Council notes: Greater Napanee recognizes Judy Ann Smith as Senior of the Year

Judy Ann Smith (centre) accepts Greater Napanee's Senior of the Year Award from mayor Marg Isbester and her nominator councillor John McCormack.

Adam Prudhomme

Judy Ann Smith has lived her life under the motto ‘don’t count your days, make your days count’, something she has done through countless hours of volunteering in the Greater Napanee community.

On June 28 her service was recognized when town council presented her with the 2022 Senior of the Year Award.

“When anyone of us look around in the community we try to think of deserving people, for me Judy was at the top of the list,” said councillor John McCormack, who nominated Smith for the award. “I really didn’t consider anybody else. Not that there aren’t others, but Judy just came to mind. She’s extremely well known, she’s been a farmer for as long as we’d like to remember, it’s a century farm her and her family continue the tradition of being dairy farmers. When Judy and I started going through the history of all the volunteering that she had done it was so much, it was really incredible.”

Among her many accomplishments is her role in spearheading the first recycling program in Greater Napanee.

“I always think this is one of our best compliments to anyone, for the Senior of the Year,” said mayor Marg Isbester. “You probably could have been the junior of the year, the mid-amateur of the year and the senior of the year. I know how hard you have worked on many, many, things. Always been nice to have you as a friend, as a supporter of heritage and so many other things.”

Smith said it was an honour to accept the award and thanked McCormack, her Ward 1 councillor, for nominating her.

“I’ve always liked belonging to organizations in my community, even abroad and things that take part in my own church,” said Smith. “My family have always stood behind me in any endeavour that I decided to take.”

When accepting her award she shared her motto of making the days count.

“I firmly believe that the seniors of Greater Napanee are making their days count,” said Smith. “They’re still working in organizations and volunteering their hours even though we’re all getting a little older we’re still out there trying to make it a better community for which we all want to live in.”

-Also recognized on the evening was the Beaver’s own cartoonist Tim Nimigan, who was presented with Greater Napanee’s Municipal Arts and Culture Committee’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michelle Dorey-Forestell spoke on behalf of the committee.

“It’s no secret that Tim has served our community for many years making it a more vibrant, caring and whimsical place to live,” she said, noting his 30 years as an Art teacher at Napanee District Secondary School. “(Nimigan’s students) all remember Tim as a creative and caring teacher who gave them an appreciation for the arts.”

Dorey-Forestell added Nimigan has continued to contribute to the town’s arts through the bi-weekly Our Town comic strip, which debut in 2003.

“His witty depictions of small town life are not your typical political commentary,” she said. “More often Tim offers a wink to small town citizens who can easily recognize the comical exploits of self or neighbours. Now in retirement, while continuing his cartooning, Tim has become an advocate for the arts in his town and across Ontario, serving as the vice chair and then chair of the first ever Greater Napanee Arts Advisory Committee and now as past chair in the second committee.”

Nimigan helped to launch the pallet’able art program, which saw the installation of 30 unique paintings spread throughout the town.

Nimigan was presented with a jade crystal inukshuk, carved by fellow local artist CA Cavers.

“I remember as a teenager going to art galleries and art shows and reading the bio, some very nice things being said about the artists and I can remember thinking one of these days I hope I’m good enough to have an art show and somebody write a nice bio about me,” said Nimigan. “Then you grow up and you realize when you go into some of these art shows they ask you to send along a bio. So in other words, you write all those nice things about yourself.”

In his typical deadpan comedic style, Nimigan noted he did not supply Dorey-Forestell with the speech that contained all the kind words about him.

-Council approved the purchase of 99 Advance Ave. for a total of $5.8 million, which will soon serve as the town’s new administrative building.

Funding will be done through $1 million from reserves from land sales, $1.5 million from a 10-year debenture and $3.3 million borrowed from town reserves to be repaid from land sales.

-Council adapted a by-law to acquire the Helen Hutchison Nature Reserve.

The river front property is located across from King Street Park and was donated to the town by Larry Davey as an ecological gift, which helps to ensure its protection. There are plans to revitalize the wetlands and shorelines through plantings.

-Greater Napanee council will now adapt its summer meeting schedule, holding just one meeting in the month of July, which is set for July 12. Following that meeting they’ll next meet Aug. 9 before returning to the bi-weekly schedule in September.

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