When Larry Gordon became a municipal councillor in Point Edward, he brought a keen interest in politics honed during nearly 40 years in local broadcasting.
He proved a tenacious village councillor, always well-read, fully-prepared and quick to ask the right questions.
That, and his ability to stay calm no matter what, made him an exceptional politician, say his fellow Point Edward council members, sorry to see Gordon forced to withdraw from community service for health reasons.
As Gordon’s final days on Point Edward council wrap up, he is being recognized for his years of dedication and the commitment he had to get the job done right.
“Larry was always great to work with,” said Mayor Bev Hand. “His journalism background led him to thoroughly investigate whatever it was we were working on.”
The two had a running joke that the mayor would add an extra half hour to any municipal meeting to allow time for Gordon to ask all his questions.
“Larry’s also a people person and I always appreciate that about him,” said Hand. “He’s very even tempered. He only has good things to say about other people.”
Gordon, 71, was a well-known radio personality and newsman for 39 years before retiring from Blackburn in 2013.
About a year later, the late Dick Kirkland who was Point Edward’s mayor at the time, urged him to run for council.
Gordon and his wife Penny had moved to the village in 1995 where they raised their three children.
“I was fortunate to win a spot on council in 2014,” said Gordon. “It is more rewarding than people realize. “I would encourage anyone with an interest in their community to consider running for council or volunteering for a committee.
“There’s a lot of work to be done. Don’t be shy.”
His radio experience covering various councils and elections made him familiar with the political world, but Gordon said observing municipal government and playing a role in it are very different things.
“When you are raising your hand and voting, there’s responsibility there and a sense that your decisions will impact your community.
“I treated every meeting as the most important one.”
Point Edward councillors rotate on and off various committees each term and most recently Gordon was on the village’s fire committee working on the purchase of a new pumper truck for the department.
“Our fire staff and volunteers are superb and work so hard,” he said. “They are so important to the village.”
Gordon also dedicated many hours as the village representative to the St. Clair Conservation Authority.
“He is very well respected by that board,” said fellow village councillor Greg Grimes. “I worked with Larry at CHOK when I got out of college and, fast forward 40 years, we found ourselves working together again on council. I was just thrilled,” said Grimes.
“He’s always been very humble, very modest, and won’t necessarily like being in the spotlight,” Grimes added. “But the recognition is very well deserved.”
The Sarnia Journal’s Exceptional Person of the Week runs every Friday. If you would like to nominate someone, send their name and the reason you think they are exceptional to [email protected]. Please include your own name and number too.