The Madawaska Valley Horticultural Society honoured well-known local gardener, Ritsuko Honda, at the Strawberry Social held on June 19. The gardening club directors decided to give the Ontario Horticultural Society President’s Award to honour an active member whose volunteering and expertise has encouraged countless Valley gardeners over the years. The announcement took Honda by surprise just as her fellow directors had planned. She is not only a long-time officer and director; she also actively volunteers for the Society tending Adopt-A-Beds in Barry’s Bay, organizing the annual Garden Tour, serving on the Nominations Committee, helping with classes and participation for the Flower & Vegetable Show, handling Society public relations, and as an OHS judge she helps with judging the monthly competitions. Watched by Past President Peter Dolan and President Jeneene Brunton, former Past President Sharon Mahussier called on Honda to accept the Award for outstanding contribution in the Horticultural Society and Community Service. While all the officers and directors were gathered, Brunton then awarded Mahussier a lifetime membership pin for her work on behalf of the Society. Both Honda and Mahussier received hearty applause from the audience in the Opeongo Seniors Centre. (Above from left: Sharon Mahussier, Ritsuko Honda, Jeneene Brunton, Eden Guidroz, Julie Zurakowski)
Before the awards and announcements, Society volunteers served a delicious strawberry tea.
Society members and guests enjoy the annual strawberry social
From left: Volunteers Nola Leroux and Kim Hanewich add ice cream; the finished product
Kitchen volunteers from left Julie Zurakowski, Ann Isbister, Wendy Zakrzewski
Think Turtle Initiative
The second half of the evening was a timely talk about turtles by Kathleen Wallace Kelly of Think Turtle Initiative in Bancroft. Kelly provided information about the habits of turtles and hazards that Ontario turtles encounter, especially at this time of year when they are trying to lay eggs. She explained what to do if you see a turtle in danger and how to safely help a turtle cross the road. She explained about the work of the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC). She said more than 900 injured turtles had been treated last year. During the summer OTCC is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and you can call 705.741.5000 to arrange to transport an injured turtle to them near Peterborough. Kelly said you do not necessarily have to drive a turtle there yourself because volunteers coordinate a Turtle Taxi service for injured turtles across the province. Some Society members present had participated in the Turtle Taxi service recently.
Kathleen Wallace Kelly demonstrates safely lifting turtle with wooden model