Mayor Jim Watson and Barrhaven Ward Councillor Jan Harder presented an Ontario Senior of the Year Award today to Ernie Hughes, recognizing his outstanding contributions after age 65 to the social, cultural and civic life of his community.
Ernie served in the Canadian Armed Forces Primary Reserve for 27 years and completed 35 years of service with Correctional Service Canada. He has been an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion for 45 years and was one of the founders of Branch 641 in Barrhaven, one of the fastest growing Legion branches in Canada. He has chaired various committees and works tirelessly on the annual Remembrance Day parade and cenotaph service.
Last fall, as President of Branch 641, he led veterans in Manotick and Barrhaven in their efforts to rally public and political support for renaming the newly opened Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge over the Rideau Canal the Vimy Memorial Bridge. The campaign to garner support for the renaming was successful, and last November 8 the bridge was officially named the Vimy Memorial Bridge in honour of the World War I Battle of Vimy Ridge.
The Ontario Senior of the Year Award gives each municipality in Ontario the opportunity to honour one outstanding local Ontarian who, after the age of 65, has enriched the social, cultural or civic life of his or her community.