TOBACCO LAKE—Another Haweater is going to be receiving a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Marianne Knight will be receiving the prestigious medal for her long time volunteering services to the Meals on Wheels program in Toronto.
“It certainly is something alright,” stated Ms. Knight at her cottage on Tobacco Lake last Friday. “There are lot more people more deserving of this than I am.”
“I was born and raised in Gore Bay, and I spend my summers here on Tobacco Lake,” said Ms. Knight. “I’ve been helping to deliver meals for a long time; our clients-customers become good friends and they enjoy it and we do too. Through our diners club we take them out to lunch, usually once a week, or shopping. They become friends, they enjoy it and we do too.”
Ms. Knight, who has been working with Meals on Wheels for 25 years, explained, “I work with the East York Meals on Wheels (MOW) program. The program is divided up throughout the city (Toronto) in urban areas and we serve between 10-15 clients a day––that’s per volunteer––and we provide close to 100 meals a day in our area. In our group we have between 6-10 volunteers.
“This is not a huge job, we usually start everyday at 11 am and are finished by about 12:30 or 1 pm,” said Ms. Knight. “People in the city are so lonely, sometimes we are the only people they see in a day.”
The volunteers for the Meals on Wheels program work six days a week, said Ms. Knight. “The program had started before I got involved, on a small scale basis, with a couple of people cooking and others delivering the meals. The program is a non-profit organization, but we do get paid mileage.”
As for her ties to Gore Bay, Ms. Knight explained, “my parents, Annie and Tom Porter, used to own the Ocean House in Gore Bay.”
“Oh yes, I have lots of family in Gore Bay and the area, my brother Rob lives in Gore Bay and my sister and I live in Toronto,” said Ms. Knight.
Ms. Knight, who is scheduled to receive her award later this fall, told the Recorder, “I’ve been coming back to Tobacco Lake every summer for about 40 years. I usually get here at the end of June and stay right through September.” She is a widow, and three of her four daughters have cottages on Tobacco Lake. “You never lose that Manitoulin Island connection––everyone is connected somehow.”