Pat Meahan & Margaret Ryerse Port Dover’s Citizens of the Year

Margaret Ryerse and Pat Meahan have been named Port Dover’s Citizens of the Year.

Port Dover Citizen of Year Dinner is May 29

THE Citizen of the Year dinner and awards night honouring Margaret Ryerse and Pat Meahan is on Monday (May 29) at Erie Beach Hotel. Tickets for the Cove Room dinner, presentations and what promises to be a lively evening are limited and available now for $50 at Port Dover Board of Trade office on Market Street West and Port Dover Maple Leaf office.

The reception starts at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. followed by presentations.

For decades, Ms. Ryerse and Mr. Meahan have been involved in coaching sports, promoting recreation and raising funds for the betterment of a wide range of local sports teams.

Their most noted involvement has been with Port Dover Minor Hockey Association.

Both said they were “shocked and overwhelmed,” by the Citizen of the Year recognition and “very grateful.”

“We love Port Dover and love living here and hope to instill in kids a Port Dover pride, a community spirit and the values of giving back to the community,” said Ms. Ryerse adding “happy and healthy kids means a healthy community.”

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PORT Dover Board of Trade has named Margaret Ryerse and Pat Meahan as the Citizens of the Year.

For decades, they have been involved in coaching sports, promoting recreation and raising funds for the betterment of a wide range of local sports teams.

Their most noted involvement has been with Port Dover Minor Hockey Association.

Ms. Ryerse said she grew up in a family with a long history of civic involvement in Port Dover and “it becomes ingrained with family values,” she said.

She began coaching gymnastics when she was 14 years old. She has also coached basketball at the former Doverwood Public School, volleyball for high school students, T-ball for three year olds and Slo-Pitch to middle-aged women as well as being involved with Minor Hockey teams.

Mr. Meahan, who grew up in Hagersville, said his mother was a Cub Scout leader and his father coached minor hockey. By high school, he was an assistant coach for minor hockey in Hagersville.

On moving to Port Dover and with family involved in local sports, Mr. Meahan began coaching hockey and baseball. He became a director and, later, president of Port Dover Minor Hockey Association. He is also the long-time ice scheduler.

During a time of transition for local minor hockey associations, Mr. Meahan was one of the founders of the Norfolk Minor Hockey Association which is a partnership between Waterford, Simcoe and Port Dover Rep teams. He currently serves as First Vice president and chairs the Evaluation Committee.

Mr. Meahan, who is a referee at the minor and junior hockey levels, is also a strong supporter of the “Bauer First Shift” program. He says Port Dover Minor Hockey has been approved to host another program this winter. It provides 30 first-time hockey players with equipment and ice time to become involved in hockey. Mr. Meahan says seeing young, new hockey players learning the game always brings him joy.

To keep costs down for players, the couple is involved in fundraising on Friday the 13th and take a lead role in organizing the beer tent, in a partnership with Port Dover Minor Hockey and Port Dover Board of Trade.

Both said they were “shocked and overwhelmed,” by the Citizen of the Year recognition and “very grateful.” “When you see the list of past recipients, it’s humbling,” Mr. Meahan said.
“Happy and healthy kids means a healthy community,” Ms. Ryerse said, adding “we do it for the kids. It’s cool to see kids coming off the ice with smiles.”

They were both quick to praise others volunteering with the local organizations. “We like what we’re doing and we’re surrounded by good, hard-working people. Many have become life-long friends,” said Mr. Meahan.

“We love Port Dover and love living here and hope to instill in kids a Port Dover pride, a community spirit and the values of giving back to the community,” said Ms. Ryerse who has also taught Sunday School, fostered orphaned kittens and was on the committee to save the local high school.

A dinner and reception honouring Mr. Meahan and Ms. Ryerse will be held on Monday, May 29 at the Erie Beach Hotel starting at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 and available from Port Dover Board of Trade office on Market Street West.

Originally published May 10, 2023

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