(L-R) Colonel James Hammond

(L-R) Colonel James Hammond

Lieutenant Governor visits Nelson

Guichon's vist to Nelson this week is part of a tour of the West Kootenay.

The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, visited Nelson this week as part of a tour of the West Kootenay. The city hosted a reception for Guichon and the vice regal party at Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History on Thursday.

Many community leaders attended including Mayor Deb Kozak, police chief Wayne Holland, fire chief Len MacCharles, Selkirk College president Angus Graeme, Nakusp mayor and regional district chair Karen Hamling, regional district chief administrator Stuart Horn, 2015 citizen of the year Barry Nelson and his wife Wendy, members of the air cadets, and Nelson Cultural Ambassador Bessie Wapp.

City councillors Michael Dailly, Anna Purcell, Bob Adams, Robin Cherbo and regional directors Ramona Faust and Tom Newell were also present. After Guichon addressed the crowd, a reception followed in the museum where guests could meet the Lieutenant Governor and listen to the live jazz  played by Swing Theory, a band of high school students.

Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon addressing a crowd at Touchstone Nelson. Tamara Hynd photo

On Friday, Guichon visited Trafalgar Middle School, addressing the Grade 6 to 8 students about her role representing the Crown in British Columbia. She shared with the students what she did before she became the BC Lt. Governor.

“I’m a rancher,” she said. “I chase cows.”

She also explained that 2015 is the International Year of the Soil. After fielding guesses of how many living organisms are in one tablespoon of soil, from 500 to a million, she revealed that are, in fact, more than all the people on Earth (approximately 7.1 billion).

“Soil is so important,” she said. “Not just for food, but to clean our air and water.”

Guichon encouraged the students to learn outside the classroom and find out about the industries around them such as fisheries, forestry, power generation, hydro dams, agriculture and biodiversity. She spoke to the importance of voting, once they are old enough to so, municipally, provincially and federally, and urged them to keep engaged with the leaders.

“Go to your elected leaders, attend council and regional district meetings and ask them what they are doing,” she said.

Fielding children’s questions like how long it took her to get the position she replied, “A lifetime really,” adding her various community activities including her work with Species at Risk. The rancher in her came out when asked how many kids she has.

“None,” she said with a smile, “kids are baby goats. But I have four wonderful children.”

She has met Queen Elizabeth on one occasion in February 2013. “She’s as every bit wonderful as she looks,” said Guichon.

The Grade 6 to 8 band students played Hawaii 5-0 and God Save the Queen. Children later had a chance to briefly meet Guichon and shake hands after the assembly.

Trafalgar principal Carol-Ann Leidloff received a book for the school library from Guichon. Deb Kozak and SD 8 superintendent Jeff Jones also attended the assembly.

Joining Guichon in the vice regal party was Colonel James Hammond, private secretary to the Lieutenant Governor; Inspector Nathan Davies, Honorary Aide-de-Camp; and John Mager, chauffeur and piper.

(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Karen Hamling’s name and erroneously said she was mayor of New Denver. It also erroneously said Stuart Horn was the regional district’s chief financial officer.)