Nelson’s citizen of the year award is back, and nominations are open.
The award will recognize someone who has made a significant difference in the lives of people in Nelson through volunteer work.
Nominations can be made online at https://westkootenay.secondstreetapp.com/Citizen-of-the-Year-2021/gallery/.
The winner will be announced in the March 11 edition of the Nelson Star. The award is sponsored by Nelson and District Credit Union, Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History, the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce, and the Nelson Star.
The first Citizen of the Year award was given in 1964 to Helen Morris, whose main volunteer activity was for the Red Cross. From that day to 2019, the award was organized and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, with the Nelson Star joining as a sponsor in 2016.
After the 2018 award was given to David Hogg in 2019, the Knights of Columbus stepped back from its role and there was no award given last year.
Over the years, the awards have taken place at a number of venues with a dinner catered by various people. For about the past 15 years, the awards were celebrated with a dinner at the St. Joseph school gym, opening with a procession by the Kootenay Kiltie Pipe Band, then a feast prepared by the city’s Italian community, followed by congratulatory speeches for the award winner.
This year’s awards will be given online because of the pandemic.
Previous citizens of the year
1964: Helen Morris, Red Cross
1965: Elwyn Owens, community service
1966: Helen Catley, community service, Mt. St. Francis
1967: William Young, Shriners, special needs children
1968: Mabel Cartwight, community service
1969: Margaret Barwis, community service
1970: Cornelius Van Pelt, community service
1971: Joan Lefeaux, community service, especially children
1972: David Fairbank, community service, Jubilee Manor
1974: Ben Sutherland, Shriners, special needs children
1976: Frank Hufty, community service
1977: Everett Kuhn, community service, square dancing
1978: Gordon Hoover, Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts, junior sports
1979: Laura Maglio, community service, Guides, Brownies
1980: June Dolman, musical arts, fashion classes
1981: Mas Fujibayashi, youth sports
1982: Corrine Massey, community service
1983: Inez Eckmire, community service, veterans
1984: Walter Waite, founder mid-summer curling bonspiel
1985: Lloyd Miskiman, snowfest co-ordinator
1986: Bob Allen, Shriners, search and rescue
1987: Rocco Mastrobuono, hospital equipment
1988: Betty Drew, library, hospital, music festival
1989: Debbie Kozak, special needs children
1990: Margaret Murphy, community service
1991: Doug McDonald, music to shut-ins
1992: Les Clarkson, community service
1993: Shawn Lamb, museum, arts council
1994: Fran Horan, community service
1995: Bert Daynard, community service
1996: Bob Nuyens, community service
1997: Jim and Nancy Dow, special Olympics
1998: Amelia Fukala, Legion, Guides, Eagles, curling
1999: Margaret Stacey, community service, music, arts
2000: Marguerite Santor, community service, junior hockey
2001: Frances Welwood, community service
2002: Alan R. Ramsden, community service Museum Arts Boy Scouts
2003: Bruce Morrison, community service Osprey Foundation
2004: Al Craft, community service, water rescue
2005: Debra Zeeben, community service, Hospital Foundation
2006: Dr. Ken Muth, community service, health
2007: Douglas Stoddart, community service
2008: Dr. John Mackay, community service, health
2009: Mathilde Klassen, community service, music and arts
2010: Bill McDonnell, community service, sports
2011: Bruce Halstead, community service
2012: Lois Arnesen, community service, welcome wagon
2013: Peter Defeo, community service, fire department
2014: Barry Nelson, community service, car co-op, social justice
2015: Susanne Raschdorf, community service
2016: Helen Jamieson, community service, conservation and animal care
2017: Kim Charlesworth, community service
2018: David Hogg, community service, pipe band