By Joel van der Veen
ELBOW — Three contenders were neck-and-neck for the title of Elbow’s Citizen of the Year, divided by a spread of just eight votes.
In the end, Joe Parent was the winner of this year’s title, presented during the village’s ratepayers meeting on Wednesday.
Parent was nominated in recognition of his efforts to beautify the town, and in particular his work on the Urban Orchard at the centre of Elbow.
Mayor Rob Hundeby, who presented the award, thanked Parent personally for his work in leading the crew of volunteers that tends and maintains the orchard.
“It’s just awesome to see that flourish,” said the mayor.
A report by the Friends of the Orchard indicated a successful year with a bountiful harvest that included apples, saskatoon berries and multiple varieties of cherries.
Parent in turn thanked those who nominated and voted for him, saying he was proud of the orchard — calling it a “unique” place in Elbow — and grateful for the support of the village and volunteers.
He has also worked on the village park and the entrance garden at the Elbow cemetery.
Also nominated this year were Evelyn Bramble and Grace McTavish. Residents and ratepayers were eligible to vote for their nominee of choice.