John Gee: 2023 Spotowski Award Recipient
A supporter of the paper since 1993.
John Gee received the Garry Spotowski Volunteer Appreciation Award at the annual general meeting of the Boyle Street McCauley Community Newspaper Society on November 13th, 2023. The Spotowski Award recognizes and honours long-term volunteers who have made invaluable contributions to the paper and the community.
In presenting the award, Boyle McCauley News’ Editor Paula Kirman said, “John Gee has volunteered for the paper much longer than any staff members have been around,” noting that John has been a block carrier for over 20 years, and for the past six years served as the paper’s treasurer.
John has lived in McCauley since 1993, and he began volunteering for the paper then. “Doing paste-up,” he says, “which was a step in producing a newspaper in those days. Before that I had spent a number of years working for Alberta Report magazine doing several different jobs including production, so I had applicable skills.”
John was the bookkeeper and/or treasurer for the paper in the 1990s and was treasurer again in 2011-2013 before taking on the most recent six-year term. “I enjoy accounting/bookkeeping,” he says, "which I also do for the McCauley Community League, Inn Roads Housing Co-operative, the Greater Edmonton Alliance, and the Alberta Party, as well as in my day job.” (John is ordained as a deacon in the Anglican Church and is the secretary-treasurer of the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton.)
The current bookkeeper for Boyle McCauley News, Rosalie Gelderman, really appreciates working with someone with such excellent accounting skills. “His attention to detail makes my job easy,” she says.
John adds, “It was especially rewarding that I was able to play a role in the survival of the paper during COVID, when finances were precarious. I think it is a special institution that is the envy of other communities in the city. I also enjoy doing delivery for the exercise and to see what is happening in the neighbourhood.”
The Spotowski Award is presented to volunteers who have given exceptional service to the Boyle McCauley News. It is not awarded every year. The first recipients have been volunteers since nearly the beginning of the paper: Kate Quinn, Rosalie Gelderman, Bob McKeon, Larry Brockman, John Kolkman, Gary Garrison, and Phil O’Hara. For details, go to the Awards section of the Boyle McCauley News website.
Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.