Seniors advocate Joan Reichardt has been chosen as one of four constituents in the Nelson-Creston provincial riding to receive the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.
Reichardt was selected as part of a two-month process initiated by MLA Michelle Mungall. The other three recipients are Kaslo’s Bruce Walker, Salmo’s Dorothy Hearn, and Sirdar’s Shannon Nickish.
The process began with an open call for nominations in August, and then a group of prominent community members was empaneled to create a shortlist of 13, divided among four regions of the riding. Those names were then put to an online and phone vote amongst constituents. Nearly 700 people cast ballots.
Reichardt was raised near London during wartime and came to Canada as a war bride in 1946. She settled first in her husband’s native Saskatchewan, and then moved to Nelson in 1968.
“When we drove into Nelson, I felt like I’d come home,” she told the Star in an interview earlier this year. “Around the courthouse, all these chestnut trees were in bloom. The town I came from in England had chestnut trees. It just felt right.”
For 24 years, she was the supervisor of home support services. She also sat on the boards of BC Transit and Mount St. Francis and served on the Nelson and District Housing Society. She’s still involved with the Nelson and District Seniors Coordinating Society and has long been an advocate for those less inclined to speak for themselves.
In 1992, Reichardt was bestowed with Nelson’s Freedom of the City, the highest municipal honour.
Other local recipients of the medal, marking Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne include Nelson’s Donna Macdonald, Taghum’s Gordon McGregor, Kaslo’s Aya Higashi, Slocan’s Jean Patterson, and Salmo’s Lawrence Bond. They were chosen through a variety of channels.