Billings Township recognizes its 2022 ‘Citizens of the Year’

Billings township recognized six members of the community with Citizen of the Year awards last week. Back row, from left, is Billings councillor Bryan Barker and award winners Andrew Preyde and Diane Larocque. In front row are David, Sarah, Tommy and Joshua Joyce, who were also recognized with Citizen of the Year awards by the township.

KAGAWONG—A total of six residents of Billings have officially been recognized with Citizen of the Year awards by the township. There were two categories selected from this year, a category for local residents 18 and older and a category for those under the age of 18.

Billings councillor and deputy mayor Bryan Barker presented the 18 and under category awards to four children from the same family. They included David, Sarah, Tommy and Joshua Joyce. David and Sarah helped hide eggs in the annual Easter egg hunt held in Kagawong in April. David gave one of his eggs to a friend who had fewer eggs in their basket, knowing that one of the eggs held the ‘Golden Ticket’ for a basket of goodies.

All four siblings also participated in the Island-wide clean up hosted by Manitoulin Streams Improvement Association between April 24 and May 9. They covered more than 10 kilometres of roads within the township and picked up discarded garbage and bottles. Then they donated the proceeds of the bottle return to the Gore Bay Bruins hockey association even though none of them played hockey but have friends that do.

“It is very nice to see young members of our community stepping up and going that extra mile to go above and beyond for our community,” said Councillor Barker. “On behalf of Billings Township I am happy for the opportunity to show our appreciation for the work all of you did to get bottles and garbage off the roads and ditches, and then donating the money raised to go towards your friends who play hockey. And giving away the Easter egg with goodies is a very nice gesture.”

Councillor Barker presented the Citizen of the Year award to one of the two recipients in the age 18 and over category. “Thank you for all your efforts on the old/new outdoor rink to benefit the township,” he said in presenting the award to Andrew Preyde.  

Mr. Preyde’s commitment to the maintenance of the outdoor rink has inspired many others within the community to assist in this worthwhile project. This community wide effort has resulted in the new outdoor rink that has been established in Kagawong.

“I would like to thank you on behalf of the township for all your efforts and contributions around the community,” stated Councillor Barker in presenting a Citizen of the Year award to Diane Larocque.

Ms. Larocque has volunteered on several committees. Some of these include the rebranding committee, economic development, parks, recreation, and wellness committee and the museum and library board. She also takes part in decorating the village at Christmas as well as helping organize the annual Christmas in the Kagawong market. Diane volunteers with St. John’s Anglican Church with its outreach program during the winter months, and volunteers at the annual yard sale and barbecue.

Each of the recipients received a bouquet of flowers and a Citizen of the Year award certificate on behalf of Billings Township.