The Conception Bay South Lions Club has been recognizing the town’s top citizen since 1973 and is looking for someone to join the other 42 people who have been honoured for their dedication to our town.
The Lions Club, formed in 1971, introduced the award to recognize someone who has made a significant contribution to C.B.S. Since then, the award has been given annually to an impressive list of recipients.
The first Citizen of the Year for 1972, which was presented in early 1973, was Dr. John Walsh of Manuels. Many residents will remember him as one of only two local doctors in the 1950s and 1960s.
I remember my father taking my sisters and me to Dr. Walsh’s office across the street from Neils Line. If we didn’t get a shot of penicillin, we’d go home with a little brown envelope of pills or a bottle of some terrible tasting liquid medicine.
Over the years, the Lions Club has honoured more people like Dr. Walsh. Some of the former winners are no longer with us, such as MHA Robert French, and Roman Catholic priest Father Francis Jackman, who split his time between the Kelligrews and Topsail churches.
Some other well-known community leaders were also recipients of the award. Dennis Morgan was recognized in 1990 for his involvement with the C.B.S. Volunteer Fire Department. Current provincial cabinet minister and MHA Paul Davis was recognized in 1998 when he was a constable with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
Three former mayors are also on the list. Gerald Greenslade, who was the town’s first mayor when we incorporated in 1973, was the winner in 1978. Kelvin Fowler was recognized in 1982 and the late Fred Coates received the award in 1991.
In recent years, the Lions Club’s award has been given to Wayne Miller for his work with the C.B.S. Monument of Honour, located in Long Pond. Also recognized for his work was the late John Scott, who was a founding member of the Monument of Honour Committee and C.B.S. Memorial Cross Association, which honoured veterans in our community by placing special markers on their graves.
The award has not always been given to the men in our community. The first woman was Dorothy Chaytor in 1975, and since then 11 more women have been the C.B.S. Citizen of the Year. They include: Carrie Gosse, Olga Martin, Doris Bishop, Barbara Porter, June Petten, Clarissa Hiscock, Margaret Rowe and Patricia Jones. Zita Butler, well-known for her work with the Salvation Army won in 2006.
The 2012 recipient was Mary Holloway, a former teacher and volunteer with Special Olympics.
Two organizations have also been recognized for their work. The C.B.S. Fire Department received the award in 1979, and 20 years later it was given to the Manuels River Natural Heritage Society.
If you know an individual or organization that can be added to this list of community volunteers for 2013, please forward a nomination, describing in detail how the candidate has contributed to our town, to Lion Dave Arnott.
You can reach Arnott by email at email@example.com, by mail at 19 Station Rd., C.B.S., A1X 3C4, or by phone at 834-9704. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 14.
Heritage committee recruiting
The C.B.S. Heritage Advisory Committee is looking for new members who are interested in their quest for history.
The volunteer committee acts in an advisory capacity to the town of C.B.S. and meets regularly to administer the town's Heritage Designation Program, Heritage Grants Program, and other activities to promote and preserve the town’s heritage. For more information or to
join the committee, contact the C.B.S Parks Commission at 834-6558 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joan Butler is a lifelong resident of Kelligrews,
Conception Bay South. She can be reached by email