The Marie Armstrong Award (formerly known as Ottawa’s Favorite Crossing Guard Award) is presented yearly the Crossing Guard who shows high levels of excellence and dedication to the important role of keeping our community’s children safe.
The cash prize is generously donated by Marie Armstrong’s family – to honour her memory. Here is what Marie’s family has to say about her:
“Marie Armstrong was born in a fishing village known as Avondale, Newfoundland, in 1932. At the age of 18, Marie left for Montreal with her new husband. After a few years in the city, she moved to Dollard des Ormeaux in the West Island.
Marie had 6 children, the youngest of which was 20 years younger than the eldest. When her youngest child, Maria, went to first grade at Ecole Dollard des Ormeaux, she saw a crossing guard for the first time. Thinking it would be great to help out, as she was going back and forth to school with Maria daily, she inquired as to how she might volunteer. After registering at the local police station, Marie began her career as a crossing guard. Under the impression that it was a volunteer position, she failed to pick up paychecks for months! While thrilled by the news, she could not believe that she was actually getting paid for something she felt very happy to do.
Over the next 12 years as a crossing guard, she got to know all of the children and their parents well. She knew who needed a hug and who was at risk. She cared deeply for their little souls and never missed a day for fear that some child might need her. Marie, who was affectionately known as “granny” to her 10 grandchildren, and “GG” to her 4 great-grandchildren, never said an unkind word about anybody in her life and was always looking out for children, whether hers or not. We, as her family, are delighted to honour her memory by lending her name to this award.” – James Miller (Marie’s Grandson)