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Walkway to Gull Lake Rotary Park barge to be named after Fred Schulz

The walkway to the Gull Lake Rotary Park barge will be named after the man that’s likely walked across it more than anyone else.

The Town of Gravenhurst council unanimously approved naming the walkway to the barge the “Fred Schulz Walkway” Tuesday afternoon.

Schulz has been the Coordinator for Music on the Barge for 50 years. He’s also spent time as Manager of the Gravenhurst Opera House, President of the Gravenhurst Seniors’ Centre, and as a wedding officiant. The motion, put forward by Coun. Penny Varney, says the sign will be to recognize Schulz‘s years of “hard work, volunteerism, and dedication to the town.”

“I think we all know how dedicated and how much work free has done for the town,” she told council. Varney said she’s known Schulz since they were kids. Her parents owned a cottage on Sparrow Lake and were frequent visitors to Schulz‘s parent’s store in Kilworthy. Varney said they’ve been friends ever since.

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“I think Fred is the most amazing compliment to our town in so many different ways, especially when you see him working so hard to put on Music on the Barge every Sunday night for so many years,” Varney added, noting how hands-on he is setting up each week. “I think this is a really important pathway naming for our friend Fred Schulz.”

Fred Schulz (centre) was given a plaque by Deputy Mayor Heidi Lorenz (far left), Mayor Paul Kelly (to Schulz’s right), and Coun. Penny Varney (far right) to honour his 50 years of leading the Music on the Barge cocnert series (Photo credit: Sue Kelly)

The honour comes after the town gave Schulz a plaque ahead of the return of Music on the Barge after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Paul Kelly, Deputy Mayor Heidi Lorenz, and Varney gave him the plaque at the July 10 concert in honour of his 50th season leading the concert series. 

“There’s no one like Fred Schulz,” Lorenz said. “This community is very lucky to have him.”

Schulz joined the virtual meeting to thank council and all those who have supported him over the years.

“Mayor Kelly and council I’m really at a loss for words,” he said. “I’m just so honoured to receive this naming and I want to thank you all for your kind comments. I couldn’t be prouder. Thank you very much.”

Kelly said the honour is “very well deserved” for his many contributions to making Gravenhurst a better place. 

He added that the timeline for when the sign will be installed hasn’t been figured out yet. Kelly said he’s hopeful it will be in place before the last concert of the 2022 season on Sunday, Aug. 21.

The penultimate concert is, weather permitting, on Sunday, Aug. 14 at 7:30 featuring The Good Brothers.

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