Don and Irene Hill were awarded Castlegar's Citizen of the Year honour.

Citizens of the Year

Don and Irene Hill were awarded the 2014 Knights of Columbus Citizens of the Year award.

After 20 years of handing out trophies, plaques and awards it was finally time for Don and Irene Hill to receive an award of their own. The Hills were acknowledged as Castlegar’s 2014 Citizens of the Year by the Castlegar Knights of Columbus at a ceremony held last Wednesday.

The Hills were unaware they had won until they arrived at the ceremony.

“I did not really expect this,” Irene said. “Lots of other people are more deserving, I think, than we are. We didn’t realize we had won until we got here. We are very honoured.”

Once they got used to the news, the ceremony began and the Hills were escorted to the platform by a piper, Knights of Columbus Honour Guard, Mayor Lawrence Chernoff and MLA Katrine Conroy.

Don and Irene have lived in Robson since 1962 and have always been involved in the community in one way or another.

Event host Brian Bogle stated in his introduction: “For 20 years, Don and Irene have volunteered their time at Pass Creek Fair and Pass Creek Park. From construction projects to landscaping and everything in between, they have helped create the beautiful facility it is today.”

After retirement, the Hills took on the development of the Pass Creek Exhibition Grounds and Pass Creek Fall Fair.

They were the main carpenters behind the construction of the two riding rings, 36 box stalls, exhibition pavilion, amphitheatre, concession, entrance gates and public washrooms.

It’s estimated they put in 1,500 volunteer hours per year for the past 20 years, many involving the organizing, setting up and cleaning up afterward of the fall fair which won the Best Small Fair in BC award in 2013.

The Pass Creek Exhibition Grounds is also home to the bluegrass jamboree, horse shows, clinics and dog shows as well other public events.

After the proclamation and award presentation, Chernoff offered congratulations to the Hills.

“Strong communities are built by citizens like Don and Irene who see a need and then set about with the dedication and determination to do what is required to be done to fill that need,” he said.

“Don and Irene, you are an inspiration to the members of our community and are most deserving of the citizens of the year honour. Congratulations and thank you for your dedication.”

Conroy followed by presenting the Hills with two certificates of recognition, one from her and one on behalf of MP Alex Atamanenko.

 

The last speaker to honour the Hills was Area J regional director Rick Smith, who is also the Hills’ son-in-law. The Hills were then escorted out of the ceremony to a standing ovation by a crowd trying to show appreciation for the many years of hard work and community service.

 

It’s estimated they put in 1,500 volunteer hours per year for the past 20 years, many involving the organizing, setting up and cleaning up afterward of the fall fair which won the Best Small Fair in BC award in 2013.

The Pass Creek Exhibition Grounds is also home to the bluegrass jamboree, horse shows, clinics and dog shows as well other public events.

After the proclamation and award presentation, Chernoff offered congratulations to the Hills.

“Strong communities are built by citizens like Don and Irene who see a need and then set about with the dedication and determination to do what is required to be done to fill that need,” he said.

“Don and Irene, you are an inspiration to the members of our community and are most deserving of the citizens of the year honour. Congratulations and thank you for your dedication.”

Conroy followed by presenting the Hills with two certificates of recognition, one from her and one on behalf of MP Alex Atamanenko.

 

The last speaker to honour the Hills was Area J regional director Rick Smith, who is also the Hills’ son-in-law. The Hills were then escorted out of the ceremony to a standing ovation by a crowd trying to show appreciation for the many years of hard work and community service.