Geraldine Morgan named 2020 Jack McKenzie Memorial Award recipient
Tim Brody - Editor
Geraldine Morgan is this year’s recipient of the John Alexander “Jack” McKenzie Memorial Award.
Presented annually by the Rotary Club of Sioux Lookout, the award recognizes outstanding volunteerism, as exemplified by the award’s namesake.
Normally presented during the opening ceremonies of the Blueberry Festival, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rotary Club of Sioux Lookout President Tara Drew named Morgan this year’s recipient as part of an opening ceremonies video posted to the Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival Facebook page.
Morgan served on Sioux Lookout Town Council in 1975 and 1976.
She has been a member of the Town Recreation Committee, was involved with the start-up of Cedar Bay and was involved with organizing the William George Extended Care Facility.
Morgan also started the Sioux Lookout Gymnastics Club in 1979.
Morgan has also been a School Board Trustee for the Northwest District Catholic School Board and President of the Catholic Women's League for at least three terms and has been a member for 54 years.
Morgan’s volunteerism has also included being a Beta Sigma Phi member since 1965, and being president of the local chapter of that organization over several terms as president. She has volunteered with the March of Dimes, has been the Sacred Heart Church Senior Choir Director for many years and was one of the organizers of the First Home Support Program.
Over the past two years, Morgan has been instrumental in leading a music choir program at Sacred Heart School for Grades 3-5, volunteering to organize and lead the program.
This past January, Morgan volunteered and organized a community fundraiser to help with medical expenses for Kaleb Hochstedler, grandson of Sioux Lookout residents Bill and Susan Hochstedler.
Morgan has been driving and helping some seniors with their groceries and meals. She also continues to organize dinners and bazaars.
Morgan’s nominator shared, “Geraldine opened their home along with her husband, Lew, for female students from the north to stay with them while going to school in Sioux Lookout. They were amongst the first families in Sioux Lookout to do this. They treasure those relationships today. This continued for at least 17 years, some of the students stayed with them through the summer months. This along with raising their own family of four children.
“As a member of the Catholic Women's League she organized many dinners, Muffin Sundays, potlucks, bazaars, etc. She initiated the poinsettia sale while in business.
“As a member of Beta Sigma Phi, organized bake sales and Christmas hampers. As one of her sorority sisters said “Geraldine was afflicted with NSN Syndrome--
Never Say No.”
“Geraldine has also been a strong supporter of her husband Lew and his volunteer activities with the Knights of Columbus, selling daffodils, Rotary, etc.
“Geraldine will continue to volunteer as long as she is able in her community and church. I believe there are many things Geraldine has done in her community that has affected everyone.”
The Knights of Columbus named the Morgan family, “Family of the Year” in 1985.
The presentation of the award plaque will take place at a later date.
Award recipients are nominated by community members for their selfless volunteering in Sioux Lookout and area.
Also nominated for the John Alexander “Jack” McKenzie Memorial Award this year were Charron Sippola and Elizabeth Ward.
Sippola is President of the Legion Ladies Auxiliary, a member of the Blueberry Festival Committee, has designed and created wardrobe for all plays produced by Northern Lights Community Theatre, and is a member and past chairperson of the Kenora-Rainy River District Child and Family Services.
Sippola is also the creator of designs which have graced the windows of the Sioux Area Senior Activity Centre.
Sippola is also a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Ward has been involved with Girls Guides from 2010 to 2020, has been a Northern Lights Community Theatre Board Chair, organized the Raven Festival - Children's theatre presentation, is Treasurer of the local Girl Guide units, and is Administrative Community Leader for the Guides presently.
Ward is a volunteer with the Sioux Lookout Shrine Club and Khartum Shrine Volunteer.
She is also a Skip to Equip fundraising bonspiel volunteer.
Previous recipients of the Jack McKenzie Memorial Award have included: 1992 - Margaret Atwood, 1993 - Rose Caswell, 1994 - Jack Carroll, 1995 - June Wallace, 1996 - Ella Williams, 1997 - Les Johnston, 1998 - Marnie Hoey, 1999 - Beth Daley, 2000 - Wally Glena, 2001 - Emma Bowes, 2002 - Muriel Anderson and Wayne C. Pearen, 2003 - Paul Brown, 2004 - Mario Facca, 2005 - Rachel George, 2006 - John D.Cole, 2007 - Jack Reek, 2008 - Attilio Durante, 2009 - Christine Hoey, 2010 - Eileen Jefferies, 2011 - Sandra Lockhart, 2012 - Althea George, 2013 - Peggy Sanders, 2014 - Gail Roy, 2015 - Florence Woolner, Terry Lynne Jewell, Aileen Urquhart, and Faith Ferre, 2016 - Michela Pauselli Salter, 2017 - Nordic Nomads Ski Club - Ron Laverty and John Davies, 2018 - Bruce George, and 2019 - Ron Lemmon.