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(Posted 8:30 a.m., July 11)
Former Cumberland town councillor given double honour

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Former Cumberland town councillor Linda Dunn recently visited the new park named in her honour with her grandson Grayson. Photo supplied

Town councillor, community builder, Sunday School teacher, Brownie and Girl Guide leader, amateur actress, community bulletin editor, Navan Fair Board member, Cumberland Heritage Village Museum volunteer... Linda Dunn has worn a lot of hats over the years.

In June she was recognized for her many contributions with not one, but two honours. First she had a park named after her, and then she was given a spot on the Cumberland Community Builders Wall in Navan along with this year's other inductees.

It was all a bit overwhelming for the unassuming Dunn, who first moved to Cumberland in 1974 with her husband John. The couple settled on Brichgrove Road near the village of Bearbrook.

Dunn began her life of community service as a Sunday School teacher and a Brownie and Girl Guide leader in Bearbrook and Carlsbad Springs. After her two sons Andy and Chris were born, she co-founded the Navan Nursery School. She also enjoyed working at the Cumberland Museum as a volunteer and a member of the Cumberland Township Historical Society.

Dunn served on the Navan Fair Board for almost 20 years as education, food booth and entertainment directors. Prior to getting elected to town council she served as the editor and publisher of the Cumberland Communique.

She successfully won a seat on town council in 1986 in a byelection and served for nearly six years. Her proudest achievement during those years was the establishment of the township's blue box program, the first of its kind in a rural township in Ontario.

After retiring six years ago, Dunn joined the Navan Women's Institute. She also continued her volunteerism at the Navan Fair as emcee of the opening ceremonies and director of the Kid's Zone and spends as much time with her six grandchildren as possible.

All of which earned her a spot on the Navan Community Builders Wall with a number of other community leaders including Verna Cotton, Joyce Bradley,

Upon hearing the news that she was being included on the Community Builders Wall, Dunn says she was "stunned".

"It was a total surprise. To be included on the wall with all those other wonderful women is a real honour," says Dunn, who had a park named in her honour earlier in the year.

The official naming ceremony was supposed to take place on June 28, but it had to be postponed due to heavy rain. Despite the cancellation, Dunn has been able to take all six of her grandchildren to the park which is located on Celeste Way in Fallingbrook South.

"The kids are already calling it 'Grandma's Park'," says Dunn. "It's a very nice park. It has an active area with a play structure for the kids and it has a passive area where the kids can run around and grandma can just sit and watch them. It even has a pond where kids can search for bugs and stuff."

Humbled by the recent accolades that have come her way, Dunn says her years of community service have been a natural byproduct of her wanting to assimilate to her new surroundings after moving to Cumberland from her native Alberta in 1973.

"When we moved here from out west we didn't really know anyone so getting involved was just a natural thing to do. Looking back, we got so much more out of the experience than we ever could have expected. We're so so grateful for having moved to Cumberland and for all the friendships we've made over the years. It's truly been a blessing," says Dunn.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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