South Glengarry infrastructure GM retires

In this April 2019, file photo, South Glengarry Infrastructure Services GM Ewen MacDonald cracks a smile during a township council meeting. MacDonald is retiring after 29 years with the municipality. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LANCASTER – After 29 years with the Township of South Glengarry, the general manager of infrastructure services has taken part in his final council meeting.

Ewen MacDonald started as a roads superintendent in 1992 and then became public works director in 1999 after amalgamation. He was also a director on the board of Ontario Good Roads Association for number of years.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Ewen for 25 years of this working career and I can honestly say I will certainly miss having your around the township office,” Mayor Frank Prevost said during a retirement presentation on Tuesday night (Feb. 16).

MacDonald didn’t know what he was getting into when he was first hired 29 years ago, shortly after a municipal strike.

“When I inquired about the roads crew, I was advised that the crew was Bruno, Buck, The Moon, Black Diamond, Slew Foot, Butch, Bladderweed, The Red Rooster and The Rabbi. What was I getting myself into? Thankfully it all worked out,” MacDonald mused.

The general manager has worked for six mayors and five CAOs and says “I learned and (have) grown from each and every one of them.”

Council presented MacDonald with a jacket, scrolls from MPP Jim McDonell, MP Eric Duncan and the Township of South Glengarry during the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting.

His voice cracking, MacDonald thanked Mayor Frank Prevost, former mayor Ian McLeod, former reeve Dave McDonald, and the staff from various departments.

“If it were not for these dedicated individuals, the Township of South Glengarry would not be Ontario’s Celtic Heartland, it would simply be Ontario’s Celtic Land.”

MacDonald’s position won’t be replaced. His duties will be split up to other township managers as part of a corporate restructuring.