The Township of Madawaska Valley is pleased to announce that David Kelley is the Township’s chosen recipient of the Ontario Senior of the Year Award for 2023. The award is given by a municipality to recognize an outstanding senior who, after age 65, enriches the social, cultural, or civic life of their community. A certificate was presented to David by Mayor Willmer and members of Council and staff on June 2, 2023, at a volunteer appreciation event that also marks the start of Seniors Month.
David Kelley, a local historian and genealogist, is a member of the Combermere Heritage Society and has been instrumental in the promotion and education of Combermere’s rich history. As the curator of the Mission House Museum in Combermere, David created numerous exhibits that illustrated the area’s mining, wartime, indigenous, and infrastructural history. David also authored numerous stories on specific topics, including detailed information on Combermere’s past schools and post offices. The Heritage Walk, which includes dozens of heritage plaques throughout the region, also involved David, who lent his research and writing skills to the project.
The closure of the Mission House Museum in 2022 marked a new chapter for the Combermere Heritage Society, which David took on with grace and used as an opportunity to modernize the approach to accessing Combermere’s history. In the past year alone, David has spearheaded the publishing of an online tour of the museum space prior to its closing and brought the Society online with a website and social media presence to allow for the sharing of stories and photos with an entirely new audience. While no longer operating the physical museum, David remains involved with the website and other historical projects in the Township.
David has been instrumental in contributing to the historical record of the Township of Madawaska Valley. His dedication to our shared history and work to bring it to the masses via the internet has led the Township to present David with Ontario’s Senior of the Year Award in 2023. Congratulations David and thank you for your service to our community.
For more information please contact
Hannah Gutoskie, Recreation and Community Development Coordinator
613-756-2747 ext 220