Bob Burnside wins Provincial Senior of the Year Award

June 16, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

A long-time staple of the local region has this week been honoured by the Ontario government for his outstanding contributions to the community.

Considered to be both a business and volunteering pillar of Orangeville, Bob Burnside was presented with a Provincial Senior of the Year Award before a packed crowd at Town Hall on Monday night. Having launched the Orangeville-based engineering firm RJ Burnside & Associates back in 1970, Mr. Burnside has been credited with helping to both launch and cultivate numerous events and service clubs in the area over the years.

In presenting Mr. Burnside with his award on Monday, Councillor Scott Wilson, chair of the Orangeville Seniors/Age-Friendly Community Committee, commended the Dufferin native for the positive impact he has spread throughout the area over the past number of years.

“Bob has always been involved in the community with a lifelong focus in volunteering and community improvement beyond business,” Mr. Wilson said. “Although too numerous to mention, Bob’s accomplishments have been invaluable to our community and this 2017 Provincial Senior of the Year Award is very much deserved.”

The Ontario Senior of the Year Award honours one outstanding local Ontarian in each community who, after the age of 65, is considered to have enriched the social, cultural or civic life of their community. Seniors who qualify for this award may have contributed in many different fields, including the arts, literature, community service, voluntarism, education, fitness and sport and humanitarian activities.

Among his many accomplishments in Town, Mr. Burnside is the founding chair of Highlands Youth for Christ. He has chaired three major fundraising campaigns for Headwaters Health Care Centre and is a past president of the Orangeville Rotary Club. He has been involved with the Centre Fellowship Church Café, has been a director of the Gideon National Trust Fund, helped develop the trail around Island Lake and served for seven years on the CTC Source Water Protection Committee as the municipal representative for Mono, Amaranth, East Garafraxa, Orangeville, Adjala Tosorontio, Dufferin and Simcoe.

On hand to help present Mr. Burnside with his award was Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones, who also congratulated Bob on receiving the prestigious community accolade.

“Bob is a very special individual to our community. I’m honoured to be here today as your MPP to share in wishing Bob all the best,” Ms. Jones said. “Keep doing what you’re doing because it truly does make a difference to our community.”

Unsurprising to those that know him, Mr. Burnside was in a particularly humble mood when accepting the award.

“I just can’t believe I’m this old,” Mr. Burnside joked. “I guess if you just show up every day, good things happen. There’s something to learn from that. I plan to continue showing up every day. Thanks for giving me recognition like this, it’s completely undeserved, as with most things we have in life, but it is very much appreciated.”

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