KAWARTHA LAKES-The Snowshoe Kawartha Winter Festival “Volunteer of the Year” award will be renamed and called “The John Livingston Memorial Trophy” in honour of Livingstone who was found dead in his home in December.
Wayne Jolly is one of the owners of Sweet Bottoms Cafe in Fenelon Falls and an organizer of the Showshoe Kawartha event. John Livingstone was a regular fixture at the cafe and had become a friend. “We miss you John but we hope your volunteer spirit will forever be part of the future of Fenelon Falls.” Jolly says.
Jolly says when they started re-thinking and re-organizing a winter “games” program about five years ago Livingstone was one of the first to volunteer. “At that time we were not completely sure what or when or how but it didn’t matter to John, because he remembered the winter games festivities and how other people fondly reflected on the week long festival atmosphere from years past in the village.” Jolly recalls. “John simply wanted to do whatever he could to help.”
The first year they organized the event was in 2015 and Livingstone agreed to be the “Official Photographer” but Jolly says as luck would have it he became the event “dogcatcher” instead. “One of our friends that year had a new pup, an Australian shepherd named Lucy who always rode in the truck with her owner Paul Finley. On the morning of our event on the ice, Lucy got out of the truck and decided exploring the village was more fun than watching curling.” After they realized the dog was gone John led the effort to find her for over an hour, and then after finding her we put her in a truck and had to drive around to find Finley. “After all that thinking, looking, calling and driving John forgot where he put his camera so we knew for sure that day he was definitely a better dogcatcher than a photographer.” Jolly remembers.
Livingstone’s body was found after a fire in his home on Oak Street on December 9th. His 45 year old son Gregory Livingstone has been charged with first degree murder and arson.
Livingstone was a fixture in the community and loved all things Fenelon Falls. His mother’s side of the family were the original owners of the local pharmacy. MacArthur Drugs has been operating out of the same location on Colborne Street for 125 years.
“There are many more stories but remembering that, to John; the best place to be was Fenelon Falls and the best way to enjoy it was by helping anyone who needed it.” Jolly says fondly.
The award is a hand carved basswood carving mounted on an oak backing done by Al Cochrane.