HALIFAX - During the recent sitting of Nova Scotia's legislature, local MLAs lauded the efforts of community volunteers and their invaluable impacts on the organizations in which they lend their talents.
A dedicated firefighter, a long-standing Scouts Canada leader and a United Way stalwart were among local residents who elected officials acknowledged in the house of assembly on different days of proceedings.
Lunenburg MLA Susan Corkum-Greek mentioned Blair Lantz, chief of New Germany's volunteer fire department, in recognition of his 50 years of service.
Lantz, who's served as chief for the more than 30 years, "has witnessed many changes in the fire service, from the building of a new hall to 10 new fire trucks, implementation of the medical first responder program, and new equipment and firefighting strategies," the MLA told her colleagues.
"It is his many hours of quiet work, in planning and paperwork, and checks on equipment and his people, that makes Blair Lantz such a treasure to his community."
Lantz moved up the ranks to chief from, over the years, deputy chief, captain, lieutenant and engineer. He's responded to more than 3,000 alarms since joining the department in February 1973, Corkum-Greek indicated.
Going back to 1969, Barbara Wicks of Bridgewater started her involvement with Scouts Canada as a leader and trainer. Lunenburg West MLA Becky Druhan described Wicks as "dedicated and passionate" volunteer.
Wicks "continued to play an active role as a leader, guiding children ages five to eight, until 2020, when COVID-19 struck. She has also volunteered at many national jamborees and served on the district staff," Druhan explained to the legislature.
"Barbara, a fierce cancer survivor, pushed through one of life's greatest challenges and continued her volunteering efforts. She's always ready and willing to serve, accompanied by her trusty walker."
Druhan said Wicks received special honours from Scouts Canada in 2014 for her special contributions to the organization.
Druhan acknowledged Marion Mossman's "devotion to community," citing her long-time volunteerism, 40 years-plus, with Saint John the Apostle Parish. The Chelsea resident contributed as a member of the finance council, doing pastoral care, and being a coordinator, reader and altar server, Druhan said. "She also organizes functions such as funeral receptions and farewell parties, ensuring that everything runs as smoothly as possible."
The MLA also referenced Mossman's strength. "Despite going through her own personal battle with cancer and feeling unwell some days, she just keeps on going," Druhan added. "She takes care of others. She visits those who are sick at home, in hospital, as well as in nursing homes, always offering a smile and a listening ear."
Meanwhile, Heather Fralic's commitment to the United Way of Lunenburg County also caught the legislator's attention.
"In addition to her work with the United Way, Heather has been a board member of the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre and a committee member of the Lunenburg-Queens Business Excellence Awards," Druhan commented, inviting her colleagues to extend "our gratitude and thanks to Heather Fralic, who works hard for our community, creating meaningful change."
Chester-St. Margaret's MLA Danielle Barkhouse acknowledged the efforts of George Morrison, the longest-serving conductor of the Chester Brass Band.
"All members are volunteers, and they welcome new members with a passion for brass band music and community involvement," Barkhouse informed the house.
Morrison received a 20-year plaque, Barkhouse said, and was given a lifetime membership.