DEER LAKE — What better way to celebrate winning an award than with fried cod tongues?
That’s how Howley Mayor Calvin Samms celebrated the award he received for 35 years of municipal service from the province’s Department of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs.
Samms received the recognition, along with a cash award of $500, during last month’s Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador Convention in St. John’s. He opted to use it to take Howley’s council members out for dinner at a hotel restaurant in Corner Brook, where most dined on cod tongues and other local dishes.
“It doesn’t really seem like much for after 35 years of service,” he said with a laugh. “But it’s good to be recognized.”
Samms’ 35 years includes terms as mayor and as a councillor. Along with various council members, he’s seen some challenges over the years, such as the impact of the loss of the train line in the early 1990s and the water issues the town is currently facing.
Reflecting back, he paraphrased the golden rule when asked how he got through 35 years of municipal service.
“I always tried to treat people as well as they treated me ... I never held any grudges against anyone,” he said. “I always tried to listen and do the best I could for everyone that needed my help.”
The awards program was launched in the early 1980s and has been presenting long-service awards to mayors, deputy mayors and councillors in recognition of their contributions to both their individual communities and municipal governments in the province. A total of 54 individuals were presented awards at this year’s annual banquet, with recognition given in several categories.
Flower’s Cove Coun. Bertha Genge also received a 35-year service award, but she was unavailable for comment Thursday.
Jean Kelly of Howley and William Dumaresque of L’Anse au Clair both received a 25-year award.
Other west coast winners include: Laura Aylward of Stephenville, Cynthia Downey of Stephenville Crossing and Ronald Deluney and Roy Temple, both of Humber Arm South, who all received recognition for 20 years of municipal service.