Warm send off
Retirement dinner commemorates 27 years of service from 1990 to 2017.
Retirement dinner commemorates 27 years of service for former mayor Claude Elliott
Former Mayor Claude Elliott served Gander town council for 27 years.
According to information provided in a handout at his retirement dinner, he was first elected to Gander town council in a 1990-byelection and has served in a municipal office since that time. He was elected deputy mayor in 1993 and accepted the mayor’s seat in 1996, when his predecessor was elected as Member of the House of Assembly for Gander District in the provincial Legislature. Elliott was returned as mayor in the 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013 municipal elections.
Claude Elliott’s daughter, Tina Simpson-Rosa: “Tonight, I only spoke of three qualities my dad has I believe clearly highlights who he is as a person. I am thankful of these three life events that were thrown at my dad, because I truly believe they were placed in front of him for a reason.
“Had he not contracted polio, he might not have become the fighter and believer in all things are possible person he is. Had he decided not to run for student council, he might not have decided to run for town council, and eventually for mayor. And let’s not forget running the school canteen, I cannot imagine him not loving food.
“Lastly, had he not adopted me, he may not have understood what it feels like to truly give and he may never have the ability to be as compassionate as he is today.
“I’m pretty confident your feet will continue to travel, you’ll continue to make people laugh, you’ll continue to enjoy food, and you’ll find a way to continue to give.”
Mayor Percy Farwell gives Geri Elliott, wife of former Mayor Claude Elliott, a gift of flowers.
Former mayor Claude Elliott: “I look back at the pictures over the years, and it is amazing that some of the kids I presented athletes of the month to – now I meet their kids in Kindergarten. And I realized that, and it is time to go.”
Dennis Simms, former town councillor, Appleton: “Every time for 25 years, we asked the mayor of Gander to come to (Appleton’s winter festival) to bring greetings from the Town of Gander, something that he did not need to do, but he did to represent his town.
“But I’m sure he came just for the moose burgers.
“He is a great person. He has compassion and passion for what he does. He is a winner for municipal politics every way around.”
Former mayor Claude Elliott: “Mark Critch from ‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes’ said to me, ‘What was it like to walk the red carpet in New York? Did you think you would be in New York, on Broadway?’ I said, ‘Mark, I grew up in Twillingate in a boat. As a matter of fact, I never thought I would get to the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s.’ “But yes, from a personal point of view, it was an honour to walk that red carpet. But I walked that red carpet to represent 13,000 people in Gander and another 4 to 5,000 for every other community that helped during 9/11, and not just the Town of Gander, and for that I was proud to walk on their behalf.”
Mayor Percy Farwell, on behalf of the council, presented Claude Elliott with the gavel he used as mayor of Gander. Farwell quipped, “This to acknowledge and remember your time as mayor. This is the gavel that the mayor used in the Town of Gander for 21 years. I’m really excited about this because it means I get a new gavel.”