SDG COUNTIES — On Jan, 22, 1979 Hubert Quart was the Warden of the United Counties of SDG, the prime minister was Pierre Elliott Trudeau and gasoline was 23.6 cents a litre.
It was also the first day of work for Helen Thomson, who since that time has amassed more than 40 years of municipal experience in a career that began as an administrative assistant in the planning department.
“I feel very fortunate to have had such a long career at the County and I truly enjoyed my work,” Thomson said. “I have worked with many great Wardens, Councils and staff. The County has seen me through many of life’s milestones – getting married, having children and now grandchildren.”
Thomson said her decision to retire came with “mixed emotions” as she weighed her love of work along with her love of family.
“I discovered through the COVID shut down, I really enjoy being at home,” she said. “My office visitors were one-, two- and three-year-olds and a farmer who stopped for lunch. I have realized it is time.”
Thomson said she is looking forward to more time with her husband Don on their Martintown-area dairy farm. She and Don have three children, Drew, Kurtis and Kelsey, as well as five grandchildren, Brooke, Tristan, Scotlyn, Adelyn and Ashton. County CAO Tim Simpson congratulated Thomson on her decision and added a successor will have large shoes to fill.
“I have worked with many staff members over my own 30-year career in municipal government, and I can truly say that there is no one I have enjoyed working alongside more than Helen,” said Simpson. “Her loyalty to the County, professionalism, and work ethic are second to none. She has been my ‘go to’ colleague for almost 10 years and her retirement marks the end of an era in SDG.”
Warden Frank Prevost likewise congratulated Thomson on a most-deserving retirement.
“If I have a question, I know that Helen has the answer,” said Prevost. “On behalf of County Councils both past and present, I wish Helen all the best in her retirement and I know she will enjoy her time as a grandmother in the years to come.”
The County will begin work on a succession plan soon, with an update for County Council coming later this year.