“We made it work,” Doris Dyson enthused at her retirement supper and roast Saturday evening in the Barwick Hall.
Dyson began her municipal career in Barwick in 1972. Since then, she’s worked with seven reeves, various councillors, and many different people in the municipal office.
The evening began with a fantastic roast beef supper—complete with salads, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and a variety of desserts—served buffet-style.
More than 150 of Dyson’s family, friends, and colleagues from across the district attended the celebration to express their thanks for her many years of dedicated service to the community of Barwick and surrounding area.
Newly-elected Thunder Bay-Rainy River John Rafferty, representing local MPP Howard Hampton, thanked Dyson for being so helpful when he first started running for the NDP in the area.
Rafferty then presented Dyson with a certificate of thanks from the Ontario government.
Many from the various municipalities and townships in the northwest brought gifts and messages of congratulations from their municipal councils. Other municipal organizations also were represented Saturday night.
Glenn Treftlin, representing AMCTO and the Town of Fort Frances, brought best wishes for a healthy and happy retirement.
Former Chapple reeves Bill Clink, George Oltsher, and Cecil Wilson also were among those on hand.
“Doris has been the backbone of our community for over 30 years,” remarked Oltsher.
Chapple’s current reeve, Peter Van Heyst, also spoke, congratulating Dyson for her many years of service and wishing her a healthy, happy retirement.
“It’s Doris’ candid personality, and her compassion for people, that has won her respect across the district and all over Northwestern Ontario,” noted Van Heyst. “She has been a real blessing to this area of the province.”
Mark Hyatt called Dyson a real servant of the people, and urged all politicians from far and wide to take a lesson from Dyson on how to serve and respect the people they are working for.
Finally, emcee Rick Neilson turned to Dyson for her comments. “Now it’s my turn!” she grinned.
Dyson first proudly introduced her family, most of whom had travelled from Manitoba for the celebration. She then spoke of the many people she had worked with over the years.
“My colleagues up and down the highway—you’ve been like family to me,” she beamed.
Dyson spoke proudly of all the things they had accomplished in her time as the CAO of Chapple, humbly explaining they could not have successfully completed so many projects without the help of the hard-working members of the council and the various organizations in Barwick.
“Everything good happens in Barwick,” she concluded.
Dyson said she was looking forward to retirement, but that she always would be just be a phone call away.
“I’m just like a mom—you’ll never get rid of me,” she laughed.
Following the speeches, Neilson invited the crowd to stay to dance the night away to the music of Centre Line. As the band finished setting up, a long line of well-wishers formed in front of Dyson.
Thirty-six years in any profession is a real accomplishment, but when more than 150 people show up to congratulate you and tell you how much you’re going to be missed, then you’ve obviously done a marvelous job.