Please find below a copy of the Mayor’s 2020 Honour List. This year marks the 39th Honour List. (No list was presented in 1988.)
The Mayor’s Honour List was established by the late Mayor Marceil Saddy in 1981 to honour citizens and groups in the community or surrounding area who have been instrumental in improving the quality of life or making a significant contribution to the City of Sarnia and Lambton County. Helen Keller said it best–“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
The list, as always, is a highly personal list, based on my own observations throughout the year in the community, nominations from citizens and media stories.
The list is a tribute to the unsung people and groups in the community who make a difference in trying to create a good and just community and society. It is living proof that individual citizens and groups can make a difference. Individuals or groups nominated are not notified of their selection to the Mayor’s Honour List until the announcement is made through the media so I request that you not contact those on the list until the embargo is lifted.
Here are 2020’s Honourees:
For 25 years Ms. Beauchamp has made a great contribution towards culture
in Sarnia with her musical productions including the Nightingale Chorus
Christmas shows at the Imperial Theatre. She works tirelessly to give
children the opportunity to explore the world of music and to develop their
passion. She inspires them so much that when they go off to college and
university they often come back to start their professional lives in Sarnia and
want to give back by volunteeríng with her. This year she organized the
Nightingale Chorus to get together outdoors and visit Long Term Care
Homes and retirement homes to provide old fashioned carolling. She called
this “The Christmas Ribbon” which was greatly appreciated by all. Carrie
has said she will continue to put on shows as long as she has the talent to
work with and people continue to want to see them.
BLUEWATER INTERNATIONAL GRANFONDO COMMITTEE
The Bluewater International Granfondo began four years ago. The increase
in this event’s popularity is evident by the increase in the number of bike
riders each year-over 3,000 riders have participated to date. Granfondo
(B.I.G.) was voted #1 in Ontario and #2 in Canada. Since its inception over
$200,000 has been raised to support Palliative Care at Bluewater Health and
St. Joseph’s Hospice with a focus on Palliative Care Education for nurses.
Although the event in 2020 was cancelled, plans are already underway for
the 2021 ride.
Mr. Dentinger has 40 years of experience in broadcasting and multimedia
journalism, As the News Director at CHOK Radio he is the “voice of comfort”
in challenging times broadcastíng to the community. Dave and Blackburn
Radio are the key component of the City of Sarnia’s Emergency Plan to
notify the community in times of crisis and to reassure and give direction to
citizens. On a professional basis, Dave is respected by his peers and by the
community for his fairness and professionalism.
For many years Ms. Gillis has quietly assisted people through her volunteer
work at the Food Bank. She goes one step further in assisting people on her
own when she has become aware of their need for clothing, appliances, and
items for day-to-day living. Heather says she cannot turn a blind eye and
walk away when she hears of people requiring assistance. Through Heather
being a member of the Bright’s Grove Optimist Club she can call upon fellow
members of the Club to assist her in finding household items in need. She
also relies on her former co-workers and friends to provide assistance. She
has held bake sales and small fundraisers to raise money to buy gas and
grocery cards to hand out to those in need. For many years Heather has
been a driving force in the organízation of the Bright’s Grove Optimist Club’s
Canada Day celebrations–day-long celebrations held the weekend prior to
Sarnia’s Canada Day celebrations so the Bright’s Grove community can
attend and participate in both events.
Mr. Gordon has numerous community accomplishments for which he takes
no credit, particularly helping numerous organizations through charity
donations. Ron was an inspirational Chairman of the Sarnia Canada Day
Committee and through his leadership built this event to where now over
50,000 people participate in the Sarnia events. Ron served as Chairperson
of the first Ontario Handicapped Games held in Sarnia. He has been a
driving force in fundraising drives which contributed tens of míllions of
dollars for Sarnia General Hospital Sarnia Lambton Women’s Interval Home
and the donation of a building, which was his Mother’s home, which is now
part of the Sarnia St. Joseph’s Hospice. The Hospice has received national
attention and awards because of its compassionate care giving. The Gordon
House is an incredible part of that reputation. Ron has been a bridge builder
between the 5,000 construction workers and their leadership and the
construction industry in Sarnia of which Ron is a strong, dynamic leader.
Ron has been instrumental in reaching out to labour and management to
ensure harmony, recognizing at the end everyone wins if everyone is treated
with dignity and respect. Ron has served in both government and business
and has been an inspiration in charity-driven work.
DR. MICHEL HADDAD
Dr. Haddad, originally from London and who was a top cardiac surgeon in
Philadelphia, came to Sarnia over eight years ago to work in the ICU at
Bluewater Health. He then became Chief of Staff. Under Dr. Haddad’s
leadership and genuine love for our community, he has taken Bluewater
Health to a new place in under a decade. The hospital now has dozens of
more capabilities and offerings for the Sarnia community than there were
prior to his arrival. People no longer need to drive to London for literally
dozens of procedures that Dr. Haddad believed needed to be offered locally.
He has changed the way people can receive care in Sarnia. He has recruited
more specialists to come to Sarnia bringing in over 20 new doctors. Dr.
Haddad has travelled to medical schools, conferences and speaking
opportunities all over the country to promote what Sarnia has to offer to
new grads and existing physicians. Dr. Haddad has contributed to elevate
Sarnia through a formal affiliation with Western University whereby Western
students will be practicing in Sarnia. Dr. Haddad is a skilled communicator
who offers comfort and direction to the community through social and
mainstream media. He recently started a “mini-medical school” which gives
the public an opportunity to learn from and ask questions of our local health
Filmmaker and Sarnia native Sami Khan was honoured in 2020 to have his
film, St. Louis Superman, nominated for an Academy Award in the short
documentary category. In addition to the Academy Award nomination the
documentary received awards at the Tribeca and Hot Docs Film Festivals.
Sami attended film school at Columbia University in New York. Ten years
ago his thesis project was a film in which he used Sarnia as the backdrop in
a story about what home means. The film “75 El Camino” drew critical
acclaim and was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Sami
currently lives in Toronto where he is a writer on the TV drama “The
Lindsay is an advocate for struggling youth with mental illness drawing on
her own experiences. She manages a social media account called “Stigma
Survivors” to create a safe place for the nearly 600 followers. She has been
invited to speak at youth summits for leaders and also assists the
community in food drives to help the Inn of the Good Shepherd. She was
recently awarded the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario Peace Medal in
recognition for her work to help the youth in her community. Lindsay
believes that you are never too small to make a difference.
Carolyn is a strong community supporter, always willÍng to help out. She is a
driving force with “Backpacks for Kids” (working with the Inn of the Good
Shepherd to give kids starting school the tools they need). She is a very
active member in the Rotary Club of Sarnia. She organizes fundraisers for
the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and in 2017 was recognized by
the Sarnia Community Foundation as a Woman of Excellence.
Carolyn works to strengthen people and support them in achieving their own
independence. An example would be her son Daniel, who has Type 1
diabetes. Since he was little, Carolyn has made sure Daniel understands
diabetes and what he needs to do to address his own condition. She helps
educate his fríends and those around him as well, so Daniel has the supports
that he needs. Carolyn is a very astute person who is very aware of
community needs, and is the first one to reach out and help. Her door is
always open and she is welcoming to all. Carolyn is a delight with her
personality and charisma who brings joy and enthusiasm to every project
where she is involved.
For many years Karen has served as Chairperson of the Poverty Reduction
Network an organization which advocates for better support for people who
are struggling to survive each day. An Anti-Poverty Rally has been held for
many years on the steps of City Hall on the Friday closest to the UN
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17), Karen has
been the organizer of this rally bringing together numerous agencies ín the
community and arranging for speakers to share their stories of survival and
making a better life for themselves. Karen’s dedication and hard work has
made the issue of poverty front and centre in the community and to not
allow people to forget that it is occurring around us.
Camilla, a member of Sarnia Bluewaterland Rotary Club, is passionate about
creating healthier communities. She has worked to improve literacy skills in
Kenya through the “Rain of Hope Project” an organization striving to provide
better education to students. She works closely with an optometry clinic in
India which provides eye care to those who cannot afford such services.
Camilla was a 2020 recipient of the YMCA Peace Medallion, given to an
individual or group who, without any special resources, status, wealth or
position, demonstrate a commitment to the value of peace through
contributions made within their local, national or global community. Camilla
is to be commended for her dedication in seeking to make not only local
communities but also international communities better places to live.
Eve is an incredible volunteer who has been with the Sexual Assault
Survivors’ Centre for over 10 years. She is currently the Centre’s President.
Eve was also involved with the local Alzheimer’s Association and is a former
board member. Eve is heavily involved with “Dancing with the Stars” and
channels the funds to organizations that doesn’t have a lot of volunteers and
are often overlooked for donations. Eve has been described as someone who
brings passion and drive to everything she volunteers to do.
Ms. Morris has been the President and CAO of Lambton College since 2012
and before that was with the College beginning in 2002. Judith is being
recognized for her extraordinary work outside of her leadership role as
President and CAO of the College. She is a champion of Indigenous
relationshíps, attraction of international students to the College to grow the
city’s population in the years ahead, establishing strong connections with
partnership in the Greater Toronto Area. Beyond her role with the College
she has served on the Bio-Industrial Innovation Board, The Western Sarnía
Lambton Research Park Board, Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership.
Judith has been a leader in many areas of endeavour outside of her role with
the College and is respected by all who have had the opportunity to work
with her because of her dynamic and charismatic leadership skills.
Mr. Perdeaux has been a champion for the past ten years of the Oversized
Load Corridor project-a project which is now underway. This will have great
economic benefit to the communities in the decades to follow. Rick was
responsible for its implementation while serving on the Sarnia Lambton
Industrial Alliance Board, as well as tirelessly spending many hours being
involved with the City of Sarnia, Lambton County, St. Clair Township,
Lambton College and many other governing bodies both provincially and
federally. As this project started as a conversation in a meeting room years
ago, its completion with the final phase of the named CESTAR dock will be
by the end of 2023.
Joanne Rogers builds bridges between the First Nations and the community.
Joanne currently serves as a member of the Aamjiwnaang Council and is a
past Chief whose outreach and engagement on reconciliation in
strengthening the ties with the City of Sarnia and Lambton County were of
great value and continue to this day. Joanne is a valued member of the
Sarnia Police Services Board where she is a leader in modernizing the Board
and its policies.
SARNIA HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
The year 2020 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Sarnia Horticultural
Society. The organization was formed to contribute to the beautification and
cultural growth of the growing city. Hospitals, schools, veterans’ association
and many other activities were all beneficiaries. Members were able to grow
their horticultural skills at monthly meetings through lectures, friendly
competition, garden tours and collaborations with new, like-minded friends.
SARNIA LAMBTON CRIME STOPPERS
Sarnia Lambton Crime Stoppers began in 1986 as a joint effort between the
public, media and Sarnia Police. It was originally established by the Sarnia
Police Commission who recruited members for the Board of Directors from
Lambton County. Sarnia Lambton Crime Stoppers is a three part approach
to solving the críme problem. Crime Stoppers relies on the co-operation
between police, media and the general public to provide a flow of
information about crime and criminals. With a major cut in funding from the
OPP the organization was on the verge of not being able to function any
longer. Through the efforts of the Board in seeking private donations and
fundraising Crime Stoppers has worked its way back to once again being
able to serve the communíty to its fullest extent.
SARNIA QUILTERS’ GUILD
The Sarnia Quilters’ Guild, which began in the community 41 years ago, has
approximately 165 members, including two founding members. Members’
ages range from 20 to 95 with the purpose being to share ideas and projects
and to foster the art of quilting. A large part of the Guild’s mandate is
Community Projects. Members donate their time, materials and talent to
support several agencies such as Bluewater Health where they have
provided pillowcases for children having Day Surgery. Quilts called “Quilts of
Valour” are given to veterans; clients of the Alzheimer Society of Sarnia
Lambton are also recipients; comfort quilts are given to people who are in
need of comfort through agencies like Children’s Aid Society, local Nursing
Homes, St. Joseph Hospice, Ohana’s Landing, New Beginnings ABI and
Stroke Recovery, Standing Oaks, Good Shepherd’s Lodge, River City
Vineyard Church, Woman’s Interval Home, and The Therapeutic Clown
Program at London Health Sciences where Bravery Bead Bags are given to
children who are receiving treatments to hold the bravery beads the
Therapeutic Clown Program gives them. In addition the Sarnia Quilters
Guild holds fundraising drives at a variety of events throughout the year
where some of the receiving agencies have been Rebound, Ohana’s Landing,
Organization for Literacy Lambton, Inn of the Good Shepherd, St. Joseph
Hospice, Woman’s Interval Home, Big Sisters and Big Brothers.
The year 2020 marks 50 years Mr. Williamson has been active in sports
activities such as hockey, baseball, lacrosse, football. He is a former
General Manager of the Sarnia Legionnaires. Bob has made an impact on
youth not only in thís community but in outside communities. He does not
seek recognition. He contributes to improve the lives of young people.
Donovan, born and raised in Sarnia, is a highly respected folk and country
singer/songwriter. He was recognized by his peers with the English
Songwriter of the Year Award at the 12th Canadian Folk Music Awards. His
album “Both Ways” at the 2019 Juno Awards received a Juno for
Contemporary Roots Album of the Year. Donovan has developed a
reputation, nationally and internationally, as a songwriter, musician and