CCI National Penman Smith Award
A special award named after a special man...
Penman was born on November 11, 1911. He was Head Cadet at St. Andrews College in the 1920's and went on to serve as a R.C.A.F. Flight Lieutenant during WW II. After the war he became the Vice-President of Mohawk Mills in Hamilton and eventually a civil servant. Pen was a founder and builder of the Aldershot Presbyterian Church, an Elder Emeritus and Clerk Session for 35 years as well as a founding member of the church’s choir.
Pen was involved with the condominium community for over 25 years. In 1973, he and his wife, Haldis, purchased a condominium in Burlington. Pen ran and was elected to his condominium’s first Board of Directors and helped steer the condominium through its first few years of existence. He helped to form the Association of Halton Condominiums and later the Southern Ontario Condominium Association, ("SOCA"). In 1979, the Ontario government created a provincial organization called Condominium Ontario and Pen became its President in 1980. When that organization was subsequently dissolved Pen, along with a handful of other dedicated volunteers, founded the Canadian Condominium Institute on October 25th, 1982. SOCA was wound down and became the Golden Horseshoe Chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute. Pen was elected the first President of the Chapter and remained in that position for over 10 years. In 1984, he was named the first "Condominium Man of the Year" by Condominium Magazine. In his role as a national director Pen developed CCI’s first Directors' Course. Pen also generously donated his time to help those involved with the creation of the London and Area Chapter of CCI.
The National Board made Pen an Associate of the Canadian Condominium Institute (ACCI) in recognition of his involvement with the creation of the organization. He was subsequently elevated to a Fellow of the Canadian Condominium Institute in 1998, the highest honour CCI can bestow, in honour of his outstanding contribution to the Institute and the condominium community.
Upon his retirement from the Golden Horseshoe Board he was made a Director Emeritus and honorary lifetime member of the chapter. In 1988, Pen wrote and published "A Layman's Guide to the Condominium Act" in what turned out to be a very successful attempt to de-mystify the Condominium Act. He also began writing a column for two local newspapers called "Condofax" which ran for over 10 years. Pen subsequently compiled many of his columns and published them in a book called "A Guide to Condominium Living". During his time with the Golden Horseshoe Chapter Pen was also the editor and, more often than not, the chief contributor to the Condo News. To recognize Pen’s contribution to our chapter and to CCI generally, the Golden Horseshoe Chapter, in conjunction with the National Board of Directors of CCI, created the “Penman H. Smith Award” to be awarded annually to the CCI chapter that produces the best newsletter of the year.
Pen was a true friend and mentor to many of us in CCI. He was always ready to volunteer for the next seminar or course. He gave freely of his time to help others in the condominium community and was always cheerful when answering the innumerable phone calls and letters from condominium board members and homeowners asking for his advice. Pen's longterm commitment to CCI, and the man himself, are best illustrated by his own words, "To me it is most encouraging to be a part of a movement whose ideals are rooted in the welfare of others. I only hope that I may continue to participate in the warmth and fellowship which animates this activity."
It was with great sadness that his many friends at CCI bade farewell to their dear friend Penman Smith who passed away on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 at the age of 91.
Pen is greatly missed by his wife Haldis, his sons and daughters-in law, Robin and Diana, David and Rolande, Jonathan, and his grandchildren, Timothy and Juliana.