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Spaniard’s Bay volunteers recognized for hard work

Cathy Kleinwort (centre) receiving her award from MP Ken McDonald.
Cathy Kleinwort (centre) receiving her award from MP Ken McDonald. - Chris Lewis

Recognizing dedication to the community

The Spaniard’s Bay municipal building saw plenty of people gather on Thursday, Sept. 6 to celebrate the successes of two volunteers who have dedicated years to the community.

Cathy Kleinwort and Curt Roberts have been offering their time and skills to the community for dozens of years as volunteers. Roberts, who is chief of the Spaniard’s Bay Volunteer Fire Department, received two awards – the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal and the Provincial Fire Service Award. He was awarded those as a commemoration of his 20-years as a volunteer firefighter.

Kleinwort received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, awarded by the Governor General of Canada.

Curt Roberts being presented with one of his awards on Thursday, Sept 6.
Curt Roberts being presented with one of his awards on Thursday, Sept 6.

The two were joined by Avalon MP Ken McDonald, Harbour Grace-Port de Grave MHA Pam Parsons, as well as plenty of supportive folk from within the community, including current and past council members, all making an appearance to help celebrate with the pair their accomplishments.

While both recipients were more than happy with the awards, they both seemed to feel fairly similarly about the work they do, with both Roberts and Kleinwort stating that neither of them does what they do for the recognition – instead, they do it for the community, and the countless people they’ve helped along the way.

Natural step

“It just feels good knowing that what you’re doing helps not only the town, but all the people in it. We do what we do because it needs to be done, and that’s rewarding enough, for me,” said Roberts prior to receiving his awards. “It’s all about helping the people at the end of the day. It’s great to be recognized for that, of course, but when you see someone so grateful for what you’ve done for them – that’s the real reward.”

Roberts’ involvement in the Spaniard’s Bay Volunteer Fire Department is something he always knew was coming for him. With a lengthy familial tie to the brigade, he told The Compass that joining up some 20-years ago simply felt like a natural step in his life, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who were also firefighters.

Major milestone

Kleinwort is another volunteer that is likely easily recognizable for anyone living in the community since the early 2000’s. She’s sat at the forefront of the Shearstown Estuary since moving to Spaniard’s Bay in 2001 and has also chaired the Spaniard’s Bay environment committee.

To her, receiving an award such as this is a major milestone in her career as a volunteer. Still, during the ceremony, she made sure to stress the importance of volunteerism in Newfoundland.

“Our town has come a long way, with even more plans in the making,” she said. “From the newly formed tourism committee, and the tourist information centre, Spaniard’s Bay is moving forward. We need volunteers to step up, and by working as team players, wonders can happen.”

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