Chelsey St. Pierre – The Suburban LJI Reporter
Maria Tutino, former Mayor of Baie D’Urfé, was presented with the medal of the National Assembly by MNA Greg Kelley as a tribute to her years of service at an event held in her honour on Monday, June 28 at Baie D’Urfé’s town hall.
At the hour-long event, Tutino listened emotionally as her peers recalled their favourite memories of her, describing her as energetic and brave.
“Over fifteen years, Baie D’Urfe was very lucky to have you leading the charge and at a very crucial time in the municipal interface with provincial politics during the demerger movement,” said Francis Scarpaleggia, Member for Parliament for Lac-Saint-Louis.
Kelley expressed his gratitude towards Tutino for her guidance in his political career and acknowledged the influence that she established for women in politics. “You’ve been an inspiration for all women in politics,” he said.
“Maria Tutino’s service to her hometown has been a driving force for fifteen years, beginning with her involvement to ensure the demerger of our lovely town. This level of intensity and perserverance has not gone unnoticed as it continued throughout her many terms,” Baie D’Urfé Mayor Heidi Ektvedt said. “Baie D’urfe is well recognized in its long-standing commitment in volunteering and many of these initiatives were implemented and nurtured during the time of our former mayor,”
In response, Tutino recalled her decision to step down last year as difficult, but essential. “Thank you for your wonderful words, I am honoured and humbled. This was not work for me, it was a passion,”
“One of the things that I was most proud of in my stint as Mayor was nurturing, creating and supporting the groups of volunteers in our community, who are essential in making what our community is today. In some ways I don’t feel like I have left, because I am still involved in the volunteer groups,” Tutino said to her peers.