Selfless citizens recognized

News last week that Don Doyle was named Citizen of the Year in Centre Wellington was welcome News indeed.

There have been many noteworthy recipients in past contests and, to be fair, some curious choices. To us a citizen of the year choice should be about selflessness.

Don sure fits that bill. Our interaction with Mr. Doyle spans 40 years. He was a tremendous merchant along with his wife when they had Doyle Paint and Wallpaper on St. Andrew Street in Fergus. Clients from far and wide could depend on his advice. By virtue of his store he was a member of the BIA and a strong promoter of Fergus.

As long as we can remember he has been at the annual Lions Home Show, where neighbours within an hour’s drive get together each spring to see what’s new. It’s a great family event and Don would spend hours with his fellow Lions organizing things to the final detail.

He has spent decades with the Theatre on the Grand, volunteering his time to help a facility that always seemed to need help. This persistent attitude is what communities need as ideas blossom. Don would not be one to ever give up.

There were more stories last week that pointed to what a great choice Don was. But for me there was a little more personal touch that spoke volumes about the kind of person he is.

A few months back Don made an inquiry about a mutual acquaintance. It wasn’t long after that he emailed with an update about this ailing friend. Some might call that type of follow-up old-fashioned, but it speaks to his being a gentleman and a caring person willing to take time for others.

Consistent with that theme is the recently announced Centre Wellington Youth Citizen of the Year, Jenna Tofflemire. Along with a busy academic schedule, she has found time to volunteer on mission trips in South America and participate in many Sports activities. Compelling though, is the number of people who spoke highly of her leadership skills and willingness to take on leadership roles.

Elsewhere in Wellington, Mount Forest has named its annual citizens of the year.

Daphne Rappard Armstrong is a Big Sister, chairs the Mount Forest Christmas Bureau, helped a group sponsor a refugee family and is active in her church. Like most deserving nominees, she was almost shy about being recognized for her hard work.

Olivia Wenger was named Mount Forest Young Citizen of the year. Along with being an accomplished athlete, she volunteered with the Mount Forest Fireworks committee, raised money for the food bank at Halloween and helped with a box drive for homeless youth in the Guelph area, amongst many other things.

We remain optimistic about the future and what this next generation of volunteers will do with their lives. Perhaps Olivia best summed up that sentiment when she said, “When you have so much you can do so much for other people.”

All of us should take stock and lend a hand where we can. These folks did.