Tyson’s Thoughts is published online every Thursday at northislandgazette.com, and in print the following Wednesday.

Tyson’s Thoughts: John Tidbury is proof of what loving your community can drive a person to accomplish

John Tidbury will be awarded the “Key to the City” this weekend at special ceremony.

John Tidbury will be awarded the “Key to the City” this weekend at a special ceremony put on by the District of Port Hardy.

I could sit here and write a four-page biography on John and talk about all the things he has done over the years to contribute to Port Hardy and what he means to the community, but instead I think I’ll just try my best to entertain you with some thoughts.

I’ve known John since I was a little kid, and after extensively wracking my brain, this is probably my favourite memory of him.

When I was a teenager growing up here, Halloween was my favourite night of the year. My friends and I would round up some fireworks and go out and see what kind of trouble we could get up to, which usually ended in a huge roman candle war (mom if you’re reading this, it was Andy’s fault).

Midway through the night we would always stop at Port Hardy Secondary School and get a free hot chocolate and hot dog from John, who was there with the Lion’s Club every single year without fail. John was always smiling and in a good mood as he handed us our free food.

That pretty much sums up how John is as a person.

He goes to every event and is always busy working, whether it’s handling sound and lights, fighting fires with Port Hardy Fire Rescue, or helping organize the Gazette’s Christmas Hamper Fund, John is always there in the background putting in the time.

For a man who is 70-71, his work ethic is incredible, and it makes me realize what the power of loving your community can drive a person to accomplish. I think we can all learn something from John’s dedication to volunteerism and how it makes a community a much better place to live, because he truly sets the bar in that category for Port Hardy residents.

Let’s put John’s commitment to community work to the side for a minute and discuss his work as a councillor for the District of Port Hardy.

As everyone knows, councillors have to make tough decisions on a daily basis and they have to answer to the taxpayers when there’s any issues.

John has consistently been one of the strongest voices at the council table, and I can’t recall him ever missing a meeting since I started at the North Island Gazette in 2015. Talk about dedication to civic duty.

Whether he’s standing up for the North Island Mall after losing one of their biggest renters, or arguing for wildfire donations to go to the Salvation Army instead of the Red Cross, he is a man of his word and will fight for what he thinks is the right thing to do for the community.

I’m sure John’s family will be in attendance when he receives this prestigious award, and I’m looking forward to chatting with his son Sean about our old fighting days when we lived in Nanaimo (for the record, Sean never tapped me out once in the four or so years we trained together haha).

Anyways, that’s enough from me.

Congrats, John. This award was well earned and you deserve your moment in the spotlight, because we all know you are the last person who would have ever asked for it.

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