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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
It is with great honour that Midland present Mrs. Sue McKenzie with the 2014 Award of Merit.
2014 Award of Merit Recipient - Julianna Matyas
Julianna 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
The 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
It is with great pleasure that we present the
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 80 Midland Pipes and Drums with the 2014 Award of
2014 Award of Merit Recipient – Bob Jeffery
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.