OPP constable honoured as ‘Good Neighbour’

Eight years worth of community service as an instructor for the “55 Alive” driver education program for seniors, and other informative workshops, earned OPP Cst. Steve Latimer the 1999 “Good Neighbour” award.
More than 50 people were on hand at the old CN station here Friday afternoon for the award ceremony, including Cst. Latimer’s family and “graduates” from the “55 Alive” program.
More than 300 seniors have taken the course since 1993.
Cst. Latimer was presented with the “Good Neighbour” award by Dana Lyn Begin of the local branch of the Royal Bank, one of the “partners” of the Good Neighbour Council.
“Steve went beyond the fact [of teaching],” noted Vivian O’Donnell, chairperson of the local Good Neighbour Council. “He made the program so pleasurable that people left feeling so good about themselves.”
“He did a great service to the community,” enthused Irene Vanderplaats, who took the “55 Alive” program three years ago.
“He helped make us aware of the aging process and ourselves, and how those things connect with [driving] and the rules,” she added.
Cst. Latimer said the experience of heading up the senior driving program had been personally rewarding in more ways than one.
“So many benefits have come from it,” he remarked. “Perhaps the biggest benefit is the number of people I have gotten to know.
“I can’t go anywhere without running into somebody who’s taken the course–that’s very gratifying,” he said. “Many of them are still driving and that’s what it’s all about.”
Fort Frances OPP S/Sgt. Sgt. Hugh Dennis, also was on hand for the award ceremony, praised Cst. Latimer’s contributions to his community.
“He’s the kind of guy you want your young officers to emulate,” S/Sgt. Dennis said. “He’s a real tribute to the provincial police and to the rest of his community.”
Cst. Latimer also was presented with a Letter of Appreciation byDed Mallory of the Lions Club on behalf of the Hon. Helen Johns, Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation for his contributions to the well being of the senior population in the area through the Good Neighbours initiative. A “Fun Award” of a hunting cap, and a t-shirt also was presented to him by Joan Pearson of the Volunteer Bureau, which is a sponsor of the Good Neighbours Council.