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Kiera 560Saugeen Shores Hub and South Grey News co-owner Kiera Merriam (right) stands with Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson at ‘A Remarkable Assembly of Bruce County Women’.

Hub Staff

It truly was ‘A Remarkable Assembly of Bruce County Women' when 164 women from across the county, including many from Saugeen Shores and neighbouring communities, were recognized in a ceremony co-hosted by Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson and Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie at the Underwood Community Centre November 30.

The event saw a wide range of volunteers, advocates, role models, artists, educators, entrepeneurs, writers, and athletes being honoured for their enthusiasm and passion for their communities.

“Tonight is about saying thank you,” said Thompson. “When I'm out and about I notice things and I notice people and people talk to me about mentors and leaders in their communities and so many are ladies and that's why we're here tonight.”

Along with Canada, Ontario and Bruce County celebrating 150 years in 2017, Thompson said the year also marked the 100th anniversary of many women earning the vote in Ontario, adding that “it wasn't until 1954 that all women in Ontario had the right to vote. It was only in 1954 that Indigenous ladies were allowed to vote,” she explained. “We're getting things right, we're still getting things right...we've continued to take one step at a time.”

Thompson went on to say that the women present represented a small part of the population and that they were just a sampling. “You're people who I've worked with, you're people who have your names in the paper, you're people who are known in your community for getting involved and getting things done and you're people who support others to make a difference,” said Thompson. “We have a pretty special lot in Bruce County and we have achieved so much.”

One by one, Thompson called the names of each of the women and she, along with Eadie, presented the women with a letter and certificate from the Huron-Bruce representative, recognizing them as a member of ‘A Bruce County Assembly of Remarkable Women’.

One of the first of Saugeen Shores names to be called was Southampton's Sylvia Sheard who, among other things, was co-chair of Pretty in Pink, a non-profit organization which spent eight years fundraising Saugeen Shores, the last five included raising over $100,000 for the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation to go towards their share of the Regional Cancer Care Centre in Owen Sound. Sheard said she was honoured to be with so many amazing women from our community. “What would our communities be like without us, think about that,” she said.

Executive Director of the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation, Sally Kidson was also honoured. Kidson said that she had grown up in Underwood before moving away from the area and then coming back. “The area calls you back and I think the reason it does is because there's something about Bruce, and obviously Huron County too, where people's hearts are infused with love for each other and their communities,” she said. “It's not like that everywhere else. We are so unique and so lucky to be here.”

Upon being recognized, Saugeen Shores Councilor Cheryl Grace gave praise to volunteers in Bruce County. “I just want to echo my enourmous respect for all of the volunteers that make our communities work throughout our region,” she said, also offering a shout out to her colleagues on Saugeen Shores Council as well as municipal staff.

Thompson also called the wives of local mayors, including Donna Smith, wife of Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith. “There's so many times that you have to hold down the fort,” said Thompson. “I think it's so so important that we say thank you to you ladies...for all they do to enable their partners to be involved at the municipal level.”

Bruce County elementary and high school principals were also called. “It takes a village to raise a child and our prinicpals have a different type of job today in 2017,” said Thompson. “They're social workers, they're mental health councillors, they're cheerleaders, they're organizers, they're employers.”

Karen Spragg, Principal at École Port Elgin Saugeen Central School praised volunteers for helping to make their jobs easier.”The volunteers surround us and the parents surround us and the communities and make us look good, so we thank you every day for what you do.”

Women from local media were also recognized. “All we do in our community would be for naught if we didn't have a chance to celebrate it and these ladies in their own ways help promote and celebrate what we do best,” said Thompson.

Saugeen Shores Hub co-owner Kiera Merriam thanked Thompson and Eadie for hosting the evening. “I made the transition from newspapers to online news a couple of years ago,” she said. “To all the wonderful women in the room, congratulations.”

One of the biggest applauses of the evening was for Eleanor Edwards, a significant fund raiser for the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre in Southampton. “My ancestors came up here in 1845 in Stoney Keppel and my great grandmother went to the door and said...why have you brought me to this God forsaken country,” recited Edwards. “Now Bruce County is Canada's wonderland and I love it up here.”

The last certificate to be handed out by Thompson was to her co-host. “It's very humbling to be here tonight and be with all these wonderful women who deserve to get their award for so many different things,” said Eadie.

Cathy 560Receiving her certificate from Anne Eadie, Mayor of Kincardine (left) and Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson (right) was Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre Director/Curator Cathy McGirr. McGirr said it was a privilege to be able to interpret the history of the entire county.

Room 560The Underwood Community Centre was full, as 164 women were recognized at 'A Remarkable Assembly of Bruce County Women.'

Cheryl 560Saugeen Shores Councillor Cheryl Grace said she had enormous respect for volunteers in the region. Although absent from the event, Vice Deputy Mayor Diane Huber's name was called later in the evening.

Edwards 560A major fund raiser for the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre in Southampton, Eleanor Edwards (centre) was recognized at the ceremony November 30.

Lisa Speech 560Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson gave thanks to a wide range of volunteers, advocates, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, writers, and athletes for their enthusiasm and passion for their communities.

Media 560Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie (left) and Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson (right) gave praise to women in local media, from left, Sandy Lindsay, Barb McKay, Kiera Merriam, Frances Learment and Liz Dadson.

Principals 560École Port Elgin Saugeen Central School's Principal Karen Spragg (fifth from left) was among a group of Bruce County principals recognized November 30. Saugeen District Secondary School Principal Melissa McEwen was also recognized but wasn't present.

Sally 560Executive Director of the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation, Sally Kidson said the area was unique as she received her certificate.

John 560Saugeen First Nation's Christine John (front, centre), a Communications Specialist at Bruce Power, stands with a group of women being honoured as leaders and role models.

Smith 560The wives of Bruce County mayors were honoured at the November 30 ceremony. Saugeen Shores' Donna Smith (left) stands with Helen Ingles and Gloria Buckle.

Steph 560Saugeen Shores Family Eye Care’s Steph Carr, along with sister-in-law Dr. Kristen Robinson who was unable to attend, were honoured for their work in the community.

Sylvia 560Southampton's Sylvia Sheard said she was honoured to be at the Bruce County Assembly of Remarkable Women with so many amazing women in our community.



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