Charles Mann is a fixture in Kincardine – a person whose impact will be felt for generations to come.

Mr. Mann, 90, was the recipient of the Bruce Power Citizen of the Year award during the Kincardine and District Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards gala, on Sat., March 23. The retired Bruce nuclear employee, who has a long history of decorated military service and community activism through politics and volunteering, was honoured to receive the award.

“This is the culmination of my life tonight,” Mr. Mann told the crowd, noting he’d be 91 in the coming weeks.

Dwight Irwin, Communications Specialist at Bruce Power, presented Mr. Mann with the award and outlined the many reasons why he was so deserving of the honour. This is his speech:

Bruce Power is once again proud to sponsor the Citizen of the Year Award.

Social responsibility is one of our key values as a company and this year’s recipient – Charles Mann – is one of the best examples of community leadership Kincardine has known in its 160-year history.

Mr. Mann is well known for his bravery while serving with the elite Devil’s Brigade during the Second World War, where he went behind enemy lines to help defeat the enemy in Italy. Over the years, Charles has stayed active with the veterans of the Brigade, which was a special service force made up of Canadians and Americans. Earlier this year, Mr. Mann and the Brigade were presented the Award of Excellence by Defence Minister Peter McKay and Veteran Affairs Minister Steven Blaney.

After the war, Mr. Mann entered the nuclear energy business, joining the Atomic Energy Control Board in 1946. He worked at Rolfton and Chalk River until 1960, before transferring to Kincardine to work at the Douglas Point facility on the Bruce nuclear site. Although the Town of Kincardine didn’t know it at the time, it was soon obvious the town had inherited a tireless volunteer and community champion, who continues to work for the betterment of the community over 50 years later.

In the 1970s, Charles served nine years as a Kincardine town councillor, while volunteering on numerous committees at the same time. He then served as mayor of the town for 14 years between 1981 and 1997.

Still full of energy at age 90, Charles continues to be an active member the Kincardine branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, and he has represented Canadian veterans at memorial functions in Canada and Europe.

Mr. Mann has been a positive force in our community for over 50 years. He has played a major role in solidifying the foundation of the vibrant, strong community we all love today, and that’s why, on behalf of Bruce Power, I am honoured to present him with this year’s Citizen of the Year Award.