Bracebridge’s mayor received an award on Feb 8 for the same thing that won his wife’s heart, his service in the community.
MP Tony Clement presents Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith on Friday, Feb. 8 with a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal and plaque for his service in the community.
Photo by Jennifer Bowman
MP Tony Clement pinned a Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal of Honour to the lapel pocket of Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith on Friday recognizing him for his service in the community.
Following the short ceremony in the town’s council chamber, Melissa Smith, the mayor’s wife, said she was not surprised when he received the award.
“That’s actually what drew me to him when I first met him, was his love of community service,” she said.
The mayor was more surprised by the award, saying he didn’t expect it. He said people enter into political roles like his because they love, believe in, and want to participate in the community.
“To be recognized in this fashion is certainly unexpected, appreciated, and very humbling, but quite frankly I view this as an award on behalf of all of Bracebridge,” he said.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities nominated Smith for the award to recognize him for supporting the federation’s work in strengthening the relationship with the federal government. In a press release the federation specifically noted Bracebridge’s priorities in putting people back to work, repairing aging infrastructure, and building new infrastructure that communities need to be competitive.
The Smiths are expecting their second child in June, and the mayor said it’s his family that keeps him balanced in his role.
“I use my own family as a yard stick to imagine what I want to see for my family in a community as they grow, and the opportunities for my wife and my kids as they grow up and try to shape the community in that image,” he said.
Clement commended the mayor on his ability to balance family with community
“I’m just delighted that my office was contacted so that I could be part of this ceremony to recognize a true leader of our community, somebody who is giving to our community,” he said.
He attributed growing economic potential in the area to the local leadership.
“We really are truly blessed to have you as a member of our community and as a leader of our community,” Clement said.
Smith refused to take all the credit for himself, saying it’s about everyone together and the collective vision for the community.
“My name may be on the certificate, but this is an award for all our citizens,” he said.