KILLALOE – On the morning of September 21, 2012, the area was in mourning over the loss of a councillor, a hard-worker and an overall decent man; Ernie Cybulski.
The exact details of Cybulski’s death are still unreleased, but it is a fact that he will be missed by many.
Overwrought from a long and arduous weekend, Mayor Janice Visneskie had only a few words to say about his passing to The Valley Gazette.
“I have a heavy heart and feel a great loss for Ernie’s wife, Sharon, and his daughter Shayne, and his family and friends. It is a great tragedy for council and for the taxpayers of Killaloe, Hagarty & Richards,” Visneskie said.
Noted as a man who did whatever he could to help others, Cybulski is remembered by Visneskie as a strong family man.
“Ernie was an incredible man. He was a man of high principals, ethics, morals and had his strong faith. He believed in strong communities and commitment to those communities. He loved his wife Sharon and his daughter Shayne and always, always spoke so highly of family and family values. His face would shine with pride when he spoke of his daughter,” Visneskie noted.
Working specifically within the realm of waste management for KHR, Cybulski was never afraid to put in a hard day’s work to get the job done or to stand up for what was right.
“He always reminded the rest of us to stand up for what is right, and not just what people want to hear. He leaves a huge void at the council table. He had such passion for waste management and the environment, always knowing there must be a balance. He worked endless days and hours on waste management issues and recreation. He even volunteered to work when the township was short of employees to get the job done. The time and effort he put towards his job often went unknown, unappreciated and often not acknowledged. But that was Ernie. He never wanted praise. He only wanted the best for the people we all service, the people of Killaloe Hagarty & Richards,” she noted.
Well known for his ability to make tough decisions, Cybulski’s principles were what motivated him to make an impact on his family and those around him.
“The issues that face council are often controversial, and often not popular, but because of legislation, peoples needs, or to protect our public, council must act. Ernie never, ever shied away from making tough decisions based on what was right – not on what some people wanted. He worked for the whole township, never allowing his principles of right and wrong to waiver,” Visneskie said.
Visneskie said she was always impressed with Cybulski’s ability to go above and beyond the call of duty, and to always give back to his community through his incomparable work ethic.
“He always gave 110 per cent of himself. I want to thank Sharon, Shayne and all of his family for sharing him with us, and for allowing us to benefit from his many talents, and for showing all of us what dedication and commitment is,” she noted.
Knowing him as more than just a colleague, Visneskie added that she has truly lost a friend.
“He worked hard for the people of Killaloe, Hagarty & Richards and sacrificed much. Council has lost a wonderful colleague. Leslie and I have lost a great friend. Ernie, we will miss you greatly. Godspeed and rest in peace,” Visneskie said.
Councillor Stanley Pecoskie grew up with Cybulski, and holds nothing but kindness and gratitude towards him.
“I’ve known Ernie since he was a child. We grew up together and went to school together in the early years. We went to school at the FS#16 schoolhouse, in behind where the school is in Bonnechere. There were no buses back then,” Pecoskie said.
Serving on their second term together as councillors, Cybulski and Pecoskie spent over six years labouring together over many complex community-related issues.
Story continues in the September 26, 2012 issue of The Valley Gazette.