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Past director the guest of honour

Former rural Castlegar regional district director John Voykin was feted Saturday at the Brilliant Cultural Centre, capping over three decades in local politics.

In the highlight of the evening, Voykin received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal, presented to people of “exceptional merit” for his “service and contributions to his peers, community and Canada.”

He will further be honoured a plaque on the Wall of Fame at the Castlegar Recreation Complex, and a $500 bursary is being established his name for a student from Area I who “shows exemplary community involvement and leadership.”

First elected in 1980 to represent Area I of the Regional District of Central Kootenay — which includes Brilliant, Pass Creek, Shoreacres, Tarrys, and Thrums — Voykin served continuously until last fall, when he did not seek re-election.

For several years he was vice-chair of the board, and was also founding chair of the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District.

He was praised Saturday for his steadfast, calm, and gentlemanly approach.

“It takes a lot of unwavering commitment and dedication to do it for 31 years,” former Castlegar mayor Audrey Moore told the several hundred friends, family members, and dignitaries assembled.

Former neighbouring regional director Ken Wyllie called Voykin his “political mentor,” while Trail city councillor Gord DeRosa said Voykin “cut through territorial biases and parochialisms.”

“It was the people who made me the director that I was,” Voykin said.

 

Greg Nesteroff

 

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