PORT HARDY—Russ Hellberg and Jim King of the 101 Squadron appeared before council last week to let the mayor know that they thought she was number one.
The pair presented Mayor Bev Parnham with coin 001 of its Challenge Coin series during the weekly council meeting.
A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion — usually military— bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members.
In practice, challenge coins are normally presented by unit commanders, by a member of the unit, in recognition of special achievement. They are also exchanged in recognition of visits to an organization.
The numbered series of coins were minted to commemorate a series of achievements by the organization last year: winning both the National and Pacific Group’s Wing of the Year awards; celebrating 15 years in service; and marking the completion of the memorial cairns project which saw monuments erected at all 13 fatal aircraft accident sites across the North Island, Central Coast and Haida Gwaii.
“That’s just beautiful,” said the mayor, “I can see why you guys won the awards, that’s absolutely gorgeous.”
The coins are available for purchase at $15 each. Contact Hellberg at 250-902-1234 for more information.
The presentation kicked off a busy week for 101 Squadron members, who hosted an auction Saturday and a reception and send-off for Art Brochu earlier this week.
Saturday’s fundraiser brought in around $7,000 for the organization according to Hellberg’s estimates. He said that around half of that money would go towards the planned upgrade of the cenotaph, with the rest going to other projects including the annual youth scholarships.
The group also helped give Brochu a send-off. The 70-year-old veteran set off from Port Hardy this morning on a planned 75-day fundraising cycle across Canada. Brochu hopes to raise $100,000 for Children’s Wish on the four-month journey, which will also see him lecturing on health and well-being along the way. See next week’s Gazette for more coverage.
The latest iterations of Port Hardy’s Community Plan and Zoning Bylaws will be presented for public comment May 12 at the District office.
Public feedback from the previous consultation, held late last year, has been incorporated into the new draft documents and the new versions were given first reading at last week’s council meeting.
The public are invited to reexamine the bylaws and provide comment at the hearing.
“We’re feeing pretty good about it,” said Mayor Parnham of the process. “It’s about asking, ‘What kind of community do you want to live in?’”
The mayor also stressed that any zoning changes would only take affect moving forward and would not force people to make changes to their properties as current uses would be grandfathered.
She noted the huge amount of work that has gone into the bylaws so far, saying, “Credit to the staff, they’ve done a really good job. Now it’s time for people to have a look.”
For more information on the bylaws, including the latest versions, see the District’s website at www.porthardy.ca.