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North Bend honors past and present residents
NORTH BEND - In what could be one of the final acts of her two terms, Mayor Joan Simpson bestowed a handful of awards on city residents past and present.
It was a difficult year for the city, Simpson said at the Dec. 2 ceremony, as three "major community icons" passed away. To honor their spirit, drive and dedication to the community, Simpson awarded them with the city's first-ever Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Three current residents also were honored for their dedication to the community.
The award winners were:
* George Macris (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Macris was the longtime owner of George's Bakery in North Bend. Born in Greece, Macris immigrated to Seattle at the age of 17 and eventually started the North Bend business in 1964.
George's Bakery, which Macris sold in the '90s, continues to be a meeting place for community members and city staff. Simpson said she first knew the extent of the reputation of the business while taking a class in Bellevue many years ago. When classmates discovered Simpson was from North Bend, many asked about the bakery.
"I've traveled from Canada to Mexico and people have asked me, 'Do you still have that little bakery out there?'' said Simpson.
A longtime supporter of the city's Alpine Days event, Macris was applauded by Simpson for his constant support of the community.
* Dick Zemp (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Zemp was described by Simpson as a man with a "wonderful delivery" who was "eloquent with his words."
"He had a wonderful ability to speak to folks and to speak from the heart," said Simpson. "The community has benefited from his vision."
Zemp, a self-made business man, was instrumental in bringing Safeway and the Factory Stores at North Bend to the area, and is often credited with keeping the city out of bankruptcy in the 1970s.
His business activities eventually would take him around the world, including a stint in the Middle East building a railroad.
* Francis North (Lifetime Achievement Award)
A longtime city councilwoman and state legislator, North earned a reputation for championing local parks and preservation efforts, including that of Mount Si.
"I don't think that anybody that looks at Mount Si doesn't think of Francis," said Simpson. "I still go places and people ask me about Francis.
"When you think of North Bend you think of Francis North," she added.
* Mary Norton (Volunteer of the Decade)
Norton was awarded the city's first Volunteer of the Decade honor. Volunteer of the Year has been a staple in the city for years, Simpson said, but this newest award was created just for Norton.
"When I first got involved in politics, I'd have a question and people would tell me, 'Go ask Mary, she'll know,'" said Simpson.
Norton has headed the Meadowbrook Preservation Society and has played an instrumental role in the property and the development of the interpretive center on the farm.
* John Day (Volunteer of the Year)
Day is owner of John Day Homes and in addition to being responsible for building such developments as Forster Woods, Simpson said, he also has earned a reputation as one who gives to local schools. Day is involved in Little League and has been a proponent of children's activities in North Bend, Simpson added.
* Terril Perrine (Citizen of the Year)
As president of the Safe Kids Task Force, Perrine was a "driving force" in staving off the state Department of Social and Health Services' attempt to locate a sex-offender halfway house near North Bend, Simpson said.
Perrine also is a familiar face at council meetings, and has been heavily involved in the community.