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Winning 4H Canada scholarships seems to be a generational thing for the Bellows family of Irishtown-Summerside

McAuley Bellows, winner of a major 4H Canada scholarship, had no idea his mom Hilda had also won a 4H scholarship when she was younger.
McAuley Bellows, winner of a major 4H Canada scholarship, had no idea his mom Hilda had also won a 4H scholarship when she was younger. - Gary Kean

The Bellows family of Irishtown-Summerside added an exciting new chapter to their tradition of being involved in 4H Canada this week.

McAuley Bellows, 18, was named one of four young people from across Canada to win a 2018 4-H Canada Leadership Excellence Award of Distinction.

The award consists of a $20,000 post-secondary scholarship and Bellows being eventually matched with a high-impact mentor who plays a leadership role in their industry and community.

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What the bright young man and avid community volunteer hadn’t known until now was that his mother, Hilda Bellows, won a similar award 33 years ago. In 1985, his mom was Newfoundland and Labrador’s winner of a Citizenship in Study Award, handed out by 4H Canada for youth who had significant achievements in community betterment and citizenship projects.

He never found out until he went to deliver his own good news his grandmother, Mona McAuley, who was a 4H Canada leader in her younger days. His nan was excited to hear he had won an award similar to the one his mother had won many years ago.

Hilda Bellows was given $1,000 for her scholarship and there was no mentoring opportunity to be experienced back then, but the prize still meant a lot to the family.

“It meant as much to us because $1,000 was a big deal to my mother and father at that time,” said Hilda, whose involvement with 4H continues to this day. “It wasn’t easy to put me through nursing school and this was a great help to have.”

McAuley, who is in his first year of business studies at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in Corner Brook and hopes to one day pursue a career in law, also won his scholarship based on his community involvement. He began volunteering in Grade 8 and has not slowed down, whether it is participating in 4H events, school activities or anything the town and community groups have organized.

He said the town of Irishtown-Summerside has always been such a strong supporter of the 4H Canada club and what the club does for youth. He’s glad this award can help give some deserved recognition back to the town and the organization.

“It was good to see that a family tradition has turned into something that has helped us, but it’s so nice to see something the community is so behind helping the community in the end, too,” said McAuley.

McAuley will travel to Saskatoon in January to formally receive the scholarship and to find out more about who he will be partnered with for the mentoring component of the award.

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