Manitoulin pays tribute to Lynda Peever upon her retirement

In photo back row, left to right, is Marnie Brown, Ken MacKenzie, Pat Dryden, Cathy Hallett and child Ava St. Pierre in kitchen; third row Connie Mackenzie, Sheila McDermid, Gloria Taliotis, Deanna Lewis, Kate Thompson; second row Sandra Strong, Diana St.-Pierre, Ann Auxier, Denise Leblanc. Front row Tracy Van Horne with baby Millie, Maureen Eadie and Lynda Peever.

SPRING BAY—To her co-workers, Lynda Peever was a real team player, and over the years she has become a very important person to many children and parents on Manitoulin Island for her work in many roles with Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR).

The Spring Bay Community Centre this past Saturday was full of co-workers, past and present, along with some of those families who Ms. Peever supported over the years.

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Marnie Hall-Brown, MFR executive director, welcomed everyone to support Ms. Peever in her next step, her journey of retirement. “Thank you so much for coming out to recognize and pay tribute to Lynda who has been a part of Manitoulin Family Resources before it came into being; 1995 Toy Library.”

“I speak frankly for a lot of the staff saying that Lynda is non-judgmental, she has  patience, joy, and she brought laughter into everyone’s lives-the families, children, shelter and those that worked with her,” said Ms. Hall-Brown.

In 1978 Kate Thompson started the Manitoulin Toy Library as a preventative program. Lynda Peever started in 1988, driving the bus around to many Native and non-Native communities from Sheshegwaning to Birch Island. In 1995, the Toy Library was taken on by the Haven House Board of directors. Ms. Peever told the Recorder after the gathering that she had opportunities to facilitate parenting programs like Kids Have Stress Too!, Roots of Empathy in the Public Schools, baby programs and visiting families in their home to provide support, to name a few.

“I definitely enjoyed all the work that I did. I really liked working one on one with families,” she said, noting, “toys were the gateways to interacting with families.”

“One of the best skills you can assist kids with before school is social skills, so they learn how to take a turn and when it is their turn,” said Ms. Peever. She found it an exciting transition when the playgroup bases moved into the schools so the children could easily move on to Kindergarten. Over the years she has enjoyed her co-workers, she liked the support that they provided each other through the good times and the bad and she has appreciated their mentoring. Edith Garret and Pat Drake were among her first mentors. She said it has been her privilege to interact and engage children in their learning and socialization.

As for retirement Ms. Peever said,  “I’m fairly healthy and I’m sure I will find projects to do.”