The committee choosing this year’s Kaslo Citizen of the Year couldn’t decide between two people, so they split the difference and chose both.
While two people have been selected before, Anne and Stu Heard are the first couple to ever be given the honour.
The pair were given their award in front of about 50 people at Kaslo’s 128th birthday party, held on August 13.
“This year, the selection committee received over 30 individual nominations for eight different people, and any one of them would have been an excellent choice,” said Mayor Suzan Hewat. “They had to make the decision and upon reading the letters, the choice became very clear.”
The Heards were chosen for their ongoing work volunteering for and leading community activities, from the Kaslo Concert Society to the Celtic Country Band and English Country Dance group.
They are also active environmental stewards, and support local birding, the Kaslo Community Garden Club, Kaslo Climate Action Team and the Kaslo Outdoor Recreation and Trails Society.
“We were almost unable to present the Citizen of the Year 2021 award in person, but to a family member,” commented Hewat at the presentation. “This is because our recipient was doing what they love to do. They were across the lake volunteering at the Northwest Wilderness Society Fry Creek Camp, so we thought they couldn’t be here to receive the award in person.”
If that wasn’t enough, the couple contribute to the Kaslo and District Public Library board, annual Polar Bear Swim and local Scouts troupe.
The Heards did make it to the event, however, and were presented with a plaque and flowers from the Village and Chamber of Commerce.
Hewat also made special mention at the ceremony of another nominee. Murray Pearson died last year after many years of significant contributions to the sports community, the library and other organizations in Kaslo.
“Murray lived with quiet integrity, true to his beliefs, and he gave so generously of the most precious commodity – his time,” she said. “We miss you Murray!”
Pearson has also been honoured by having the ballpark renamed after him.