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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

  • City awards to UW geologist . . .
  • . . . pipe expert who also coaches . . .
  • . . . and nationally known track coach
Chris Redmond

The halcyon days


City awards to UW geologist . . .

This year's three winners of the Waterloo Awards, given by the city for "exemplary contributions to community", are all UW people: two faculty members and a local teacher who has served as coach for the Warrior track and field teams for 15 years.

Says a news release from the city of Waterloo: "Waterloo Award recipients for 2004 were selected in early October by a committee with representation from City staff, volunteers, and council. Up to three Waterloo Awards have been presented each year since 1997, from nominations made by City of Waterloo employees or volunteers. The Waterloo Award is the municipality's most prestigious recognition."

The award were presented at a city council meeting on November 1.

This year's winners included earth sciences professor Alan Morgan (pictured), cited as "a significant contributor to the City of Waterloo over many years. He has provided countless voluntary hours to the community: for public presentations on environmental matters; to develop interpretive signage for two of Waterloo's largest greenspace areas; and to demonstrate and share his knowledge of eco-friendly landscaping principles.

"Since 1987, Alan Morgan has delivered numerous presentations to local schools, community groups, events, conferences and meetings concerned with the environment. He also led the development of audio signage for Waterloo's Moraine and Kettle Lake. And he contributed his expertise for the West Side Trail Hike and EcoFestival initiatives, as well as for the development of RIM Park Geology signs. In each of these ventures, Alan has shared his extensive knowledge and expertise at a 'down-to-earth' level, to inform and educate various age groups.

"Through his volunteer efforts, Alan Morgan has contributed numerous hours to coordinating and preparing text and photographs for educational, informative Waterloo public trail signage. Currently, he is working with Waterloo's Trail Advisory Committee, to install and design a Geological time trail, to teach trail users about natural history and the events that shaped our earth.

"In partnership with his wife Anne and Waterloo's Partners in Parks Program, Alan Morgan's eco-friendly garden has extended beyond the Morgan property into public parkland, where it is a showcase for gardening with native plant species. The Morgans' award-winning gardening is educational, aesthetically pleasing, and also creates valuable wildlife habitat."


. . . pipe expert who also coaches . . .

A second award recipient was Mark Knight (right) of the department of civil engineering, cited as "an on-going, key volunteer contributor to initiatives and projects that benefit the City of Waterloo and our community. Mark has made himself available and accessible to City staff, to provide input into many utilities projects and studies.

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  • "Most recently, Mark was a significant contributor to a Waterloo team study on discoloured water. To give you an idea of the depth of his volunteer commitment, he received a draft final report on the study for his review and comments, just prior to leaving on a camping vacation. Upon his return, he met with City staff to review the notes he had made on several hundred damp, crumpled pages of the draft report -- notes which he had written late at night in his tent, by flashlight, while his young family slept nearby.

    "Mark Knight has also positively impacted and represented Waterloo, in his professional life. As Executive Director for CATT (Centre for Advancement of Trenchless Technologies), Mark has represented the interests of the Centre, the University of Waterloo, and the City of Waterloo at over 100 speaking engagements within and outside of Canada. Many of these talks have been training sessions for municipal employees.

    "Mark Knight has also contributed to our community as a volunteer hockey and soccer coach. And in recent years, he oversaw the design, development and eventual construction of a recently completed outdoor Learning Circle in the playground area of Empire Public School. The Learning Circle is described as a crowning achievement for Empire School's 50th year celebrations, which grew from Mark's vision and tireless dedication."

    . . . and nationally known track coach

    Engineering alumni pub night in Vaughan, 6 p.m., Sam & Pete's, 70 Interchange Way.

    Mature students end-of-term lunch Wednesday, 12 noon, South Campus Hall, information ext. 2429.

    Relationships seminar: "Seven Things That I Have Learned", by psychologist John Theis, sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, Wednesday 12 noon, Rod Coutts Hall room 301.

    Modern Languages carol sing led by Jake Willms, Wednesday 12:15, all welcome.

    Winter term fees due Friday by cheque or December 30 by bank payment, details online.

    'Sharing the Bayeux Tapestry', hosted by retired faculty member Ray Dugan, who embroidered a replica of the tapestry, Friday 7 p.m., St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Kitchener.

    [McFarlane] The third award from the city went to Brent McFarlane (right), whose volunteer work has included some 35 years of coaching with the Kitchener-Waterloo Track and field Association. In addition, since 1989 he's been coaching UW's track and field Warriors, both men and women,

    He has worked with more than 30 Canadian national teams, and served as head coach for the track and field squad that represented Canada at the Olympic Games in Sydney four years ago. Altogether he's been to seven Olympics. A 1973 graduate of UW's kinesiology program, he is noted as a highly scientific coach who works with his athletes on every detail of their mechanics and training.

    Said a citation read at the city council meeting: "Mr. McFarlane has partnered with numerous local service clubs, municipalities and private businesses, to source travel funding for local athletes to attend national and international meets, and was instrumental in designing the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex's indoor track. Mr. McFarlane not only coaches and encourages amateur athletes, but also writes extensively about training techniques and has conducted over 500 coaching clinics within North America and internationally."

    What the citation didn't mention is that McFarlane's coaching career may be coming to an end, as he concentrates his efforts on his own body. A feature article in the Record in October described his position starkly: "McFarlane has dedicated his life to helping others run faster and get stronger. Now, at 56, his body in the grips of Parkinson's disease, he is steadily growing slower and weaker. . . .

    "He doesn't have enough muscle control to write longhand any more, but he can type. He works on his upcoming books -- one is about athletic training, the other about living with Parkinson's."


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