It was standing room only at the Rotary Citizen of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award dinner Saturday, April 28. Honourees Suzie Madden and husband John, and Nigel and Ruth Waterfield were seated at the head table with Rotary President Kees van der Pol and MC Dan Nicholson.
After singing the Canadian anthem, a brief introduction and grace, the 100-plus crowd tucked into a dinner prepared by the Legion ladies and served by a portion of the Grad 2012 class.
A heap of cards left at the door from well-wishers hinted at the congratulations that were to come after dinner. Local representatives of political dignitaries ranging from our MP to our local mayor one after another gave their words of praise and thanks to all of this year’s honourees.
This year, Suzie Madden, a well-known figure on the ski hill, was voted as Nakusp’s Citizen of the Year. An ex-Canadian Ski Team athlete, Madden brought her enthusiasm for the sport to Summit Lake Ski Area and spread it through the Nakusp population. Madden has been instrumental in making ski programs for the surrounding schools happen, as well as programs to get disabled skiers on the hill, Terri MacLeod told the audience. Her dedication and passion were also pointed to again and again by all the speakers at the ceremony.
The 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award went to the entire Waterfield family, whose service to the community spans many generations. This was the first time the award has been given to a family, but from the stories that came out, it was easy to see why.
Rosemary Parent spoke of the Waterfields’ many contributions to Nakusp, which included starting the Badminton Club, serving on the Hospital Board, and donating time to cleaning up the arena after the fire and work on the airport.
Over half a dozen people came up to congratulate the honourees and tell a short story about their experience with them. Terri MacLeod gave voice to some anonymous Crescent Bay Construction employees who said their experience working for the Waterfields there had been like joining the family. Roger and Eric Waterfield, who now run Crescent Bay since Nigel’s retirement, have hired youth at risk in the community and helped them gain skills and confidence as part of the workforce.