Laila Kiviaho named Northeast Town 2017 Senior of the Year

Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin and Councillor Marcel Gauthier present the Senior of the Year Award for the Northeast Town to Laila Kiviaho. photo by Robin Burridge

LITTLE CURRENT—Laila Kiviaho has been named the Senior of the Year by the Northeast Town council.

“Mayor, councillors, staff, press and others present, it gives me great pleasure to say a few words regarding our Senior of the Year, Laila Kiviaho,” said Northeast Town Councillor Marcel Gauthier at last week’s council meeting when Ms. Kiviaho was presented with her award. “Laila was born in Creighton Mine and lived on a dairy farm with her parents and six brothers. She attended a one room school in Whitefish and after graduating from Secondary School went on to teachers’ college in North Bay. She received her BA from Laurentian University in Sudbury and taught school for 35 years and moved to Manitoulin in 1991.”

Councillor Gauthier explained that Ms. Kiviaho has been a palliative care volunteer for 25 years and received her pin in 2016.

She has also been very involved with the Manitoulin Health Centre Auxiliary, holding the role of membership chair, vice-president and president for 10 years.

“She has a life membership in the Hospital Auxiliary Association of Ontario and has also received the Vivian Levensohn award for volunteerism,” said Councillor Gauthier. “In 1996 she was involved with the first Manitoulin collection for ‘Operation Christmas Child,’ collecting 160 boxes and since 1996 has collected 12,501 for the organization.”

Councillor Gauthier said she is also an active member of the Retired Teachers of Ontario on the Island and the chairperson of the group for two years.

“She is the founding member of the Northeast Town Farmers Market in 2009 and has been treasurer ever since,” he said. “She has enjoyed volunteering at the Manitoulin Tourism Association in its older format and belongs to the Grace Bible Church where she has taught Sunday school and is in the choir. Her moto is: ‘If I can help somebody as I travel on, then my living will not be in vain.’ As you can see, she is a great candidate for the Senior of the Year for the Northeast Town.”

Following Mayor Al MacNevin and Councillor Gauthier presenting Ms. Kiviaho with her award, she said a few words.

“Thank you for this special recognition,” said Ms. Kiviaho. “Receiving such an award is an honour and a very humbling experience. The Northeast Town has so many volunteers that work hard for our community.”

Ms. Kiviaho also thanked the mayor and council for all their hard work.