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NewsCliff Bennett receives Lanark County Award of Excellence

Cliff Bennett receives Lanark County Award of Excellence

Cliff and his daughter Jo

Well-known local resident Cliff Bennett was presented recently with an Award Excellence by the County for a lifetime of contributions to the quality of life in our area.

Former Councillor Val Wilkinson submitted a nomination letter describing some of Cliff’s many achievements throughout his long life; here are some highlights:

  • became an assistant Cub leader in 1948 and stayed with the Scout movement for thirty years
  • started a Scout group for boys with developmental disabilities at the Ontario Hospital School in Smiths Falls, the first of its kind in Canada
  • became District Commissioner and was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and Scouting’s Medal of Meritorious Service
  • served as President of the Lanark County Tourism Association
  • formed a ratepayers group in Ramsay with better municipal planning as a goal, leading eventually to the creation of the Ramsay Community Official Plan
  • in 1992 became Deputy Reeve of Ramsay and sat on the Lanark County Council representing Ramsay for three years
  • chaired the Lanark County Agriculture and Forestry Committee and the Economic Development Committee
  • chaired many of the difficult negotiations between the three independent councils that led to the creation of Mississippi Mills
  • served for four years as director and vice president of the Ontario Heritage Board, helping to create the new Ontario Heritage Act that is still in place today
  • served as treasurer and seniors coordinator for the Almonte Curling Club and was president of the Lawn Bowling Club, leading its 2011 revival
  • after joining the Rideau Valley Field Naturalists Club in 1983, decided to form a similar club here, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
  • with the help of others, drafted the club’s constitution and by-laws, with the club launching in 1988
  • writes a bird column in the Lanark Era and he created a birding map
  • has spent years doing bird counts and leading bird-watching groups
  • organised environmental trips to Point Pelee, Mexico, Cuba and Costa Rica
  • helped create an Environmental Education Programme bringing nature to the classroom
  • on his 75th birthday, created the Cliff Bennett bursary fund which collects money towards grants for environmental students

Val concluded her nomination: “Cliff is now almost ninety years old and I was recently chatting with him about his new home at the Waterside in Carleton Place. It was not long before he began telling me about the new group he has formed with the residents to go out looking for birds. That was when I decided this man really is something special.”




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