Billings’ Senior of the Year Dianne Fraser recognized

Dianne Fraser accepts Senior of the Year honour from Billing’s mayor Aus Hunt. photo by Sharon Jackson

KAGAWONG—Tables laden with fresh cut flowers created a welcoming atmosphere at the Park Centre this past Sunday afternoon. The occasion was to honour Billings Township’s Senior of the Year Dianne Fraser.

Ms. Fraser grew up the in the area, worked as a teacher and retired to Kagawong, along with husband David, several years ago. She is an active member of St John’s Anglican Church, the Cenotaph Board and Old Hill Heritage Museum.

Rick Nelson, acting as host for the event began by thanking Kathy McDonald, office staff and members of council, Charlene Chambers and Barb Erskine, for their assistance in the kitchen and special thanks to Ms. Fraser’s husband Dave for “putting up with us and being a good guy loaning her out.”

Mayor Aus Hunt recognized Ms. Fraser for all she has done for the township. “Dianne doesn’t go the extra mile,” he stated, “she goes the extra 10 miles. I don’t know what we would do without her.”

Nora Haring was next to honour her friend by saying her roots in the community “run deep” as her parents Lyle and Minnie Graham were among the original founders of St John’s Anglican Church. “Dianne has been an active member of the church, being involved in the construction of the meeting room addition (which is host to luncheons and other functions).”

“Dianne,” she shared, “is a master organizer. There is no detail too minute that she is not aware of. She is involved with everything from the lasagna dinner to the upcoming barbecue and yard sale in early July. She also helps decorate at Christmas time and rolls up her sleeves to clean up the roadsides in the springtime.”

Ms. Haring ended by saying, “Dianne is an important part of the community and our congregation is thankful for her dedication and continued leadership.”

MPP Carol Hughes was on hand to offer congratulations to Dianne, a member of the community who “takes the lead, doesn’t take no for an answer and is proud of the successes in her community.”

Due to an administrative glitch, the certificate Ms. Hughes signed and was prepared to present to Ms. Fraser was not available. Instead, the MP offered a big hug and her congratulations for the recognition of Senior of the Year.

Mr. Nelson returned to the podium sharing that last year’s honouree Jacquie Gordon would have been delighted knowing Dianne had received it this year. “Jacquie was, and Dianne is, dedicated to her community. When Dianne first learned of the nomination, she was torn between being deeply appreciative and also felt a sense of awkwardness.”

“Dianne is always part of the team and inspires others to follow,” shared Mr. Nelson. “She is known as supreme commander to members of the Museum Board.” As the Old Mill Heritage Museum celebrates its 10th anniversary, Mr. Nelson recognizes Ms. Fraser by saying, “it would not have been possible without her.”

Each year Ms. Fraser is also involved in the annual Remembrance Day service, which is very special to her as her father served in the armed forces.

During the past three years, Ms. Fraser represented the Museum Board on the Canada 150 Committee. The Connections Trail is the end result of their hard work and commitment to the project.

Ms. Fraser thanked her husband for his support in her commitment to their community, church and the many hours she spends working on arranging displays for the exhibits at the Museum. “A lot can be accomplished when we work together as a team  and we have a lot of fun.”

A photo of St John’s Anglican Church with the Norgoma moored in the background at the marina was presented to Ms. Fraser by community members Sabine Huege and Nora Haring. Deputy Mayor Sharon Alkenbrack presented Ms. Fraser with flowers as a gesture of thanks and appreciation.

Refreshments including cake, coffee, tea and fruit was served following the speeches and presentations.