­Townshippers’ praises ­community members for weathering ­tumultuous year at AGM

By Michael Boriero, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Townshippers’ Association held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday highlighting another successful community building year and doling out awards for Outstanding Townshipper and Young Townships Leader.
The meeting’s roughly 30-minute runtime took place via Zoom videoconference call — a far too common experience for many people these days. Townshippers’ President Gerald Cutting addressed what has been a particularly turbulent year in Quebec.
“The fact that we delivered so much in a period that was so difficult, if anything should be done at this time, it would be to stand and give these people a hearty round of applause because it is so well deserved,” he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected communities across Canada, but it has taken an enormous toll in Quebec. The province became the epicentre of the virus and struggled to flatten the curve.
It also compounded a year in which English-speaking communities fought the Quebec government over Bill 21, the province’s secularism law, and Bill 40, an education reform bill ­abolishing school boards. Cutting noted the region’s resiliency throughout all of it.
“I think consistently one of the factors of Townshippers is that no matter what happens to us, we get up, we move on, we learn and we do things even better,” said Cutting to a silent round of applause, as many participants had their screens muted.
He lauded the efforts of all association members as they gave a voice to the Eastern Townships’ English-speaking community. The advocacy role of the Townshippers’ was very much alive, pandemic or not, Cutting added.
After reviewing the associations financials, which saw positive changes, and confirming that all 12 board members had been re-elected, the president dove into the awards presentation.
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