Diamond Jubilee recipients receive awards

In her 84 years, Ms. Muriel Dunford has served the Clearwater region as an author, educator, and hospital auxiliary volunteer.

Senator Nancy Greene Raine and Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod present a Diamond Jubilee Medal to Jean Nelson during a ceremony held at TRU in Kamloops on Oct. 10. In total

Muriel Irene Dunford, Clearwater

In her 84 years, Ms. Muriel Dunford has served the Clearwater region as an author, educator, and hospital auxiliary volunteer.

A busy mother of five, Muriel found time to pursue a career in education.  She spent two years teaching, four years as a school trustee and Cariboo College council member, and two years as School District 26 board chair.

As her children grew older, she became manager of the Clearwater Public Library, a position she held for 18 years.

Following her retirement, she authored a book on the history of the North Thompson region, “North River: The Story of BC’s North Thompson Valley and Yellowhead Highway 5”.

Pauline Sophie Gregory, Clearwater

Ms. Pauline Gregory has given generously of her time to help others and make her community a better place to live.  She has been involved with the Clearwater Hospital Auxiliary, the Birch Island Women’s Institute, the Canadian Cancer Society, the local school board, Christmas Amalgamated and the United Church.

She also graciously offers the no-strings-attached “Pauline’s Taxi Service” for seniors.  Whether it be to go shopping, to a medical appointment, to pick up a prescription, or attend a community event, Pauline selflessly offers her time and resources to serve the mobility needs of seniors in her community.

Donald Turtiak, Blue River

Mr. Don Turtiak is a valuable asset to the community of Blue River, with a long history of volunteering in his community.

Since 1984, Don has been the chief of the Blue River Volunteer Fire Department.  He has also volunteered with the Blue River Improvement District, and has occupied various positions with the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #213.

Jean Nelson, Clearwater

Mrs. Jean Nelson’s contributions to the North Thompson Valley are endless and her endeavors have had significant impact.

One of her most notable contributions has been her commitment and involvement in the Girl Guides of Canada, which she as honoured for by being made an Honorary Life Member of the Girl Guides in 1995.

Jean is a champion of the environment and was committed to teaching children skills that would allow them to be competent at whatever they did.  Her unstoppable work ethic should be an inspiration to us all.

Jill Hayward, Louis Creek

Jill Hayward’s outstanding dedication to the Barriere region has been of great benefit to her fellow citizens.

She is currently president of two major community organizations and co-chair of the North Thompson Agriplex.  She actively supports the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo, serving as president of the association.  She also volunteers her time with Rural Crime Watch, the McLure Wildfire Monument Society, North Thompson Food Action Coalition, and the 4-H Club to name a few.

Jill was also a driving force in helping to raise funds to build a school in Sri Lanka following the devastating Boxing Day 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Her hard work and dedication resulted in her being honoured as Barriere’s Citizen of the Year in 2008.

Jill Hayward has been a staff member of the North Thompson Star/Journal since 1993, and has served as the editor since 2004.

Nathan Matthew, Barriere

Referred to as the Education Chief of Canada, Dr. Nathan Matthew’s career has focused on improving educational opportunities for First Nations people.  For decades, he has facilitated agreements and programs at the regional and provincial level.

In 2007, he was appointed as Executive Director of Aboriginal Education at Thompson Rivers University, where he has spearheaded programs in support of self-governing, healthy Aboriginal communities.

Nathan has worked diligently to ensure a visible presence of Aboriginal culture on campus through the university’s ceremonies, architecture, signage, art and programming.

Keith Moore, Barriere

A long time resident of the Barriere area, Mr. Keith Moore has served on the Volunteer Fire Department, at the Senior’s Centre, the Legion, Rural Crime Watch, and a host of other organizations, with no desire for publicity or recognition.

Keith served in World War II with the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own) and is active to this day, attending regimental dinners and events.

Geordie Salle, Barriere

Along with her husband and fellow Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient Manne, Mrs. Geordie Salle has been instrumental to the continued success of the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo.

A founding member in 1949, Geordie was the Fall Fair Association’s first secretary treasurer, and was responsible for drawing up its constitution and bylaws.  Over the years, she has poured countless hours into volunteering at the fair, and countless more on the expansion, improvement and year-round maintenance of the fairgrounds.  From fundraising to general maintenance and janitorial work, for Geordie, there is no job too big or too small.

What is even more remarkable, is the fact that at the age of 90, she continues to do all that she can to serve her community and make the Fall Fair a success year after year.

Manne Salle, Barriere

As the other half of our region’s only husband and wife team to both receive the Diamond Jubilee Medal, Mr. Manne Salle has also immeasurably contributed to the success of the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo.

At the founding of the fair in 1949, Manne was a member of the Native Sons of Canada, the organization that sold the original hall and grounds to the Fall Fair Association for one dollar.  Like his spouse, Manne remained involved with the fair, and used his skills as an engineer to design and build a number of buildings and even a water system for the fairgrounds.

Also in his 90s, Manne nevertheless volunteers as much as he is able, to perform maintenance or other jobs as needed around the fairground.  His and Geordie’s selfless dedication to serve are truly an inspiration.

Carman Smith, Barriere

Mr. Carman Smith has lived in Barriere for 47 years.  During that time, he has been a major contributor of time and money to worthy causes in his region.  Carman has served as chair of the Fireman’s Board, president of the North Thompson Recreation Society, supported the 4-H Club, school sports, the Barriere Outdoors Club, the Agriplex project, and the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo.

As a member of the North Thompson Recreation Society, Carman brought his extensive experience in forestry to bear in removing dead trees affected by the mountain pine beetle in a local park.  By doing so, he protected the park and surrounding area from forest fires and potential closure of the park.

Carman and his wife Barb were joint recipients of the 2010 Barriere Citizen of the Year Award.

Christine (Tina) Donald, Barriere

A member of Simpcw First Nation Band Council, Ms. Tina Donald devotes her spare time to volunteering, particularly in support of youth and elders in her community.

She has been both a leader and a supporter of many beneficial initiatives in her region.  She is a strong advocate for the environment and B.C.’s fisheries, and has founded the organizations Stream Keepers and Raft River.

She works with the Elders of Chu Chua, supports sporting and other youth-oriented events, and also finds time to be a volunteer firefighter with the Simpcw Community Fire Department.

Tina was named Barriere Citizen of the Year for 2009, for the outstanding support she has provided to her community.