Saturday, June 24th, 2017 will be a date that will be forever remembered in the
Municipality of Central Elgin as the day that Hofhuis Park was dedicated to the
Hofhuis Family, in recognition of their devotion to the community and to the many
contributions that defined what Port Stanley and Elgin County is today.
Gathered today for the dedication was David Marr, Mayor of the Municipality of Central
Elgin, Members of Council from the Municipality of Central Elgin, Past Council Members
from Central Elgin and Elgin County, Karen Vecchio, MP of Elgin, Middlesex, London,
and Jeff Yurek, MPP of Elgin, Middlesex, London.
Many of the dedication speakers recounted memories that had become their own lasting
personal tribute to Sylvia Hofhuis whose public service career began in 1988 as
a Councillor in Port Stanley. She soon became the Deputy Reeve, and, shortly after
that, the Reeve of Port Stanley. In 2003, Sylvia was elected Deputy Mayor of Central
Elgin, and in 2006 became Mayor, a position she held until her passing in 2010.
Sylvia was a member of Elgin County Council for twelve years, and Warden of Elgin
County in 2007. During her time in politics, she was the driving force in the Harbour
Divestiture talks, and the Blue Flag Program for Port Stanley Beaches. She was also
a board member and Chair of countless organizations, including Elgin Community Living,
the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Board, and the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art
David Marr, Mayor of the Municipality of Central Elgin told the story of how Dr.
John Hofhuis was first introduced to the Port Stanley Community. It happened because
of the efforts of a fellow Doctor encouraging John to set up practice in Port Stanley,
and was driving John around in van showing him all sites. The funny part was that
the van didn't have a passenger seat, and John was sitting on a crate. At the time,
he must have been impressed enough with Port Stanley as a great place to start his
practice because the rest is history. Dr. John Hofhuis has provided over 35 years
of dedicated service to the people of Port Stanley and Elgin County as a General
Practitioner of Medicine and as the County Coroner.
Dr. John Hofhuis spoke about how in 1979, when he first came to Port Stanley with
Sylvia, that they both agreed to try it for a year, and you know how that went.
He thanked everyone for their kind words and spoke about Sylvia's vision and contribution's
to the Harbour Divestiture Program which benefits Port Stanley, Central Elgin, and
Elgin County. He was also thankful for the park and how the park will develop in the future allowing
Sylvia's dream and legacy to live on.