Mary Lou Souter for Councillor – What was my first clue?

Endorsement of anyone for anything is to be contemplated cautiously. Although endorsement in the political arena is a public proclamation of support, it is more significantly an assertion of validation.  When appraising the pros and cons of an individual for public office, it helps to know more than the advertised credentials (such as the library board, the textile museum, the HUB, Almonte Centennial Celebrations and 2008 Mississippi Mills Cultural Volunteerism Award – all of which just happen to apply to Mary Lou Souter). The acid test however is more personal.

It was somewhere in 1976 (almost half a century ago) when I first met Mary Lou Souter (and her late husband John Souter). The longevity – and serendipitous uninterrupted continuity – of our acquaintance is certainly one of those compelling personal ingredients. In a nutshell, she’s been around a long time. As one who has subsisted here for the same length of time I will not presume to equate the duration with entitlement to being called a “local” but it certainly merits the presumption of familiarity with what’s going on in the Town of Mississippi Mills.

Mary Lou Souter lives on Ann Street in the Almonte Ward. It is a mature part of town capturing much of the Town’s history, including at one end C. R. Gamble Funeral Home & Chapel (successor of the Comba Funeral Home begun in 1920 and housed in the impressive 4-storey structure built in 1854 by Daniel Galbraith, a lumber baron and a lawyer who served as the area representative in the Federal Legislature) and the Almonte Presbyterian Church (constructed in 1865, its first minister being the Rev. William McKenzie, father of the famous sculptor Dr. R. Tait McKenzie). At the other end of Ann Street is the Almonte Lawn Bowling Club established in 1911.

I have on occasion been associated with Mary Lou Souter through some of those credentials I mentioned above. It was this familiarity which triggered the sometimes knee-jerk sentiments I now harbour of her. Specifically, I reckon her to be an outspoken person which isn’t to say she is controversial, rather forthright and unequivocal. She has by her direct involvement in local associations proven her commitment to some of the Town’s most elemental features (such as the Elizabeth Kelly Library and the Almonte Community Co-ordinators). I know her to be a moderate person who has never exhibited what I account to be anything either frivolous or ill-considered. She is also kind and generous, attributes which I rank high on the public platform.

I am wagering as well that more than a little Scottish heritage insinuates her veins and readily percolates its sometimes austere bent, not exactly a disadvantage when handling other people’s money. She is familiar with many of the residents of Mississippi Mills in general and Almonte in particular. Though it is for most a small compliment, she is retired which means she has the time to devote to the demanding enterprise of municipal government.

Mary Lou Souter is a dog lover (Scottish Terrier as you might expect). She has worked with many of the women (Fern Martin, Janet Duncan to name but two) whom I value as critical characters of our local society. I have no hesitation accepting outright her bona fides for political involvement.

In short, it is with pleasure that I affirm my endorsement of Mary Lou Souter for election as councillor to the Town of Mississippi Mills in October, 2022.

Library Board – Mary Lou Souter.