Rosemary Rutley received the 2010 Fran Laflamme Volunteer Award for her tireless community service efforts in South Stormont.
Long Sault - Apr. 18, 2011 - Having taught hundreds of South Stormont children during her 35 years
as an elementary school teacher, Rosemary Rutley has used her retirement years to continue to make a positive impact on the community.
Rutley's extensive record of community service was formally recognized this past weekend as she received the 2010 Fran Laflamme Volunteer Award during South Stormont's annual volunteer appreciation gala.
A life-long member and elder at St. Matthew’s Presbyterian Church in
Ingleside, Rutley has taught Sunday school and sat on various church committees. When not baking and cooking for Sunday lunches, pot luck dinners and other events, she has also picked up the broom and mop to clean the church and hall.
A dependable and hard working member of the Friends of the Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary, Rutley helped research and write scripts for the the long-running and much-loved Spirits of the Sanctuary
performances. She continues to work on the Friends' annual Nature and
Wildlife Day and collects gifts and goods all year long for the silent
auction which finances many of the programs at the Sanctuary.
Educated in Wales and Aultsville, Rosemary has been a member of the
Lost Villages Historical Society for decades and directly involved as a
member of the executive for many years as recording secretary. She is
currently the email secretary, acting as the first line of contact for
people seeking information about the lost villages and its events. She
gave of her time for Celebration 30, Celebration 40 and the most recent
While manning the museum buildings, heritage kiosks and giving presentations in the classroom, she is a enthusiast and engaging ambassador for the cultural tapestry of South Stormont.
A driving force behind the Lost Villages Ghost Walk Tours, Rutley helped again to bring local history alive in an interesting and entertaining way.
Rutley is also a member of the Friends of the Ingleside Library. Along with helping out at bake sales and fundraisers, Rutley also dresses up in costume at Halloween, Christmas and other holidays to read at library story times.
Though not much of a cook, her alter ego, stand up comedienne Zelda, has entertained other volunteers and helped raise funds for countless churches, organizations and community groups over the years including Volley for Cancer and the CIB. As well as birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions, Zelda has shared her down home humour - and life with low-down ex-husband Orville - with senior support centres, hospital auxiliaries and local Women’s Institutes. In spite of Zelda’s lack of skills in the kitchen, she does what she can.
Rutley is also an author of three books, motivated not by monetary gain but rather a desire to chronicle and document our local history and pay homage to the early loyalist settlers of South Stormont, the people displaced by the St. Lawrence Seaway and the
innovative dairy farmers and cheese makers of S, D and G.
As an ambassador for South Stormont, she has shared this passion for local history with historical societies and community groups across not only in S, D and G, but throughout eastern Ontario and northern New York State.