Pictured during the St. John's Senior of the Year presentation (from left) are: Amanda Kinsman, Kenny's Pond Retirement Community; Allan Miller, Chair, Mayor's Advisory Committee on Seniors; Councillor At Large Tom Hann; award recipient Sharron Callahan; Mayor Dennis O'Keefe; nominator Ed Williams, St. John's Chapter of CARP; and Ward 3 Coun. Bruce Tilley. — Submitted photo
Sharron Callahan is the winner of the third annual Senior of the Year Award, the City of St. John’s has announced.
According to a news release, the award, which is a partnership with Kenny’s Pond Retirement Community, honours a local senior who has made significant contributions to the city through service to the community, or by improving the quality of life for citizens through community involvement.
Callahan was nominated for the award by Dr. Edgar R. Williams, chair of the St. John’s Chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP).
“I will outline some of the reasons why Sharron is deserving of this award,” Williams states on the nomination form. “She is the most reliable and hard-working volunteer that I know, and if you want something done just ask Sharron.”
Callahan retired from the provincial public service in 2002 as a senior policy specialist in youth justice with the Department of Justice. During her 35-year career as a social worker in and around St. John’s she spent many hours as a volunteer.
She recently completed the governance essentials program for directors of not-for-profit-organizations. Throughout her career she served on numerous boards which related directly to services for children and youth. Some of the volunteer organizations she has worked with include: Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Family Life Bureau, Co-operative Living Projects, Young Offender Advisory Committees, Child and Youth Care Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Justice Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Callahan says one of the highlights of her volunteer service has been her work with the Girl Guides of Canada. She has served as a unit leader for Sparks, Brownies, Guides and Pathfinders. She has also served as District, Division and Area Commission and from 2002 to 2007 was the Provincial Commissioner for Newfoundland and Labrador.
Since 2007, she has taken on increasing responsibility by becoming a Deputy Chief Commissioner for the Girl Guides of Canada. In 2012 she became Chief Commissioner, which is the most senior volunteer position with the national organization. Even with all of her national responsibilities, Callahan still leads a Guiding Unit at Kirby House.
Callahan is also an advocate for advancing the concerns and interests of seniors through her volunteer work with the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Sector Pensioners Association and the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, Avalon Chapter.