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The Award of Merit was established in 1956 to recognize individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the Town of Midland. Council meets each year to determine if there are eligible recipients in a given year and to decide amongst eligible candidates who the recipients will be in a given year. This year, there were three worthy recipients.

2014 Award of Merit Recipient​ – Sue McKenzie

AOM 2014 - Sue.JPGWhile it may seem like Sue McKenzie has always been a resident of Midland that is not the case.  Sue and her family moved from the Greater Toronto area and relocate to Midland, where they lived on Ellen St. for many years.

Sue very quickly developed a love and passion for Midland and its heritage that is beyond compare.  Sue was very active in the community serving for many years on the Planning Advisory Committee and for more than ten years on the Midland Heritage Committee of which she is now the acting Chair.

I'm sure you know about her attempt to ensure the survival of the Midland fir trees by collecting the cones near the oil change center business across from Little Lake Park and turning that into a school project.

Sue lobbied for David Onley, Ontario's former Lieutenant Governor and Midland native to have a park named after him and she worked many hours to make it happen.  Sue turned that into a class project by having students bake birthday cupcakes for the occasion.

It was Sue's tireless work that brought the 2013 Ontario Heritage Conference to Midland and her idea that we invite David Crombie to speak.  Sue is currently spearheading the revitalization of the William Wilson Cemetery, to name just a few of the many projects Sue MacKenzie has been a part of!!

Sue's depth of knowledge on so many diverse subjects is quite astounding.  She is an avid reader of non-fiction books and is keenly interested in politics at all levels.  She is an amazing cook and maker of marmalades which she shares generously. 

It is with great honour that Midland present Mrs. Sue McKenzie with the 2014 Award of Merit.


2014 Award of Merit Recipient - Julianna Matyas

AOM 2014 - Juliana Matyas.jpgJulianna Matyas was originally from Hamilton but moved to this area in the 1970s.

As a single mother, Julianna experienced first-hand the challenges and hardship of providing children with opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities.  The registration costs for sports, art, music, and even the Girl Guides can put such activities out of reach for many families.

It has been said that "to raise a child, it takes a village" so just a few short years ago Julianna founded 'We Are The Villagers' with a mission to enable families to enroll their children in extracurricular activities of interest to them.  Whether sports, music, art or other special interests. 'We Are The Villagers' sponsors children in need so that they may take part in these activities without being restricted by registration fees and equipment costs.  The organization became a not for profit in January 2012 and a Registered Canadian Charity in June of the same year.

Julianna's 'We Are The Villagers' has uncovered a unique need in the community, a need not readily visible to all but a need a single mother or father might recognize, and the lack of assistance available to the working poor. The need is real as demonstrated by the astonishing growth in the organization.  While founded and mainly located in Midland, 'We Are The Villagers' has quickly spread to help children pursue their dreams in numerous Ontario communities such as Penetanguishene, Tiny, Tay, Wasaga Beach, to name a few.  While it saddens us to realize there is such a need across our region we can take pride in the fact that one of our own has stepped up to create a means to combat it and has inspired so many of her fellow Midlanders' to join the cause.  

In Julianna's own words she "wanted kids to have fun and not worry about the big people stuff until they really had to."

It is with great pleasure that we present Julianna Matyas with the 2014 Award of Merit.​

2014 Award of Merit Recipient - Royal Canadian Legion Branch 80 Midland Pipes and Drums

AOM 2014 - Midland Pipes and Drums.JPGThe Midland Pipes and Drums band started in the fall of 1968.  The Loyal Orange Lodge in Midland had a pipe band that was disbanding due to a lack of members.   

Upon the disbanding of the Loyal Orange Lodge Band, former band members John French and Nelson Maheu, high school students at the time, were frequently contacted by Legion representatives to attend events where a piper was needed. 

This prompted John and Nelson to consider forming a new band. John’s aunt contacted Legion representative Dave Bell to see if the Legion would consider purchasing the instruments required to start a Midland Legion Band.  The Legion agreed provided enough people signed up.  

An advertisement placed in the Midland newspaper calling for members received a great response.  As promised the Midland Legion purchased pipes and drums from the Loyal Orange Lodge.  That winter Nelson and John taught the bagpipes and Dave Bell taught the drums.  The band’s first performance was Remembrance Day in 1970.  The Midland Legion Branch 80 Pipes and Drums band was formed. 

For more than 45 years the Midland Pipes and Drums band has played a very active and important role in the Town of Midland and surrounding communities.  The band has represented Midland on many occasions throughout the years including such events as the Orange Bowl Parade in Florida, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, and the Hawaii Bowl Parade, to name a few. 

Today the band is comprised of approximately 20 members.  Led by Drum Major Jim Malcolm, the band continues to demonstrate its commitment to the community by doing what it has done for many years - performing at Legion functions, participating in local parades, and attending numerous community gatherings and special events where all in attendance can enjoy the extraordinary and unique distinctive sound of the Midland Pipes and Drums Band. 

It is with great pleasure that we present the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 80 Midland Pipes and Drums with the 2014 Award of Merit.

2014 Award of Merit Recipient​ – Bob Jeffery​

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Robert "Bob" Jeffery is no stranger to Midland Town Hall, having served the people of Midland on Town Council for 34 years.

Bob, also known as the Senator, was first elected in 1981.  He served the people of Midland on Town Council as a Ward 2 Councilor until 2014.  During his tenure on Council, Bob was elected an amazing ten times and served under 6 different mayors, including two at this table; Councilor​ and former Mayor George McDonald and Mayor Gord McKay. 

There is not a committee of Council that Mr. Jeffery has not either chaired or vice chaired and many more than once.  His service and commitment to Midland stands alone.  At 34 years Bob is the longest servicing member of Midland Council, and one of the longest serving in Ontario history!

Bob brought his vast knowledge and insight to the Town of Midland and has always stayed true to his convictions.

Bob is a proud father, grandfather, devoted husband and a true living legend in the Town of Midland.  His only flaw could be his unwavering devotion to the Toronto Maple Leafs!!

It is with great Honour that we present the 2014 Midland Award of Merit to Robert "Bob" Jeffery.