Wellesley couple recognized for longstanding service to community

Decades of service to the Wellesley community earned a prominent local couple some well-deserved recognition at the Wellesley North Easthope Fall Fair last week.

Emily and Adolph Hafemann received the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) Service Diploma at the fall fair from the Wellesley North Easthope Agricultural Society.

Karen Pilecki, president of the agricultural society, presented them with the award on Sept. 13 at the official opening of this year’s fair.

“I am so pleased and honoured to present you with this tonight. It’s presented to you both for outstanding and dedicated service to the Wellesley North Easthope Agricultural Society,” Pilecki said.

They were also this year’s fall fair’s parade marshals.

Mary Lichty-Neeb explained each member society of the OAAS can present one service diploma per year to a person who has given long-time and meritorious service to the society. The award can be given to a husband and wife jointly. The service diploma recipient receives a service diploma and an OAAS stoned lapel pin.

“We do not give it out each year but were very honoured to give it to Emily and Adolph for all their support over the years.  When they owned the grocery store in Wellesley, they were very generous supporters of the fair, and Emily has been president twice.  Emily still has her list of donations  that she collects each year,” Lichty-Neeb said.

They’ve both previously received the Wellesley Citizen of the Year Award, Adolph in 1976 and Emily in 1984. They ran the grocery store in Wellesley Village until 1987 when John Pym purchased it and turned it into Pym’s Village Market as it’s now known.

The Hafemanns also ran a successful bed and breakfast in Wellesley.

They both took a moment after receiving the award to express what the community has meant to them and their family.

“Is there a better place to live than Wellesley? I don’t think so,” Emily said. “We got here in 1969 and have been enjoying all the years since then. In the meantime our son and daughter have grown up, have married. We now even have married grandchildren, which is a blessing and they love to come out to the farm that we now occupy.”

Much has changed over the years since they moved to town. She noted the grocery store is now on a different corner than where it occupied when they owned it.

“But nevertheless it is a community to work for and be proud of as much as you can. Whoever is a volunteer will reap that very satisfaction,” Emily said.

Adolph noted he wasn’t prepared to speak, but had some thanks to give.

“Thank you Karen, thank you Joe [Nowak] for the kind words, but actually I just did what was necessary to do. When you’re living in a small community like Wellesley you feel like you’re at home always, wonderful people,” Adolph said.

He says he used to know pretty well everybody by name, including all the children in the village, years ago when they ran the store. Now he knows maybe half of them or not even that many.

“The town certainly grew and it’s wonderful to see all the new homes and businesses. And I feel that to live in a community you have to do all you can to support it and encourage other people to do whatever is necessary to make it a better place to live,” Adolph said.

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