Six people were inducted into the Order of Collingwood today - along with one Companion - at the annual Mayor's New Year's Levee.
Rev. Terry Dunlop kicked off the proceedings with his invocation to "celebrate the presence" of friends and strangers, and to remember that Collingwood is a "community blessed by more than just the accumulation of things."
Mayor Chris Carrier, overseeing his first levee, reflected on his opening 34 days in office and how both staff and his council have made it a relatively easy transition.
"I'm thoroughly enjoying each and every moment more than I imagined," he said, adding that he and his council will have to deal with "lots of challenges facing the community."
And in a homage to the Order recipients, he noted there are a whole host of community groups and individuals who "make our community the community it is, and for all that we're extremely grateful."
While I've already drawn attention to the efforts of the individual recipients, here's their thoughts expressed today:
Bonnie Griffiths (whose late husband, Glyn, also was recognized today): "I just want to thank you so much for this honor; this time last year, Glyn would have been here to accept... I wish you all good health, happiness, and snow - and buy an acorn and plant and oak."
Bud Christensen: "Throughout Canada, people know what a caring community this is... whenever people ask me where I'm from, and I tell them I'm from Collingwood, they tell me 'You're living in a bubble because you have so many generous people in living in your community'."
Don Michalenko: "This is a very nice honour... but it's the kids that really put me through this."
Mark Redmond: "I do what I do because I can, and I enjoy it. I see so many committees and people do good works, and touch so many facets of our lives... each of us has a responsibility to contribute."
Dawn Myers: "I do volunteer work because I enjoy doing it... but to be in the company of these other (Order recipients), is a great honour."
Chic Simonato (Companion of the Order of Collingwood): "I've lived in this great town for 83 years, and I feel if you're going to volunteer, pick a project that you feel is worthwhile. The town has given me so much, and I have to pay it back. And you don't do it alone... or you would never accomplish anything."
Written by: Ian Adams – East End Underground