The Blue Mountains paid tribute to late Deputy Mayor Rob Potter at a special tree dedication ceremony on May 28.
Family, friends and colleagues gathered on the lawn outside of town hall to honour the legacy and memory of Potter, who died in November 2021. Speakers took turns remembering Potter’s contributions to the community as a volunteer, writer and editor for the local newspaper and member of council.
Potter’s widow, Linda, said his father once tried to talk Rob into returning to his hometown of St. Catharines.
“He liked it here - there was one set of stop lights,” said Linda. “He was glad to be in this community. You have to live here 30 years and marry a local girl to become a local - Rob did that.”
Potter had a long history of community service. He was the founding President of the Marsh Street Centre, a member of the Craigleith Heritage Depot steering committee, served on many municipal committees including Community Assist for an Urban Study (CAUSE), the Sustainable Path steering committee and the attainable housing committee. He was also a key member of Thornbury Community Theatre and was involved with minor sports and Relay for Life.
“The time and effort he devoted to our community, particularly over the last few months when we could all see the toll his cancer was taking, was truly without parallel,” said The Blue Mountains Mayor Alar Soever. “I have never seen such selfless dedication in anyone. In dedicating these trees in memory of Rob, we ensure that Rob’s example of selfless service to our community will be with councils, both present and future, for years to come.”
Judy Buckle, Potter’s sister, spoke at the ceremony and said Potter’s family is very grateful Rob has been memorialized by his community.
“It really is an honour for myself and my family to know Rob has been remembered,” said Buckle. “He would have been so proud of everything that has happened here today.”
Coun. Andrea Matrosovs said it is fitting that the trees dedicated to Potter are next to the Beaver River.
“I love the fact that when you’re walking there you hear the rumble of the water. That was the voice Rob left in our community,” said Matrosovs. “Rob has not left our community. He is still here. He is everywhere you look.”
Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca