McBurney named Blyth Citizen of the Year - Nov. 2, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Blyth Legion President and Lions Club Secretary Ric McBurney is this year’s Citizen of the Year for the Blyth community.
McBurney has been the secretary for the Lions Club for a number of years and has been a member for even longer. He can often be seen, however, working at the Legion. He is now the president, stepping in after the death of Andy Lubbers, and spends much of his free time volunteering at the Legion or in the community for Legion events.
One nomination praised Ric and his wife Mel for their years-long involvement with the Blyth Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
“He’s very active and always steps up to carry on when others can’t,” read one nomination. “He’s friendly and welcoming to the Branch and, along with Mel, they give hundreds of hours to the Legion.”
In addition, McBurney has been heavily involved with recent local initiatives like the Blyth 14/19 campaign and the renovations to Memorial Hall.
He was also involved in this year’s Blyth 140th Anniversary celebration, working on the Cenotaph Day portion of the weekend.
“Ric has been a mainstay in the Blyth community for years and it’s easy to dismiss him as a volunteer because he doesn’t seek out the attention and recognition for his work,” another nomination said. “He is always working hard behind the scenes in a variety of capacities.”
The nomination also pointed out that McBurney’s vehicle can often be seen outside of the Legion in the early morning and late night hours.
“The Blyth community is very lucky to have someone like him championing the village,” a nomination read.
McBurney will be honoured with a plaque presentation later this year.
As per The Citizen’s policies, McBurney was chosen based on nominations received this year or in recent years. The nominations are then considered by a panel consisting of the past five Citizen of the Year winners who all cast a vote for who they think is the year’s most worthy recipient.
The award is presented annually by North Huron Publishing, parent company of The Citizen.