politics work. They’re the leaders of our group.”

McKay also acknowledged the support of the Puslinch community and township and county staff.

“To be a good politician, there are three traits that I see as important. One is an active listener. Secondly, someone who can multitask. And thirdly, being able to make thoughtful, informed decisions,” she stated.

“Most women have got those traits down pat and will be a valuable asset to any political group that they belong to.”