Senator Larry W. Smith (back row left) wanted to honour someone who may not have been as recognized for volunteering as others, and he found a cousin of his former classmate to bestow the honour to in Angus Buddy Goodleaf, pictured here with his family. (courtesy Mouchie Goodleaf)
Regulars who attended a hockey or lacrosse game at any time at the Kahnawake Sports Complex since its inception will know the face if not the name of Angus Buddy Goodleaf.
Buddy was a staple on the score clock for years, as well as a number of other jobs at the arena, and his volunteering to do the job was just one of his many he has done with the Kahnawake Fire Brigade, Sports Complex, Knights of Columbus, St. Francis Xavier mission and other organizations throughout the community.
His dedication to his community and generosity were honoured Tuesday night as Goodleaf was among those given a Senate 150th Anniversary Medal Tuesday at the Whitlock Golf and Country Club in Hudson, Quebec.
“We dressed him up, cleaned him up, and he was good,” said Buddy’s son Mouchie Goodleaf. “He was beaming.”
Canadian Senator Larry W. Smith gave Buddy the award and was part of the committee that chose to honour the 86-year-old upcoming Christmas Parade marshal in Kahnawake.
Smith contacted former Mohawk Council grand chief Mike Delisle to recommend the nomination, as Smith’s office was already aware of Buddy’s community service after he co-won the Rita McComber Volunteer Award handed out by the Caisse Populaire Kahnawake this year, as well as his recognition in 2013 from the KFB.
“He’s deserving, absolutely,” said Delisle. “We’ve commemorated a lot of people, and, to my recollection, he’s not one of them until recently, so I absolutely supported the nomination.”
Smith spoke with The Eastern Door about the award, and the intent behind choosing recipients.
“Part of this award for the 150-year medal when we decided to do this in the senate was to give recognition to people, who would not necessarily normally get recognition,” said Smith, who awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal to Delisle in 2012.
The Senate 150th Anniversary Medal commemorates the first time senators came to Ottawa to sit in parliament on November 8, 1867.
“The medals are being awarded to Canadians or permanent residents actively involved in their communities who, through generosity, dedication, volunteerism and hard work, make their hometowns, communities, regions, provinces or territories a better place to live,” reads the message from senator and co-chair of the advisory working group Serge Joyal.
Each senator received 12 medals to hand out.
Other recipients awarded Tuesday night included Football Quebec president Bob Mironowicz, who has volunteered for over three decades with the Sun Youth football program, Caroline Tremblay, volunteer for a decade with Patriotes Lacrosse, and Jill Martis, who has helped out at the Old Brewery Mission for almost 20 years.
Smith went to the same school as Buddy’s cousin Irvin Goodleaf, and remembered Irvin’s skill on the hockey rink and lacrosse box. He was excited to honour someone from the same family, who has worked for so long volunteering in the community.
“When we started to dig around and saw his involvement with the Knights of Columbus since 1958, 50 years in the community doing various things, member of the fire brigade, a fundraiser. He seems to be a person who really got himself involved in the community,” said Smith.
“When you saw all of the things that he did, he came across a guy that was just solid as a rock. Always there, very steady and someone who deserves some recognition.”
Though suffering from Alzheimer’s, Buddy was in fine form Tuesday night enjoying the ceremony and chatting with the assembled guests.
“He was fantastic last night, and had a great support from his family with him, and they were proud,” said Smith.
Since posting news of the award on his Facebook page, Mouchie has watched as upwards of 100 people from the community and beyond have forwarded their congrats to his dad. For Mouchie, he was pleased to see his dad get the pat on the back that he has deserved for some time.
All his children said when contacted by The Eastern Door how proud they were of their father and happy that his dedication to Kahnawake is being recognized. When asked how he liked the evening and the award given to honour him, Buddy answered in classic Buddy style.
“No problem,” he said.