Lloyd Hodges was honoured last Thursday by the new mayor and council of Dawson township.
Hodges, who did not run for re-election this fall, was reeve of Dawson from 1997-2000 and before that served as reeve of Atwood from 1961-1996.
After that, Atwood was amalgamated with other neighbouring townships to form Dawson.
Lloyd said he does not miss being involved with politics but does keep tabs on what is going on both locally and internationally. He commented on how he had been closely following the recent U.S. presidential election debacle in Florida.
Hodges said that he never expected to run for reeve even though it was in his blood. His father, Charlie, served as reeve of Atwood for 25 years with only one term out of office in the middle.
Lloyd Hodges was approached by Pat O’Connor to run for office in 1961. He gave it a try and to his surprise, he stayed on for 40 years. He noted he was challenged just three times in all that time.
Hodges also said he never had any major problems over the years. “We would have a few friendly disagreements but nothing serious,” he remarked, though admitting it’s hard to satisfy everyone all the time.
One of the biggest changes he remembered was how much they were expected to do with a very small government grant in the early days. In addition to general maintenance, they had to run three schools on a grant of $25,000 per year.
“[But] we always managed to leave the municipality in good shape over the years,” he said.
Dawson Coun. Charlie Johnson, a longtime acquaintance of Hodges, said Lloyd deserved to be honored. “You earned it, Lloyd!” he enthused.
Dawson clerk Pat Giles agreed, saying it has been a real pleasure to have a guy like Hodges to work with. “He always looked out for the community and always made himself available to do town business,” he said.
For his part, Hodges said he really enjoyed working with all the different councillors over the years, and felt they did the best they could for the communities for the most part.
He also was in favour of the amalgamation, adding that time has proven it to be a good move.
While he said he does not miss being involved in local politics, Hodges does enjoy stopping in to see Giles to chat about things on occasion. Other than that, he is enjoying being fully retired from both work and politics.