PROVINCE HONOURS LOCAL COMMUNITY BUILDERS

VICTORIA – Two area resident with long histories of giving back to their communities were honoured Tuesday by the Honourable Iona Campagnolo, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell in a formal ceremony at Government House.

“Patrick O’Reilly and John Van Spronsen are powerful examples of how one person can make a difference in their community,” says Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom. “I’ve known both of these gentleman for most of my life and I’m proud to see two such oustanding residents of the Peace River South region receiving the recognition that they deserve for their hard work and dedication to others.”

*Dawson Creek – After serving 35 years as a teacher, principal

and administrator, Patrick O’Reilly has left a legacy for youth in the South Peace region through the development of the Pat O’Reilly Outdoor Environmental Studies Centre at Gwillim Lake. Patrick also initiated and built the Bear Mountain Nordic Ski Trails, provides services to the elderly and serves on a number of boards including the Northern Lights College.

*Pouce Coupe – John Van Spronsen developed a recreational

facility for the youth of Dawson Creek. The Arc provides leisure opportunities to all youth regardless of financial situation or religious status. It has become a valuable amenity, fostering understanding and tolerance and providing a refuge for the community’s youth

The two were among 39 people honoured Tuesday by the Premier and Lieutenant Governor.

“These thirty-nine individuals exemplify the characteristics and accomplishments of British Columbians who have helped shape our province into what it is today,” said Premier Campbell. “They are citizens from all over the province whose contributions, leadership and inspiration have helped make British Columbia the best place on earth.”

The recipients were selected by an Advisory Council consisting of the Honourable Garde B. Gardom, Mayor Walter Gray of Kelowna, Order of BC recipient May Brown, Mayor Sharon Smith of the District of Houston and Chancellor of the University of Victoria, Ron-Lou Poy. Each recipient was presented with a medallion designed by BC Artist Robert Davidson.

The British Columbia Achievement Foundation was launched in 2003 by the Government of British Columbia to recognize and celebrate our province’s unsung achievers in all of areas of endeavour.