More than 110 people gathered at the South Stormont Community Hall in Long Sault on Sunday afternoon to help former MP Guy Lauzon celebrate his 80th birthday. Included in that group were friends, family, and many current and past riding association members as well as the current federal and provincial parliament members. From Left: Eric Duncan, MP for Stormont-Dundas and South Glengarry, Guy Lauzon, former local MP, Nolan Quinn, MPP for Stormont-Dundas and South Glengarry.   Tinkess Photo

LONG SAULT – It may be about five years since Guy Lauzon retired from the very public life of the Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas and South Glengarry but judging from the number of people who gathered to help him celebrate his 80th birthday, he is still very much in the thoughts of many residents.

The event was held at the South Stormont Community Hall in Long Sault on Sunday afternoon and approximately 110 family, friends, former staff, Conservative association riding members took time on a beautiful spring day to stop in for a light lunch and convey their best wishes. Lauzon was the Conservative MP for Stormont-Dundas and South Glengarry from 2004 until 2019.

Lauzon was obviously moved by the outpouring of memories that everyone wanted to share with him. “It’s very nice to see everyone. It’s very emotional in a way,” said Lauzon, “Because these people worked so hard for me. It’s heart-warming.”

“I’m really honoured that a hundred people or so would come out. It’s been four, no five years since I retired. So many have come, it’s wonderful.”

MP Eric Duncan, to whom Lauzon handed the torch when he retired, acted as Master of Ceremonies for the event. Speeches were kept to a minimum: first there was Nolan Quinn, Provincial MPP for Stormont-Dundas and South Glengarry, who, like Lauzon is from St. Andrews West. “You can tell by the turnout today that you have resonated throughout our community,” said Quinn, “And you’ve really had an impact with everything that we do and see every day in our community. So, thank you so much.”

Recorded greetings were also sent from current Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre and former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Duncan wrapped things up by joking that usually, when a person hits a personal milestone as Lauzon has in reaching his 80th birthday, they receive a green scroll from the Federal government, but since Lauzon had probably seen 2,000-3,000 of the scrolls as MP, he chose to give him a post card with a personal message of thanks.

“You always been there for so many special occasions and events for others,” wrote MP Duncan, “So this is great to be able to celebrate your own special achievement with your family, friends, and supporters. Thank you for all you’ve done over 80 years, including setting such a high bar for those serving in public life. Your passion, your energy, and your drive to work hard and make a difference in our community and our country will be felt and remembered for years to come.”

Lauzon spoke only briefly, commenting on how nice it was to see everyone, and spoke jokingly about his health. “I had a stroke a while back, and I like to think it’s getting better. Some people say it is because I used to go on for hours.

“You know, I look around and there are so many people, so much a part of the success that we had, and it wasn’t just me. There were always people, and I just wanted to say thank you.”

Earlier in the afternoon, Lauzon was asked if he could choose to be any age, what age would he choose? He answered without giving it much thought. “I think the one I’m at,” said Lauzon. “We’ve come so far…”