The seventh council of North Dundas from the left, councillor Tyler Hoy, councillor John Thompson, Mayor Tony Fraser, councillor Gary Annable and deputy mayor Al Armstrong.   Glover photos

Kory Glover
Record Staff
WINCHESTER – As the community of North Dundas says goodbye to Eric Duncan and his eight years of service to the community, they welcomed the seventh council in the area’s history with open arms.

John Thompson, Tyler Hoy and Gary Annable were officially sworn in as councillors while Al Armstrong, former councillor, was sworn in as deputy mayor and Tony Fraser was inaugurated as the new mayor. However, before the council swore the oath and signed the papers, they were each introduced by close friends.

“Tonight, I get the opportunity to introduce, not only a returning member of North Dundas council but also a good friend,” said Fred Bortolussi speaking of Thompson before the inauguration. “I’ve known him for many years, as a colleague working on different projects together as a representative of the people of North Dundas and as a friend.”

After he was inaugurated, John Thompson expressed his gratitude to the community. “For their support and for their trust in me for another four years and I look forward to serving you once again,” he said.

Tyler Hoy was officially sworn in as a new member to the council, stating that he was looking forward to serving the people for the next term.

When introducing him, Jeff Graham recounted Hoy’s background of growing up on a dairy farm and how that shaped his work ethic for his newly appointed position.

“Tyler grew up on a multi-generational dairy farm owned by his mother and father, Gary and Donna Hoy, who wasted no time introducing Tyler to his life as a dairy farmer; which he happily embraced,” he said. “For Tyler, the life of a dairy farmer provided him with a sound upbringing based on a good work ethic and an understanding of what it means to be accountable.”

Continuing his short and sweet speech-style, Hoy stated that he “looks forward to representing all the residents.”

“Gary’s election signs had the tagline ‘Proud to be in North Dundas,’ and those six words really do sum up councillor Annable. A lot of us know Gary in different capacities from his Main Street store and from the different committees that he’s been on,” he said. “He’s on our Winchester Downtown Revitalization committee, the Dundas Manor, the United Church, and he was an original member of the BIA in Winchester with Joel Steele. The election results didn’t lie, as an overwhelming majority of people love Gary’s down-to-earth common sense approach.”

Gary Annable dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s as the council’s highest-voted member from the municipal election.

Annable stated that while he did not come into this job with a large agenda, his agenda was simply to “work hard and help bring people and prosperity to the Township of North Dundas; to live, work and play.”

With Al Armstrong being such a well known figure in the community, Owen Short wanted to use another approach when introducing Armstrong by describing his work with local sports that others may have not known about.

“I think it was 24 years ago I met [Armstrong] on my front yard, this big guy came across the street where I was standing and all he said was ‘Hi, my name is Al and we’re your new neighbours.’ That folks, was the shortest sentence and fewest words he’s ever said since,” he said jokingly. “Al moved here from Ottawa but he quickly became a local by coaching baseball, sitting as a minor hockey executive, and being a driving force behind Winchester sports, he jumped into the Winchester Hawks executive and was part of the team that brought the last junior championship here.” 

Al Armstrong echoed everyone else’s thoughts, saying that he would like to thank his family for being beside him every step of the way.

“They have been beside me and behind me in helping me through social media, to be an active part as the next generation is coming along,” he said jokingly. “My lovely wife, I thank you; on top of all the other stuff to be with someone like me, with the election and stress, I don’t know what you did wrong in an earlier life but I thank you.”

Lastly, Bill Smirle was given the task of introducing the new mayor of North Dundas by briefly summarizing Tony Fraser’s history within the county that has prepared him for the next four years.

“Tony was educated and worked in North Dundas, participating in activities here as a player, coach, organizer, announcer and a fan. Tony has volunteered in many ways, but one of the most important ones was that he was a volunteer firefighter in the Winchester division, where he served in various roles including firefighter, officer, deputy chief and acting chief,” he said. “I got to know Tony through the SD&G Fire Department Mutual Aid Association a long time ago. After amalgamation in 1997, I observed his strengths first hand when we worked together on the very first North Dundas Fire Prevention committee. Over the last 20 years, Tony has successfully been involved in many very responsible positions including the last eight years as a municipal councillor.”

Fraser took the time to thank the staff of the Township of North Dundas for helping him better understand how the township is run.

“I have worked with most of you for eight years and it has been a joy to come in on a daily basis, meeting with you and visiting you and having you helping me along the way to better understand the inner-workings of the township,” he said.

Fraser ended the ceremony thanking everyone for coming out, stating that he “looks forward to serving everyone for the next four years.”