Longtime volunteer embarrassed by attention - Aug. 27, 2013
Shirley McMahon, left, of St. Stephen, was presented Friday with CTV Atlantic’s Maritimer of the Week award in recognition of more than 65 years of volunteer work in the community. Making the presentation was business owner Gary Sharpe.
Shirley McMahon said she’s thinking about shooting Gary Sharpe.
When asked if she still liked Sharpe, she replied “No, I could shoot him,” then smiled.
The 88-year-old said she was embarrassed at all the fuss being made over her after being presented with CTV Atlantic’s Maritimer of the Week award during a reception at St. Stephen town hall Friday at noon.
Sharpe, who was McMahon’s district coordinator when she canvassed as a team captain for years for the Kidney Foundation of Canada, successfully applied to have McMahon receive the recognition for her more than 65 years of volunteering with many charities and local organizations.
“I don’t like the attention,” she said after receiving the framed certificate, noting she’d rather just quietly do what she does without the fanfare.
“It’s a nice recognition, but it embarrasses me so,” said McMahon.
McMahon’s latest volunteer efforts have been with the thrift store Frugal Furnishings, operated by the Volunteer centre of Charlotte County, which also operates the local food bank.
She’s on a brief medical leave for a month to have a little rest, “but I’ll be back,” she stated firmly.
When asked why she volunteered for so long, McMahon was humble, saying the jobs needed to be done and “I had the time.”
Sharpe said McMahon is very deserving of the recognition. He said McMahon also canvassed for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Cure for Cancer, Charlotte County Cancer, the Terry Fox Run, Canadian Mental Health Association, and worked as a volunteer at the Charlotte County Hospital Auxiliary gift shop at the hospital.
Locally, Sharpe said McMahon is still known as “Camp Granny” for her 40 years of volunteering at Camp Waweig.
“She wiped away many tears and opened her heart to many young ones at the camp who needed someone to listen,” said Sharpe. “People who went there still come up to her on the street and call her Camp Granny.”
“Shirley always said God did not give her a single talent,” said Sharpe. “I disagree. Shirley has a talent for getting people to volunteer their time, their talent and their funds. People can’t refuse when she asks.”
There was a full house in the council chambers where the presentation was made. Besides various members of the public, family and friends, in attendance were Deputy Mayor John Ames and councillors Jim Maxwell, Marg Harding, Allan MacEachern and Debbie MacDonald along with New Brunswick Southwest MP John Williamson and former area MLA Tony Huntjens.
Sharpe said Charlotte-Campobello MLA Curtis Malloch, who helped arrange the recognition for McMahon, was unable to make the ceremony because of a previous family commitment.
Mayor John Quartermain was out of town and not able to attend.