Former Woolwich councillor Grace Sudden was one of three former Waterloo Region councillors to receive the region’s highest award at a ceremony Wednesday evening in Kitchener.
She was joined by former Wilmot Township mayor Wayne Roth and former Waterloo mayor Lynne Woolstencroft at regional headquarters to receive the Jack Young Civic Award, presented every two years to the person or persons in Waterloo Region who best exemplify the high standards of political and civic life exhibited by Jack A. Young – the first chair of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo – during his years of public service.
A member of Woolwich council from 1983 to 2000, Sudden then joined the Waterloo Regional Police Service Board, serving from 2001 to 2010.“I am struck by the degree of impact she’s had on the many aspects of life in our community, particularly in the health and social services field,” said regional chair Ken Seiling of Sudden’s accomplishments as councillor.
While on regional council, Sudden served as chair of the health and social services committee for 14 years.
“Some of those years were very challenging years for the social services and health programs that the committee directed,” Seiling added.
Sudden was nominated by her associates on the Police Service Board, and the award came as a complete surprise to the now retired former councillor.
“I think I probably need to give some credit to my father because he showed by example that taking your civic responsibilities seriously is an important part of being in a community, being part of a community and building a community,” she said to an audience of colleagues and supporters at the event.
A fellow recipient, Roth was Wilmot Township’s longest-serving mayor. He was first elected as a township councillor in 1978 and served until 1988. He was elected again from 1994 to 1997, the year he successfully ran for mayor, and continued in that capacity until the end of the last term in 2010 when he retired.
Woolstencroft’s service in the region dates back more than 40 years when she first became a trustee of what was then the Waterloo County Board of Education in 1970. She joined Waterloo council in 1985, serving two terms until 1991. Woolstencroft ran for office again in the 1997, serving on both the city of Waterloo and regional councils before being elected mayor of Waterloo in 2000, rejoining regional council until the end of her term in 2003.
The award has gathered dust for a number of years, after it was presented to three former councillors and mayors in 2003.
The first award was given out in 1980 in honour of Jack A. Young, first regional chair of the Municipality of Waterloo in 1972, who had retired from the position two years earlier in 1978.