Ward 5 Hero: Jennifer Harrison

Ward 5 Hero: Jennifer Harrison

Leanne and I first met Jennifer Harrison in her role as one of the community leaders who challenged Hydro One over their plans to clear the hydro corridor in Silvercreek Park. Jennifer’s home backed onto the corridor. She became instrumental in bringing Hydro One, the City, the community and Trees for Guelph to the table to work out a plan for the retention of some trees and a plan for new plantings. It is because of Jennifer’s persistence that Hydro One donated $10,000 to Trees for Guelph to replant the corridor and turn it into a meadow of grasses and wildflowers.

Jennifer is also very involved with her children’s school, St Rene’ Goupil, where she is president of the school council. No surprise there! Jennifer is from a small French community in New Brunswick so she feels quite at home spending time volunteering with various activities, fundraising and supporting teachers. Jennifer says this is where she gets her ‘French fix’.

Outside of St. Rene’, she is part of Rainbow Day Camp and Supporting Kids in Camp programs. They teach kindness, inclusion and tolerance at camp in the hopes that kids will adopt these principles in their everyday life. Jennifer says, “I strongly believe that kindness is a choice and my hope is that I can help children choose kindness more often than not.”

We are so fortunate to have Jennifer in Guelph advocating for ‘kindness’ and for the wellbeing of our residents. Thank you Jennifer!

Jennifer is pictured here with her husband, Morrison, and their children, Max and Sam.

Ward 5 Hero: Eileen Hammill

Ward 5 Hero: Eileen Hammill

Locally, the history of the Guelph Public Library (GPL) is not told without mentioning the significant contributions of Eileen Hammill, a Board member for 30 years who retired in 2011. Eileen was always very well prepared for Board meetings, taking a businesslike approach to the many challenges facing the GPL. She was keen to hear about and research the latest trends in public libraries. Eileen understood that a free and accessible public library makes a significant difference in the lives of children and adults. In Eileen’s 30 years on the Board, the library increased its circulation from 400,000 to 1.8 million and grew from one location to six. The GPL was more successful than many other municipal libraries in the province. This was, in part, due to the strong leadership of board members like Eileen.

In the 1980’s Eillen played a lead role in the establishment of the Southern Ontario Library Service. In 1990, she was recognized as Trustee of the Year by the Ontario Public Library Association.

Eileen was and continues to be a strong advocate for a new main library in our Downtown. It is long overdue.

Eileen was also very interested in Guelph’s history and heritage buildings. In the 1960’s she served as the President of the Guelph Historical Society.

Thank you Eileen for your many years of determined and dedicated advocacy! Libraries matter! May your dream of a new home for our wonderful GPL be realized soon.

Ward 5 Heroes: Central Student Association

Ward 5 Heroes: Central Student Association

When we think of the University of Guelph’s Central Student Association (CSA), we usually think of the great advocacy work they do on behalf of students on issues like transit and housing. However, they take on many more issues that often extend into advocacy work that benefits the whole community. Connecting community and campus is a priority for Jay Rojas, the CSA’s new Local Affairs Commissioner.

Here is a list of just of few of the CSA’s advocacy initiatives:

  • Providing accessible and affordable reusable water bottles for community members
  • Starting a research initiative to better connect students with other community members
  • Collaborating with internal and external partners to ensure current and future campaigns, services, and activities are inclusive and accessible
  • Increasing awareness of CSA within the City of Guelph
  • Collecting 17,350 lbs of food for the Guelph Food Bank through Trick-or-Eat campaign
  • Providing a Lock4Lock campaign, where community members were abel to trade their old chain locks for a more secure U-Lock
  • Raising awareness of sexual violence and prevention
  • Providing community members with a safe and reliable escort to their destination after dark

More often our community needs to recognize the great partnership with have with the CSA. Thanks to the CSA for your advocacy work that benefits all of our residents!

In photo from right to left:

Jay Rojas, Local Affairs Commissioner; Zoey Ross, Communications & Corporate Affairs Commissioner; Meghan Wing, Academic & University Affairs Commissioner; Ryan Shoot, Finance & Operations Commissioner; Emily Vance, External Affairs Commissioner.

Ward 5 Hero: Lt. Col. John McCrae

220px-john_mccrae_in_uniform_circa_1914

Today is a fitting day to honour one of Guelph’s most celebrated hometown heroes — Lt. Col. John McCrae, physician, soldier, artist, scholar and poet.  As we honour our veterans across the world, the words of McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields”echo in the background.  The image of the poppy is an international symbol of remembrance as a result of McCrae’s words, written on the back of a battlefield ambulance in 1915.

McCrae was born on Water Street in Ward 5 in 1872, the second son of Col. David McCrae and Janet McCrae.  The McCrae family were already well-established in Guelph.  John’s grandparents, Thomas and Jane(t) McCrae lived on the outskirts of Guelph at Janefield, a stone farmhouse still standing on College Avenue West.  He attended Central Public School and Guelph Collegiate Institute, before heading off to the University of Toronto to pursue post-secondary studies.

McCrae had a solid military background training with the Guelph 11th Field regiment and served in the artillery during the Second Boer War.  During World War 1 he served as a surgeon, and while stationed with the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne, he contracted pneumonia and died January 28, 1918.

McCrae is more than just a Ward 5 hero, he is Canada’s hero and his powerful words remain immortal around the world a century after they were written.

 

Ward 5 Hero: Norah Chaloner

Ward 5 Hero: Norah Chaloner

Norah is a longtime community advocate for the environment, social justice, food security and democracy. Wherever these issues are being championed you find Norah working diligently out front and behind the scenes to ensure the effectiveness of the advocacy work on matters close to her heart. As her nominator has said, “What is there to say? Norah has worked so hard on so many different areas of advocacy to make our neighbourhood, city and country a better place.” To name a few, Norah was a founding board member of the Guelph Urban Forest Friends and continues to work with the Wellington Water Watchers and the Council of Canadians-Guelph. Much of her time these days is spent turning the Yorklands Green Hub vision into a reality. You can read about her efforts at yorklanksgreenhub.ca . We would like to thank Norah for her passion, wisdom and commitment to the betterment of our community!

 

Old University Neighbourhood Residents Association Fall Meeting

It’s time the Fall General Meeting
Plan to Attend
at Harcourt United Church
on Thursday, Nov 10 at 7 pm
We will be welcoming a guest speaker, Tom Klein Beernink, Manager of Campus Coop Housing.

We will also open the floor for questions to the Exec Committee about issues focused on the neighbourhood.

And there will be the usual Councillors’ Corner where Leanne Piper and Cathy Downer bring us up to date on City matters and respond to questions from the floor.

Come and find out what is happening in your neighbourhood!