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Michael Burden honoured with Sackville Citizen of the Year Award

Sackville Mayor John Higham, left, presents Michael Burden with a gift on behalf of the town, recognizing him as Sackville’s 2019 Citizen of the Year.
Sackville Mayor John Higham, left, presents Michael Burden with a gift on behalf of the town, recognizing him as Sackville’s 2019 Citizen of the Year. - Katie Tower

‘Good Samaritan’ looks out for everyone

SACKVILLE, N.B. —

He’s a shining example of what a Good Samaritan should be. And Michael Burden was honoured for that dedication to his community over the weekend as he was presented with Sackville’s Citizen of the Year award.

“Michael is what citizenship and community are all about, and an important part of what makes Sackville such a great place to live,” said Mayor John Higham in presenting Burden with the award during the Fall Fair opening ceremonies Friday evening.

Higham said Burden is one of those people who go out of their way to assist fellow residents and he has been doing so since he moved here 36 years ago.

“To single parents and to those with special needs he is the “man on call”, only he never needs to be called. He leads his favorite dog Chance daily over the streets of Sackville and is quick to spot things that may require his attention.”

 Stories of his good works are legendary, said Higham. He has been known to push his lawnmower several blocks to mow lawns for those unable to mow their own. And when he spots a person shoveling snow from a driveway, he often will disappear only to return with his own snow blower and complete the task.

A retired school teacher from Dorchester Penitentiary, Burden is constantly on the lookout for anything out of order.

“He and Chance will stop to assist children who may be having a problem or assist older folks cross the street. He will gladly offer a ride to those in need and will serve as chauffeur. And these are only some of the things he has become known for.”

Burden pays special attention to those living in his neighbourhood around Hillcrest Avenue.

Many of his friends and neighbors shared their stories about Burden in his nomination.  

Mora MacDonald said, “Mike has often come to shovel the snow in a snowstorm. He has come to help me when I need something done around the house . . . Mike always remembers my children’s birthdays . . .”

Norma Sears said, “Michael loves everybody and everything – from people to animals and to the birds in the sky.”

Nancy Vogan said, “Over the years I have seen Mike assist many others in the neighborhood and beyond in a variety of ways. He is always the first one to welcome people to the neighborhood.”

Anne Pirie said, “I know that Mike does many helpful gestures of kindness and generosity for people . . . I view MIke as a guardian in our neighborhood.”

And Kristen Harpur said, “Mike looks out for everyone on our street . . . He clears my driveway for me with each snowstorm if school isn’t cancelled, he’s out there at 6 a.m. shoveling snow so I can get to work. That, to me, is a great citizen.”

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