TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood shares a hug with his longtime friend and colleague John Tidbury after awarding him the “Key to the City”.

John Tidbury earns ‘Freedom of the District’

“It is the highest honour the District of Port Hardy can bestow on a person, period.”

Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood failed to hold back tears as his longtime friend and colleague John Tidbury was officially awarded the ‘Freedom of the District’.

Tidbury, who has been a Port Hardy councillor on and off since 1988, was presented with a beautiful key to the municipality and a framed certificate outlining the meaning and privileges behind the key during a special, invitation only event on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Civic Centre.

“He now has access to any municipal building in the district,” said Bood before the ceremony started, adding this is only the fourth key they have given out, making it a very rare moment in North Island history to witness.

Tidbury is now held in the same esteem as previous winners Brian Welchman, Les Storey, and Pat Prestwich for their years of contributions to Port Hardy.

“Very seldom has anyone come to the level John has,” Bood noted. “It is a very rare occasion and he deserves it. All three of the former award winners are very deserving, but I don’t think there is anybody who has put in the hours or done the things that John has over the years. It is the highest honour the District of Port Hardy can bestow on a person, period.”

Tidbury was humble when asked about the award, which has always been his nature. “I’m really thankful for the people of Port Hardy — I can’t express in words what I want to say right now, but I feel that if I want to live in this community I will work to make it better for the whole community.”

Tidbury’s family was on hand for the ceremony, which opened with a touching speech from Bood.

“In my business, there are times that are tough, but there are also times that are fun,” he said, noting this was definitely a fun time, and that “having the event here in the Civic Centre is the most appropriate place, as it is the home of the Lion’s Club and it is John’s second home.”

The event included the reading of a letter from Welchman, Tidbury’s wife Marie being awarded a bouquet of flowers for all her hard work behind the scenes helping him, and an open mic where people in the audience were allowed to come up and reminisce on their favourite memories of Tidbury.

1240 Coast AM’s Sandra Boyd said John was one of the first people she met when she made the move to Port Hardy. “Most people don’t know that, and it was at the radio station … I just want to say thank you on behalf of the million things I’ve dragged him into, he’s never once said no to me, and thank you Marie, because without you he couldn’t do it.”

Malcolm Fleeton pointed out Tidbury’s contributions over the years to the North Island Concert Society, whether it was being a board member or working on the sound and lights behind the scenes for the concerts.

“This is John’s second home, if you need to find John just come to the Civic Centre and you’ll find him working on something,” he said, adding, “On behalf of the North Island Concert Society, thank you for all the support, being a board member for us, and for making it happen for all these years.”

Sean Tidbury was almost at a loss for words when talking about what his father means to him. “I’m obviously very proud of my dad … I was always overwhelmed by the sheer number of people he helped and who knew him, and I’m just very proud of you dad.”

Tidbury himself was the last person to speak, stating he just wanted to thank his family who made the trip up island to see him receive the award. “It’s such an honour to be here, and the thanks that I’m receiving, especially in front of all my family,” he said, adding that “my wife, my son and his wife, were all coming up island yesterday and hit an ice patch and went down a cliff — but as you can see, they are all here today, though the vehicle isn’t.”

Tidbury ended his speech by saying, “I love this town — I love it with a passion,” as the crowd of roughly 50 people, all friends and family, cheered and clapped for a man who has truly devoted himself wholeheartedly to his community.

 

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO Marie Tidbury was awarded a bouquet of flowers from Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood in honour of her years of support behind the scenes.

Just Posted

Port McNeill cannabis committee to recommend to mayor and council designated zones for commercial marijuana agriculture

The committee unanimously voted for cannabis cultivation in M-1 (Mine Road), M-2, and A-1 zones.

Cafe Guido manager spills the beans on new coffee shop drive-thru

“The core drink menu is the same, but there will be new drinks - new cold drinks and new food”

Arrest made in Port Alice mail bomb incident

A 73 year old resident of Whitehorse, Yukon, was arrested on September 13th and remains in custody.

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read