© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Lois Brown was one of five Island seniors honoured Tuesday when she received a P.E.I Senior Islander of the Year Award during a ceremony in Charlottetown.
There is no quit in the much-heralded volunteer Lois Brown.
When the 89-year-old Kensington resident gets involved in a cause, she is usually in for the long haul.
Take Scouts Canada, for instance. Brown has dedicated 45 years of service to the organization as the chairwoman of the local Scouting group committee and as a supporter of Scouting meetings and functions that recognize youth and leader Scouting achievements.
“Every year I say that’s it, but every year I’m still there,’’ she says.
Brown has long taken well to volunteering her time.
She canvasses for the Red Cross, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Kidney Foundation.
The veteran of the Second World War — she enlisted in the army at age 19 in 1942, serving as a telephone operator in Saint John, N.B. — she remains an active volunteer with the Kensington Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary, the latter for 58 years and counting.
So what has been the push for Brown to volunteer so much for so many years?
“Just satisfaction of helping,’’ she says matter-of-factly. “I just like doing it.
“Well, sometimes it gets tiring,’’ she adds, “but you keep on going.’’
And Brown also keeps on receiving well-earned recognition.
In 2010, she was named Legionnaire of the Year. Earlier this year, she was recognized as the Kensington Citizen of the Year.
On Tuesday, keeping with title trend of top volunteer of the year, Brown received the 2013 P.E.I. Senior Islander of the Year for her work and dedication to her community and excellence in mentoring other generations.
Brown, who has no plans to stop volunteering any time soon, was pleasantly surprised to be selected among five Islanders to get the prestigious nod awarded on National Seniors Day.
“Fantastic,’’ she says. “Fantastic.’’
Joining Brown Tuesday as 2013 P.E.I. Senior Islanders of the Year are:
Sr. Norma Gallant of Wellington for her leadership in community safety and crime. The current president of the P.E.I. Senior Citizens’ Federation, Gallant has since 2001 worked as a Francophone victim assistant delivering service to populations which, because of cultural and/or language differences, require assistance from Victim Services in their own community. She has been an active member of a number of community safety committees including the Victim Services Advisory Committee, the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Committee, Circles of Safety and Support, and P.E.I. Family Violence Prevention Services.
Eric Hammill of Kinkora for his leadership and mentorship in agriculture. Hammill, a former provincial agriculture minister, was recognized for his contributions to agriculture in 2000 with his induction into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame. Hammill has been an active community volunteer, serving in the past as president of the Maple Leaf Seniors Club and holding a number of leadership positions in the P.E.I. Senior Citizens’ Federation, including president.
John Kenny of Stratford for his significant contributions to community life. Immediate past president of the P.E.I. Senior Citizens’ Federation, Kenny has been president of the Mayflower Seniors’ Club, a volunteer with the breakfast program at Glen Stewart School, past chair of the Council of Bunbury, president of the Crossroads Fire Department, and a member of the Town of Stratford Recreation Program Committee.
Marion Murphy for her perseverance and dedication to improving the lives of others. A former MLA, Murphy has been a volunteer with the Red Cross, the Catholic Women’s League, Credit Union and the Palliative Care program. She organized the Marion Murphy Marathon for Life, raising $20,000 for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
P.E.I. Community Services and Seniors Minister Valerie Docherty says the P.E.I. Senior Islanders of the Year Award affords the opportunity to highlight the unique role that older adults play to enhance community and family life and promote positive images of aging.
“Year after year, our Senior Islanders of the Year prove to be extraordinary individuals and fantastic role models who show us, first hand, what is possible at any age or stage in life,’’ she says.