Lissa Kolkman chosen as 2022 Blyth Citizen of the Year
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
This year’s Blyth Citizen of the Year Award winner is Lissa Kolkman, described as a “true asset to the Village of Blyth”, as one nomination put it.
Kolkman has been the chair and liaison to North Huron for the Friends of the Village of Blyth for several years. One nomination calls Kolkman a quiet, hard-working and hands-on volunteer, working behind the scenes to beautify the village’s gardens and downtown area.
Through the Friends of the Village of Blyth, Kolkman has organized the businesses to create Christmas wreaths and the annual competition to beautify the village around the holiday season and aided in the construction of a float for the Friends of the Village of Blyth for the annual Santa Claus parade. She has also been instrumental in an Easter egg hunt, hosted by the group, on the village’s portion of the Goderich-to-Guelph (G2G) Rail Trail.
Last year, the Friends of the Village of Blyth produced a fundraising calendar and many of its photographs were taken by Kolkman, who has also been active with the group’s social media pages to keep people up-to-date on the work of the organization.
Over the years, Kolkman has also volunteered for the Blyth Festival and the Blyth United Church.
North Huron Publishing has been awarding Citizens of the Year in Blyth and Brussels for nearly 40 years, this year adding a third category to honour someone from throughout Huron County who has made a difference in their community.
Nominations are made by members of the community and the winner is then chosen by a panel of the past five winners of the award.
North Huron Publishing hopes to host an event next year, perhaps in the spring, to honour all three of this year’s Citizen of the Year Award winners, as well as 2020 winners Bob Kellington (posthumously) in Brussels and Annie Sparling in Blyth and 2021 winners Zoellyn Onn in Brussels and David Cartwright (posthumously) in Blyth.
Past winners of the award in the Blyth area are: Evalena Webster, 1986; Frank and Cenetta Bainton, 1987; Winona McDougall, 1988; Margaret Whyte, 1989; Simon Hallahan, 1990; Dr. Richard Street, 1991; Bill and Maxine Seers, 1992; Margaret Caldwell, 1993; Helen Gowing, 1994; Don Scrimgeour, 1995; John Stewart, 1996; Janet Amos, 1997; Betty Battye, 1998; Robb Finch, Dave Cook, Brent Scrimgeour and Doug Walker, 1999; Murray Siertsema, 2000; Charlie Shaw, 2001; Lavern Clark, 2002; Bev Blair and Thelma Johnston, 2003; Steven Sparling, 2004; Don “Barney” Stewart, 2005; Lois van Vliet, 2006; Janice Henry, 2007; Joe Hallahan, 2008; Brock and Janis Vodden, 2009; Jean Nethery, 2010; Kay Hesselwood, 2011; Steve Howson, 2012; Barbara Bosman, 2013; Marian Hallahan, 2014; Nellie Mason, 2015; Ernie Phillips, 2016; Ric McBurney, 2017; Carl Nesbitt, 2018; Jane Smyth, 2019; Annie Sparling, 2020 and David Cartwright (posthumous) in 2021.