Honoured for volunteerism

Spa­niard’s Bay res­i­dent re­cip­i­ent of 2018 Se­niors of Dis­tinc­tion Award, Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s medal

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Cathy Klein­wort of Spa­niard’s Bay has not shied away from get­ting in­volved in her com­mu­nity over the last cou­ple of decades. Known for her strong com­mit­ment to the en­vi­ron­ment and se­niors, Klein­wort was re­cently named the re­cip­i­ent for a pair of note­wor­thy hon­ours.

Even in her 70s, Cathy Klein­wort re­mains as busy as ever when it comes to her vol­un­teer com­mit­ments.

“Vol­un­teer­ing for me is just a part of my life and my fam­ily’s life,” Klein­wort told The Com­pass, stand­ing on the tres­tle bridge over­look­ing the Shearstown Es­tu­ary, a lo­cal des­ti­na­tion she’s been heav­ily in­volved with since mov­ing to the com­mu­nity from On­tario in 2001. “Lucky for me, my hus­band, kids and grand­kids, they’re also very in­volved. You can’t do it with­out each other. I could never put the hours into my com­mu­nity … if you didn’t have the full sup­port of fam­ily.”

The Spa­niard’s Bay res­i­dent is re­ceiv­ing some for­mal recog­ni­tion for her com­mu­nity in­volve­ment. Last month, the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment an­nounced she would re­ceive a Se­niors of Dis­tinc­tion Award. One month ear­lier, Klein­wort learned in a let­ter she would also re­ceive a Sov­er­eign’s Medal for Vol­un­teers, an hon­our be­stowed by the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral of Canada.

“All the years of vol­un­teer­ing, you never think of any pay­back,” she said. “All you think of is what you’re do­ing for your com­mu­nity and for the peo­ple — kids, se­niors — and the en­vi­ron­ment.”

Klein­wort is from St. John’s and spent over 40 years in On­tario, a place where she served as a school board trustee, among other vol­un­teer com­mit­ments. When she moved with her hus­band to Spa­niard’s Bay, Klein­wort was quick to become in­volved in the com­mu­nity.

She’s been the elected chair­per­son for the com­mit­tee re­spon­si­ble for the es­tu­ary since 2002 and has also chaired the Town of Spa­niard’s Bay’s en­vi­ron­ment com­mit­tee. She re­cently got in­volved with the town’s newly formed tourism com­mit­tee as a co-chair. That group is on the verge of open­ing a new tourist in­for­ma­tion cen­tre. Ad­di­tion­ally, Klein­wort has been a mem­ber of the Mariner Re­source Op­por­tu­ni­ties Net­work and was part of the team that es­tab­lished a satel­lite of­fice for the Bac­calieu Trail Se­nior’s Out­reach group in Spa­niard’s Bay.

Out of all those en­deav­ours, her work on be­half of the es­tu­ary is per­haps the most note­wor­thy. The Joint Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee Inc. (JMC) is a joint project be­tween the towns of Bay Roberts and Spa­niard’s Bay and was formed in 2005 with the task of restor­ing the Shearstown Es­tu­ary to its orig­i­nal healthy state.

Over the years, a lot of work has gone into the area, with cul­verts added to im­prove wa­ter flow and pre­vent in­fill from tar­nish­ing the wa­ter. Na­tive veg­e­ta­tion was re­planted to im­prove sta­bil­ity on the tres­tle bridge. The bridge is also now strictly a walk­ing path, with poles in place to keep ATV’s off it.

“All you’ve got to do is look around and see the birds, the wildlife, the peo­ple that are walk­ing — es­pe­cially now since we’ve got the old track done and tres­tle bridge done,” Klein­wort said. “It’s re­ally an as­set to both com­mu­ni­ties to have this. It re­ally is a bird­ers par­adise. Peo­ple come from all over.”

JMC is now at the end of a five-year plan. Klein­wort said the group is at­tempt­ing to as­sess what the next steps to take are for help­ing the es­tu­ary.

“Hope­fully the next thing would be that peo­ple would re­ally rec­og­nize that this is re­ally a jewel in the mist and that they can come and visit and take care of it.”

All you think of is what you’re do­ing for your com­mu­nity and for the peo­ple — kids, se­niors — and the en­vi­ron­ment.

— Cathy Klein­wort

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Cathy Klein­wort of Spa­niard’s Bay was re­cently named a 2018 Se­niors of Dis­tinc­tion Award re­cip­i­ent. She is per­haps best known lo­cally for her long-time in­volve­ment with the stew­ard­ship com­mit­tee for the Shearstown Es­tu­ary shared be­tween Bay Roberts and Spa­niard’s Bay.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

The Shearstown Es­tu­ary is known to be an im­por­tant site for water­fowl, shore­birds and gull species.

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