Erma Black, a prolific volunteer involved with the Canadian Cancer Society, was awarded with this year’s Winterfest crown, presented by the Mount Allison Students’ Union. The award aims to honour a resident of Sackville who has gone above and beyond in their involvement with the community.
The crown was presented to Black at a Legion Luncheon on Jan. 30.
“I was overwhelmed. I did not expect anything like that, at all. I had no idea that I was even nominated,” said Black. “I do what I do because I like doing it. I just like doing things. It’s hard work, but it’s rewarding.”
Kathy Pooley, a Sackville resident and friend of Black, nominated Black. “[Black]’s got a real willingness to help everybody else. She’s got a servant heart,” said Pooley. “This way of life for her, it’s become a cherished habit. She’s just a lady that makes every moment matter. She’s got a tremendous amount of faith, and she’s just happy.”
At 85 years old, Black remains heavily involved in the greater Tantramar community. A two-time cancer survivor, she is involved with the Canadian Cancer Society, has been on Relay for Life’s organizing committee, and organizes an annual fundraising brunch. During that time of year, she and another lady also call every cancer survivor in the Tantramar area.
Black is also involved with the Tantramar Square Dancing Group, which she held together for a long time. At her church, she creates shawls for women going through difficult times.
“Erma made over a hundred [shawls] herself, at her expense,” said Pooley.
Annie Sherry, MASU’s current vice-president external affairs and Alex Smithers, a third-year student, selected Black as this year’s winner. “It’s a great for us to get involved with the goings-on of Winterfest, which is so big for the town itself,” said Sherry.
Among the six nominations, Pooley’s was the one which really stood out.
“At 85 years old, she’s done so much for this community, and is still continuing to do so. She was more than deserving of this title for this year,” said Sherry.
The award and luncheon were part of Sackville’s eighth Winterfest, which saw the Sackville community come together for four days of community brunches, music and activities.
Winterfest kicked off Thursday, Jan. 29, with a martial arts demonstration at the high school and continued until Sunday, Feb. 1. Sackville residents took part in outdoor skating at Lillas Fawcett Park and a blues concert featuring Damon Fowler and Deep South Blues held at George’s Roadhouse, among other events.