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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Terry Way-White honoured at tribute and testimonial party for his service as reeve of Chapleau


Terry Way-White was honoured at a party of tribute and testimonial at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall after he had resigned as reeve of Chapleau effective December 31, 1973.

Organized by Wilf Simpson, the township's deputy clerk-treasurer, invitations had been sent out to many of Terry's friends and colleagues in municipal government across the province. Although most were unable to attend in persons, a special guest was Don Meston, the mayor of Waterloo and president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO)

According to his brother John, writing in Chapleau Trails, the Way-White family arrived in Chapleau in 1923 from India and first lived in a house on Pine Street, next to St. John's Anglican Church rectory which had been the community's first school.

Margaret Costello in an article about the party noted that the first part of the program consisted of music, sociability and dancing for all of which was very much in the mood. The came the real purpose of the evening - the tribute to Terry, who had resigned for health reasons from the office of reeve, a position he had held since 1967.

Mrs. Olive M. Card, a former deputy reeve, read excerpts from letters and telegrams from those who were unable to attend. 

A sampler: "... congratulate you on the outstanding work you have done for your municipality and northern Ontario"; "your leadership in matters to do with the welfare of the province was always exemplary and had far reaching influence on legislation now enacted."

Terry was very active in the work of AMO and this was reflected in one of the messages which read in part: "your interest was not confined to Chapleau but generally to the problems of all municipalities in the province. In serving on AMO you participated in discussions to formulate policies  beneficial to all. Devotion to duty, your loyalty and understanding has made you many friends."

There were also messages hoping that he would return to municipal politics when his health improved. "Let us hope that with improvement in health you may see fit  to return to active participation in municipal politics." Terry never did return to municipal politics.

All the messages had been placed in a binder and were presented to him by Mrs. Card,

Rita Swanson, Mrs Way-White, Terry, Vanessa Santerre
During his time as reeve, two of the major projects undertaken were the replacement of the old pump house with the "new" water treatment plant and the construction of the pedestrian overpass and bridge to replace the horseshoe bridge. Both were completed after he left office.

Mr. Meston, the AMO president, said that Terry would be missed. He noted that he had always done his homework and was extremely well prepared.

C.V 'Con' Schmidt, a former councillor who had served with Terry commented that "he had probably put more effort into making Chapleau good for the people than anyone." 

Terry was presented with "a gift of a flock of crisp new bills and a pair of work gloves as a contribution toward a project he has underway at his home" by Vanessa (Rail) Santerre of the township staff. Rita (Payette) Swanson presented a bouquet of red roses to Mrs. Way-White.

In his remarks Terry thanked the citizens for the honour they had bestowed on him by electing him adding that the ratepayers are the backbone of any community. He had served one year of his fourth term when he resigned.

He also expressed his thanks to Mr. Meston for taking the time to travel to Chapleau and to Mrs. Way-White his gratitude for her staunch support and understanding.

Terry concluded his remarks by reminding all that they must work together "in the north and for the north. What benefits the entire north country also benefits Chapleau."

My email is mj.morris@live.ca 

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Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet

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