“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.”
That’s how Brockville Citizen of the Year Adrian Geraghty summed up the importance of the people who give back to their community, as they were celebrated Thursday night at the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce Awards of Excellence gala.
The former city police chief reflected on moving to Canada from Ireland in the mid-1960s (not, as some of his fans joked earlier, right after the Potato Famine), the welcome he received from the community and the desire it stirred in him to give back.
Geraghty recalled working at Black and Decker, wanting a change, then answering an ad in The Recorder and Times seeking applicants for a police officer’s position.
A long interview with then police chief Les Sterritt ensued, followed by a distinguished policing career.
Geraghty’s volunteering activities include 27 years coaching soccer, alongside the sadly missed Pat Beasley. He also chaired the Care & Share Golf Tourney, served two terms on Brockville General Hospital’s community advisory board, and currently chairs both the Career Services of Brockville board and the advisory board of St. Lawrence College’s police foundations program. He has also been involved with the Tall Ships Festival.
“I am truly honoured to be with so many great people,” said Geraghty, referring to past Citizens of the Year.
The 60th annual Awards of Excellence event at the Memorial Centre hall matched the galas of previous years, packing the room with some 270 people to celebrate local volunteers, organizations and businesses.