The Punter Award

The Punter Award has been established to honor volunteers and staff who exemplify the Association’s mission-centered commitment to our communities demonstrated by their significant and sustained service to the Association.

The award nominees must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the Association over a minimum of 15 years;
  • Have demonstrated exemplary leadership, creativity, cooperation and hard work in their service to the Association;
  • Have made an outstanding contribution to the Association, and therefore to the community, through their service.
  • Are recognized for their integrity, commitment to excellence, and their dedication to the development and sustainability of the East Coast Trail.

This award honors outstanding contributions and recognizes individuals who provide services, as a volunteer and/or in a staff position, that strengthen our communities and improve the lives of
our residents through their service. The individuals who qualify for this award reflect the strong ethic of service that is the very foundation of the Association. They are the dream makers that
take up the challenge of the impossible dream “the East Coast Trail” and help make it a reality.

Past Recipients

2024 – Ed Delaney

Award Background

The Punter Award was created to honour and thank Ed Delaney for his 30 years of service as our Trail Manager and extraordinary volunteer. We wanted to recognize the gift of his time, expertise, great effort, unquestionable love of the Trail and his significant contribution to the Association. Ed’s first two years of service were strictly volunteer as a member of our Board of Directors. In the spring of 1997, as he prepared to return to BC to work in the forest industry, Ed answered our call, to stay in Newfoundland and become our Trail Manager, and this was a milestone event, a major turning point for the Association. And for the past twenty-eight years, Ed has excelled as our Trail Manager, and in his off hours and weekends, served as one of our most ardent and dedicated volunteers.

In his position as our Trail Manager, Ed has taken the vision of the East Coast Trail, as defined by our product standards, the overall look and feel of the trail, and physically defined and laid it down on the ground, delivering 336 km of fully developed market ready trail over the past 28 years, as well as the ongoing maintenance of the trail over the past 23 years, and our trail enhancement program over the past 14 years.

In addition, as Trail Manager, for many years, Ed was the face of the ECT for landowners and communities, he was our point person for community outreach dealing the problems and issues encountered along the trail. Ed has given freely of his time and expertise as a volunteer for 30 years. He exemplifies the Association’s commitment to our communities demonstrated by his significant and sustained service to the Association. He has supported all of the following committees, and a lot more ad hoc committees across the years:

  • Volunteer Trail Maintenance,
  • Custodian Committee
  • Hiking Committee
  • Standards Committee
  • Land & Legal Committee
  • Trail Raiser Community Hike
  • Community Relations

Ed sat on and attended all the meetings of the Trail Management Committee, Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. His principled voice of reason regarding the need to maintain the integrity of the Trail and its environment in its natural state is always present and heard loud and clear with great respect by all.

When we think of Ed Delaney, as we worked with him and watched him in action for 30 years, the following phrases come to mind: Hard work, Dedication, Commitment, Determination, Integrity & Trust, Defender and protector of the trail and the environment of the trail, Striving for excellence, Lives and breathes the trail, and his enthusiasm and love for the trail is infectious… Trust, respect, honesty, and fairness have been an essential part of Ed’s daily interactions  with his trail crew, staff and all volunteers.

The name we choose is “the Punter Award” in memory of Ed’s very loyal and faithful dog Punter, a loving and sweet-tempered Newfoundland Dog.