Ouellette named Senior Citizen of the Year

 

By Joel Charron

The votes are in and the Fort Malden Golden Age Club has named Jan Ouellette as the top senior of 2012.

Ouellette was given the Gertie Kilgallin Senior Citizen of the Year Award at the club’s annual Christmas dinner held Dec. 6 at the Verdi Club.

As is tradition, the award was presented in memory of Gertie Kilgallin by her son Tom and his wife Sharon.

The award is given to a person who provides or has provided outstanding service and dedication in an effort to enable senior citizens the opportunity to organize and participate in programmes in an atmosphere conductive to their social and individual dignity.

Once Ouellette’s name was announced her husband and son, who greeted her with smiles and hugs, met her at the stage.

“I am very shocked and overwhelmed,” said Ouellette upon receiving the award.

There were people nominated with five or six names on the ballot. As a nominee, she said she had no idea she was going to win.

“I honestly thought I haven’t been here long enough to win this award,” she said.

Ouellette joined the Golden Age Club in 2004 and has made an immediate impact when she joined.

“The active role of this person over the past number of years has contributed in no small way to contributed senior involvement and activities, which has enabled this organization to flourish with ongoing success,” said award presenter Tom Kilgallin.

Kilgallin told the crowd that Ouellette, along with past recipients, has carried out various duties and responsibilities with the Golden Age Club with “genuine love of and concern for club members.”

 

Jan Ouellette (centre) is this year’s recipient of the Gertie Kilgallin Senior Citizen of the Year Award. Sharon and Tom Kilgallin flank Ouellette as they present her with the award during the Fort Malden Golden Age Club’s annual Christmas dinner at the Verdi Club on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

Ouellette admits the club was a bit apprehensive about moving from the Amherstburg Recreation & Culture Centre to the UCCU Complex, but was one of the best moves the club has ever made.

“Looking back at it, it was the best thing for us at the time,” she said.

Ouellette said the Golden Age Club executive board has worked very hard to promote and grow the club and feels that they have done a “great job,” which was evident by the crowd at the Verdi Club.

She also encouraged other senior citizens who are not members, to join and experience the fun the club has amongst each other.

“We are all about friendship and offering a place for people to come and have a good time and enjoy themselves,” said Ouellette.

She also added that she is glad that she joined back in 2004.

“This is a place where I made a lot of friends,” she said. “It’s a place where I can go can enjoy myself.”

Previous winners of the Gertie Kilgallin Senior Citizen of the Year Award include: Alice Spearing (1975), Mary Jones (1976), Rhona DeHetre (1977), Enith Henderson (1978), Edna Jones (1979), Zandra Warren (1980), Bernadette Ong (1981), Ida Bedbington (1982), Edith Pattenden (1983), Bernice Ouellette (1984), Freida Bailey (1985), Orion Wilson (1986), Ruth Snider (1987), Viola Airriess (1988), Leo Labombard (1989), Bernice Lewis (1990), Betty Labombard (1991), Wanita Nye (1992), Lois England (1993), Sister Elodia Gagnier (1994), Margeurite (Miggie ) Cornwall (1995), Stanley Anderson (1996), Barbara Robinson (1997), Shirley & Jim McBride (1998), Eidth Delmore (1999), Rita Barrette (2000), Mary Paquette (2001), Peggy Wood (2002), Rose Kelly (2003), Madeline Mitchell (2004), Mary Brush (2005), Theresa Owen (2007), Gladys Woodrich (2008), Theresa Bellefleur (2009), Claire Beaudry (2010) and Fern Elliott (2011).

 

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