"It's the best honour ever," said Fred Mayor as he and his wife, Myrna, were celebrated Sunday afternoon for their five decades of volunteerism and dedication to their community. 

The community gathered at St. Paul’s United Church Pembina Parish for the celebration, honouring the couple as Morden Area Foundation's 2023 Citizens of Distinction, the first time the honour has been bestowed to two people at once. 

Fred added, it's been an overwhelming experience.

"One of the things that we were so appreciative of was, you'd be walking down the street, and somebody would come across the street to give their congratulations. That was so much appreciated." 

"I just couldn't believe that we had people, you know, and people were so good. They offered their congratulations and said, 'you deserved it'," added Myrna. She said it's all been very humbling and was in disbelief when she saw all of the cars in the parking lot when they arrived at the celebration. 

Looking back on the years, Myrna said it's also hard to believe they've been at it for so long, adding the time has just gone by. 

"We've always felt good about what we've done, and it has been appreciated. People have appreciated it well. So, it has been all worthwhile to keep on doing what we can do and to help make Morden than a better place."

"After we were married, it just became part of our life," added Fred. "Being involved, being at the church or other community activities. Yeah, just been a way of life." 

"It's hard to say how we managed to pull it all together because we had young kids at the time too," added Myrna. "We used to hire babysitters to look after kids while we went out volunteering."

As part of being named Citizens of Distinction, the couple was awarded $1,000 to donate to a charity or organization of their choice.

Until recently, Fred was a volunteer driver for South Central Cancer Resource, and Myrna often accompanied him. They opted to give the $1,000 to that organization.

The couple opted to give the $1,000 to South Central Cancer ResourceThe couple opted to give the $1,000 to South Central Cancer Resource

"You know that you're doing something to help people out, and it's not a problem to do that. You know, you feel good being able to do that for people. And it's a hard journey," said Myrna.

"Having driven for many years, you see so many people that are in need of that type of a service, affordability and just their status in their life right now," added Fred. "It felt good to be able to do it. And I also enjoyed the company of the people and made a lot of good friends over those years."

The couple said they are thankful for their family, who they say has always been supportive of them.

With files from Robyn Wiebe