What could have been a tragic event resulted in a celebration, thanks to the maturity of Rory Renwick and the eleven other children on the bus which was involved in a collision with a transport truck. Shown in the photo in no particular order are Rory Renwick and the 11 children on the bus (Jake, Nathan, Levi, Amir, Chloe, Christopher, Nicholas, Daphne, Dylan, Serenity and Willow), Tammy DeGiovanni (CHEO Senior VP, Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive), Jennifer Proulx (CHEO VP, Child Development and Community Services), Karen Macaulay (CHEO VP, Acute Care), Ron Ferguson (UCDSB Director), Susan Rutters (UCDSB Superintendent), Corina Parisien (UCDSP Trustee), Nichola Bond (Russell PS Principal), Erin O’Rourke (Russell PS Vice-Principal), Brian McBain and Ian Courville (Fire Chief & Deputy Fire Chief for Russell Township Fire Services), Millie Bourdeau (Director of Public Safety and Enforcement), Jamie Laurin (Interim Mayor), Lisa Deacon (Councillor), Marc Lalonde (Councillor). Courtesy Photo

RUSSELL – At their regularly schedule council meeting held on May 13, 2024, Council, in collaboration with The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), had the distinct privilege of recognizing Rory Renwick, 11, with a Citizen Recognition Award for her remarkable leadership and courage during a recent incident.

Rory Renwick was a student aboard the bus that was involved in a collision with a transport truck on April 22, 2024. She demonstrated extraordinary courage by assisting the 11 other children onboard, ensuring their safe evacuation from the scene.

“Rory is a living proof of the impact one person can make, no matter the size or age,” said acting Mayor Jamie Laurin.  “After the collision, Rory sprang into action to ensure the emotional and physical wellbeing of others on the bus were met. She provided comfort and reassurance to the younger children while they waited for the first responders to arrive.  At 11 years old, Rory is a reminder to us that we possess the potential to make a difference.

“For her compassion, courage and leadership she demonstrated that day, I am honoured on behalf of council to present Rory with the Citizens Recognition Medallion, a symbol of gratitude from Russell Township as well as the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.”

Council Chambers was filled with a sense of admiration and gratitude as attendees, including representatives from CHEO, the Upper Canada District School Board, Russell Public School, school families, and friends, gathered to celebrate Rory’s selfless actions.

In addition to honouring Rory Renwick, Council also took a moment to commend the 11 children on the bus for their resilience and bravery during what was undoubtedly a frightening experience for them.

Council also extended heartfelt appreciation to all first responders and bystanders who provided assistance during this and other local emergencies, highlighting the importance of community solidarity during challenging times.

They also extended their gratitude to the people at CHEO. “I would also like to recognize team CHEO; you sprang into action without hesitation… we are extremely thankful that your facility is there in our greater community when we need it,” said acting Mayor Laurin.

Tammy DeGiovanni, Senior Vice-President, Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive at CHEO spoke of learning how the children had dealt with a chaotic situation is an incredibly mature way.

“As EMS arrived and debriefed with our staff, we heard stories from the scene,” said DeGiovanni. “They were about kids helping kids. And we heard about the unwavering composure and determination that was on display in what must have been chaos and uncertainty. They remained calm under pressure and demonstrated a level of maturity far beyond their years. We hear of how they stepped up to care for one another. It’s an honour to be here today to recognize the group and Rory Renwick.

“That’s leadership in action folks, and it’s an honour to be here today to recognize the group and Rory,” added DeGiovanni. “There’s an ongoing debate about whether leaders are made or born, and I would say it’s probably a mix of both. But what I do know is that Rory will always be a leader in our eyes, and we’d love to have you Team CHEO one day Rory, so congrats on this recognition and thank you to everyone.”