There's something good in the water in the Sault (32 photos, video)Thursday, August 30, 2012 by: Donna Hopper
One hundred years ago to the day, Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught and Canada's Governor General at the time, paid a visit to Sault Ste. Marie to celebrate the City's incorporation.
Yesterday afternoon his successor, His Excellency David Johnston, took part in the Sault's 100th Anniversary Flower Garden dedication and commemorative plaque unveiling ceremony.
During his address to the sizable crowd of citizens and dignitaries, the Governor General proudly expressed his gratitude to the city he grew up in, shaping him into the man he is today.
"I am delighted to see that - 100 years on - Sault Ste. Marie continues to shine as a unique and progressive city," he said. "Your contributions are vital to the smarter, more caring Canada of which we dream, and that is why I am so proud to share my roots in this community wherever I go."
Located at the Civic Centre north grounds off Bay Street, the 100th Anniversary Flower Garden dedication ceremony included remarks from Mayor Debbie Amaroso and Celebrate 100! Honorary Community Ambassador Dr. Roberta Bondar.
"This beautiful public location for the 100th Anniversary Flower Garden and commemorative plaque has been selected as a lasting legacy for the community to be enjoyed for the next 100 years and beyond," Mayor Amaroso stated during her address.
"It has been my pleasure to go forward and speak to other communities about Sault Ste. Marie," said Dr. Bondar. "I never fail to show a slide we took from space an image of the Sault and its position on the Great Lakes. When His Excellency became Governor General, I sent him a note that said: 'Well done, sir. Looks like there was something good in the water in the Sault.'"
Prior to unveiling the commemorative plaque, His Excellency presented three Sault citizens with Caring Canadian Awards.
Diane Marshall has enriched the community of Sault Ste. Marie through her volunteer work.
She has devoted her time to countless charitable organizations, including the Canadian Cancer Society, the United Way, the Council for Exceptional Children and the Sault Area Hospital board.
As a Rotary Club volunteer, Ms. Marshall travelled to India at her own expense to participate in a polio eradication and immunization program.
Closer to home, she developed the Rotaryfest Kids’ Zone, recruiting, scheduling and training hundreds of volunteers.
She co- ordinated the local Christmas Cheer program, which provides Christmas baskets to over 1,800 local families each year.
Most recently, she was the vice-chair of the Scottie's Tournament of Hearts held in Sault Ste. Marie in 2010.
Jean Wyatt has made an outstanding contribution to her community.
She volunteers with such organizations as the Alzheimer Society, VON Hospice and the Royal Canadian Legion.
She is part of the Red Cross Emergency Response Team and has been deployed for domestic disaster management several times.
Ms. Wyatt was also a “Singing Santa” for several years, visiting seniors homes and hospitals.
Today, in her capacity as branch council president of the Red Cross, she has been able to bring attention to the needs of seniors and to underscore the contributions that they can provide to their communities.
Charles (Chuck) Vernelli
Chuck Vernelli has been involved with the Sault Ste. Marie Military Family Support Group ever since his son was killed while deployed in Afghanistan.
Since that time, he has never refused a request for assistance, including driving to Toronto to participate in Highway of Heroes processions and putting up yellow ribbons in support of our troops.
He has volunteered on committees for two golf tournaments: Red Friday Golf Fun Day and Algoma Family Services’ Golf for Kids.
A retired teacher, he has also been active in planning and raising funds for a new playground - which will be named after his son - and has established an annual bursary for the most outstanding Grade 8 student at Queen Elizabeth Public School.
To view a photo gallery of the afternoon's celebration, please click here.
Please enjoy the SooToday.com news video below shot and produced by Adam Gualteiri.