Community awards handed out in Parksville
Jo Dunn wasn't expecting to be called to the stage Friday night at The Glassies.
Parksville's 2012 Citizen of the Year was on the way to the civic centre when he realized he might have to take to the microphone later that evening.
"On the way, my wife (Sandy) asked me how I was feeling and I turned to her and said 'if I win I have nothing prepared to say'," Dunn recalled Sunday.
"I don't volunteer my time to look for recognition. Life has been pretty good to me and I just want to give back to the community."
He's done that in spades. Dunn devotes many hours to Knox United Church and the Parskville AM Rotary Club, among other pursuits. He is also on the board of the San Pariel Residents' Association and according to his biography in the Glassies program, Dunn "goes about his work with quiet determination, never seeking praise, and brings out the best in the people he works with."
When he was announced as the recipient Friday night, Dunn was able to call upon his experience as a marketing manager and vice-president of strategic alliances with B.C. Tel and Telus in order to express his thanks in a short and heart-felt acceptance speech.
Dunn, 69, was born in Central Saanich and graduated from the University of Victoria in 1968, a member of the first class to graduate from the school’s Gordon Head campus. He then went on to a long and distinguished career with B.C. Tel and Telus.
“I was there for 35 years and I think I had 28 different jobs,” said Dunn. “I was either flexible or not very competent.”
Dunn first bought property and spent summers in Parksville in 1978. He moved here full-time in 2004.
We came to Parksville and never regretted it for a moment,” he said.
The other finalists for the citizen-of-the-year Glassie were Paul Drummond, the general manager of Tigh-Na-Mara Resort, and Paralympic champion Michelle Stilwell.
The community awards are organized and produced by the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce.
The business-of-the-year award went to Bosley’s Pet Food Plus, with the other finalists being Mi by Kiyo Salon and The Beach Club Resort.
The youth-of-the-year Glassie was awarded to Nicholaas Annau, a Ballenas honour student (2008-2012) who finds time for baseball and karate when he’s not fulfilling his many volunteer duties, which include being president of the Civic Action Club. Other finalists in this category were Dylan Harrison and Dale Narum.
The outstanding-customer-service Glassie was awarded to Richard Stewart, the service writer at Harris Oceanside Chevrolet Buick GMC and he took to the stage in a dazzling blue suit and large sunglasses reminiscent of Elton John. The other finalists were Anna Earnshaw of Thrifty Foods and Lonny Barr of Pharmasave Health Centre.
The entrepreneur-of-the-year was Jonathan Michaels of Geeks on the Beach, with the other finalist being Kiyomi Schulz of Mi by Kiyo Salmon and Kerri Isham of Power Up Workshops.
Arrowsmith Search and Rescue won the Glassie for community builder of the year. The other finalist for this award was the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness.
Clarence Esslinger, a leader in the development of Parksville Community Park over the past three decades, was named the volunteer of the year. Bob and Sheila Dale and Harold Roth were the other finalists in this category.