Two North Islanders were among 35 British Columbians honoured at the 12th annual British Columbia Community Achievement Awards ceremony held at Government House in Victoria.
Village of Port Alice’s Wayne Beckett and Village of Sointula’s Wanda Laughlin both received awards for a lifetime spent helping to make their communities a better place.
Wayne Beckett has been dedicated to the Port Alice Volunteer Fire Department. For over 40 years, Mr. Beckett has been on duty 24-7, 365 days a year. As well, he served the Port Alice Marine Search and Rescue Society for 18 years and has been a devoted member of the Royal Canadian Legion Port Alice Branch. Whether it is a parade, Remembrance Day activities, Scouts, special events, community Christmas parties, Mr. Beckett is always there.
On behalf of the 580 residents of Sointula, on Malcolm Island, Laughlin was recognized for her many contributions to her community’s cultural, social and economic well-being. A founder of the Sointula Recreation Association, she served as its president for over four decades, overseeing the acquisition of its seven community buildings and its programs. Ms. Laughlin has served on many committees including the Sointula Co-op Store Board and the Malcolm Island Local Services Management Committee. The message is clear “in Sointula‚ you go to Wanda to get things done.”
Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and Honourable Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development presented each recipient with a BC Community Achievement Award medallion and certificate. Keith Mitchell, QC represented the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, the award’s presenting organization.
“Each and every recipient honoured today represents the best of British Columbia,” said Oakes. “They are every-day citizens from throughout the province whose contributions, leadership and inspiration have helped shape BC. It is a privilege to recognize their achievements.”
“Today’s honourees exemplify what it is to go above and beyond; to do what needs to be done and to give without question their time and energy for the betterment of their communities,” said Mitchell.
“These are the people who participate in board and committee rooms, far exceed their job descriptions and willingly share their talents of organizing, coaching, fund-raising, innovating and mentoring.
An independent advisory council selects the recipients of the British Columbia Community Achievement Awards from nominations received in the Fall, 2014. The council members are Mayor Carol LeClerc of Terrace, Mary Sjostrom of Quesnel, and past recipients, Roger Barnsley of Parksville, Michael McCoy of Vancouver and Catherine Van Alstine of Vancouver.
The British Columbia Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the province of B.C. to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service. Launched in 2003, the awards were the first initiative of the foundation, followed by the B.C. Creative Achievement Award for Applied Art and Design, B.C.‚Äôs National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the B.C. Creative Achievement Award for First Nations‚Äô Art, and the B.C. Aboriginal Business Awards.