On November 15, 2003, the Ontario Liberal Party Executive Council passed a motion to rename the Volunteer of the Year Award to the Ellen Portch Memorial Volunteer Award. The motion, tabled by Jim Evans who knew Ellen well, was approved by all in attendance. Over a decade later, on March 2, 2014, Carol Price fittingly tabled a motion to rename the Ellen Portch Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award to the Evans-Portch Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award in honour of both Ellen Portch and Jim Evans. Their service and dedication to the cause was a shining example of what it means to be an extraordinary volunteer.
About Ellen Portch:
Ellen Portch, a long-time resident of Ancaster, volunteered on every federal and provincial election in the area since 1965. Ellen’s volunteer spirit reached outside of politics as well, with her valuable work for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society and the Arthritis Society.
In 2000, Ellen received the Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of her incredible efforts as a volunteer in the Liberal Party. Ellen was honoured to receive the award and she felt it was her responsibility to set an example for other volunteers in the party. Ellen exemplified Liberal values and was able to touch everyone who met her in a special and profound way.
Ellen touched the lives of every Liberal, every politician, and every person who knew her. It is for this spirit, dedication and ability to make a difference that Ellen displayed throughout her life that we commemorate this award.
Ellen passed away on November 5, 2003. She was 86 years old.
About Jim Evans:
For over four decades, Jim Evans worked on countless Liberal campaigns, served as President of the Ontario Liberal Party and held other Executive Council positions throughout the years. Those who knew him - and few didn’t - would describe him as a fixture in the Party and a model Liberal.
Jim was a dedicated and compassionate man, caring deeply for his extended Liberal family. He was a champion for encouraging engagement, particularly among new members and youth. His sense of pride and duty extended beyond the Party to this entire country and meetings he attended were seldom without his strong-voiced singing of “O Canada.”
Jim exemplified the highest standard of commitment to the party and was often described as the perfect volunteer and the perfect Liberal. For this, we commemorate him and his lifelong role in the Party in the renamed Volunteer of the Year award.
Jim passed away on May 5, 2013. He was 66 years old.
Do You Know an Amazing Volunteer?
Please take a moment to nominate a dedicated Liberal you know for the Evans-Portch Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award.
The next award ceremony will take place at our 2015 Annual General Meeting in Blue Mountain. We encourage you to submit your nominations on an ongoing basis.