Retired planning board secretary-treasurer feted at celebration dinner

Elva Carter, former secretary-treasurer of the Manitoulin Planning Board.

M’CHIGEENG—“We all need to thank Elva for a job very well done,” stated Ken Noland, chair of the Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) at a retirement celebration dinner in honour of Elva Carter, former secretary-treasurer of the MPB, held at Abby’s Restaurant in M’Chigeeng last Friday evening. “She has always been very professional and dedicated, and in using her knowledge and experience to help staff in the office.”

“Elva has left the planning board; she has left the planning board in a great position as it moves forward in the future,” said Mr. Noland.

Theresa Carlisle, secretary-treasurer of the MPB, was master of ceremonies for the dinner-celebration which drew close to 75 people in attendance told the gathering, “I’m glad to see such a great turnout and we want to thank everyone for joining in on this celebration here tonight. We are here to acknowledge and celebrate Elva’s almost 35 years with the Manitoulin Planning Board.”

Ms. Carlisle quipped that it was a bit of a struggle to arrange a date for the retirement dinner as Ms. Carter has been very busy since retiring. “Elva officially retired as of January 1 (2017) and I’ve been trying to put this evening together ever since. But Elva has been busy with curling, bonspiels, and travelling. Again I would like to thank everyone for attending here tonight,” she said, asking everyone to raise their glass in salute to Mrs. Carter.

Jeff Hietkamp, an MPB member from 2001-2006 (and board chair in 2006), in delivering grace before the dinner noted Ms. Carter’s many years of service to local landowners on Manitoulin Island and the MPB.

After a fantastic buffet dinner, Ms. Carlisle introduced the head table for the dinner which included Elva and her husband Don, son Darren and his wife Lisa, son Brian and his wife Ginette and Elva and Don’s grandchildren Sophia and Izabella.

“Not everyone who was invited was able to attend here tonight, and we have received some letters of regrets and best wishes which we will present later,” said Ms. Carlisle, in opening up the floor to all, “but for now I would like to open the floor up to anyone who would like to speak.”

Austin Hunt, an original member of the MPB, told the gathering that when Ms. Carter joined the planning board in the early 1980s it was as an assistant to administrator Art Hinds. “Elva was very keen to get things right and it didn’t take her long at all to learn and understand the Planning Act thoroughly.”

“Elva probably helped everyone in this room on planning and development matters,” said Mayor Hunt. “And the planning board is in a good position to carry on in the future because of the work you carried out over the years. We are very grateful for the work you have done. Thank you very much.”

“On behalf of the town of Gore Bay and members of the board and staff, thank all your years of service,” said Dan Osborne. “And on a personal note, I would like to thank Elva for her assistance since I’ve been a member of the board. I’ve learned a lot from Elva over the years.”

Jake Diebolt, MPB GIS technician, told the gathering, “I’ve been working with the planning board for about six years now. Elva has taught me so much, she has been extremely helpful above and gone beyond the call to help me since I’ve been with the board.”

”She has always been fair, and patient,” said Mr. Diebolt. “And our staff coffee breaks it would turn into reviewing and having discussions concerning planning and development scenarios and what we would do in each, that has benefitted all of us in our jobs. He added, “I’ve always felt very well supported in my work and if I’ve done anything right is because you have taught me so well.”

“It was an honour to work with you for almost 30 years,” said Gary Brown, a former member of the MPB.

Doug Head, a member of the planning board, also praised Ms. Carter for all her help and efforts over the years.

John McQuarrie, also an original member of the MPB, told the gathering that “Aus (Hunt) and I started on the board when it was formed and the Ontario government said ‘you do it (establish a planning board) or we will do it for you’.”

“Elva has done a tremendous job, starting as Art’s (Hinds) assistants and filling his position when he retired,” said Mr. McQuarrie.

On behalf of all those in attendance, Ms. Carlisle presented Ms. Carter with a Richard Edwards painting depicting a scene that one would see in a boat on waters in an area of Manitoulin. She noted Elva and her husband have a boat called ‘Not Working,’ and I hope this painting has special meaning for you.”

Ms. Carlisle said in her time with the MPB, “Elva has taught me an awful lot. With her help I have the confidence to take over as secretary-treasurer of the board. And the board members have been great to work with, as Jake has as well. We hope you will still find time to visit the office once from time to time. On behalf of everyone here, happy retirement. You definitely deserve it.”

“I’m overwhelmed at the turnout here tonight,” stated Ms. Carter. “Its very gratifying to have representatives of the various municipal offices, board members and staff and family/friends here.”

“I hope I was able to carry on the work of Art (Hinds), my teacher,” said Ms. Carter. “Art taught me a lot over the years. He was my post-secondary education.”

“To Ken Noland, I have to keep this short so I can’t say everything I would like to,” quipped Ms. Carter. “It has been a pleasure to work with Ken, and all the board members I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years. And the people I have had the opportunity to work with. You are all great people.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing Manitoulin Island progress in the future, and future development is important to all of us,” continued Ms. Carter. “It has been a great career, and I’m happy to now be going boating,” she added prior to everyone standing up and giving her a standing ovation.