Gord MacKenzie has a deep love of history and on Wednesday he made a little history of his own, becoming the Plympton-Wyoming 2023 Senior of the Year.
MacKenzie was chosen by Plympton-Wyoming council because of his significant contributions to local sports, the historical society and municipal committee work, said Mayor Gary Atkinson.
“Gord is someone who is very instrumental in making our community a better place to live,” he said. “If there is something going on, Gord’s there.”
“I humbly accept this award but I must recognize that a lot of others do a great deal of volunteering too,” MacKenzie said during a brief presentation to him at a Plympton-Wyoming council meeting.
At age 76, MacKenzie has lived in the Camlachie area for 52 years, raising his family with his wife Shirley. He worked for Bell Canada in data communications for about 30 years before co-founding his own company called Interlake Communications.
Along the way, he put considerable volunteer time into soccer in Sarnia Township; he volunteered for at least 20 years for the Bluewater Triathlon; became involved when Plympton-Wyoming struck a new special events committee two years ago; and is President of the Plympton-Wyoming Historical Society.
Canadian history has fascinated him since grade school, MacKenzie said. He’s very committed to expanding the collection at the Plympton-Wyoming museum, which is located in the basement of the Camlachie library at 6745 Camlachie Rd.
It contains exhibits on early settlers, The Great Storm of 1913, local military and one-room schools.
“Our committee is currently trying to locate buildings in Plympton-Wyoming of historical significance and research them,” said MacKenzie. Most recently, the Errol Village home of Plympton-Wyoming’s first reeve and Lambton County Warden George Hyde has been identified.
Ever the history promoter, MacKenzie made sure he mentioned the historical society’s projects even while receiving his award Wednesday.
“Next year is the 80th anniversary of D Day and we are planning a special event at the museum for that,” he said.
And this Saturday, he’ll play an integral part in Plympton-Wyoming’s Canada Day celebration at the fairgrounds in Wyoming where a parade is planned at 11 a.m., followed by games and a beer tent.
“I appreciate this award,” he said. “I thank council for recognizing the volunteers in our community and the need for them.”
Plympton-Wyoming, with a population of about 8,500, has been recognizing a Senior of the Year since the Village of Wyoming amalgamated with Plympton Township in 2001. Prior to that, it was a Wyoming tradition.