Patrick Nicholson, the radio host and community volunteer who died last year after a battle with cancer, was posthumously honored as Citizen of the Year last night at the Qualiucm Beach Community Awards gala.
Said award sponsor John Briuolo of Qualicum Foods.:
"Patrick's love of music and people along with his generous good nature made him the obvious citizen of the year in Qualicum Beach. Qualicum Foods is honoured to be part of the Community Awards and I am especially proud to be a sponsor of the Citizen of the Year award. stated Briuolo. Nicholson's award was accepted by Darlene Hayes.
Master of ceremonies Dave Graham recognized 22 nominees at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre Wednesday night, when the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce honoured excellence in the community.
One-of-a-kind, custom-designed carved granite plaques created by Marcia Wright at Stone Art Mosaics in Bowser were handed out to the recipients from each category. All of the night's nominees received framed certificates acknowledging their achievement.
Recognized for Outstanding Customer Service was Julie Chambers, marketing manager from The Gardens. Sponsor representative, Dave Willie, from Black & White Party Rentals said: "We received more nominations in this category than in any other, which tells us that customer service is important to business survival, but it is also important to our community and those who visit here. All of tonight's nominees are known for giving great service...but one just stood out a bit above the rest."
Pedego Electric Bikes was the recipient of the New Business of the Year Award.
"We recognize that in order to succeed, any new business has to provide great customer service, let the world know who they are, where they are and what they do and meet their bottom line," said Dave Wood of RE/MAX Anchor Realty. "For any new business it really is survival of the fittest!"
In announcing Qualicum Beach Inn as the 2014 Business of the Year, Scott Rodway from Rodway & Perry said: "We were pleased that residents of our community care about business and are willing to take the time to nominate those that they feel are worthy of special recognition. Selecting three from all of the nominations was a difficult task and narrowing that down to one was equally difficult."
Rodway also took the opportunity to acknowledge the Shady Waterfront Restaurant and Pub for operating a business in Qualicum Beach for 90 years. Wayne Duncan was on hand to receive this special honor.
Taking home the Volunteer of the Year Award for 2014 was Candy Ashbridge. Candy, a retired librarian, has been active with the Society of Organized Services and Qualicum Cat Rescue. Award presenter Cory McIntosh from the SOS said: "Choosing the recipient for this honour was a particularly difficult decision for the panel this year. But the panel persevered and we recognize Candy with great pride."
Community Builder of the Year, sponsored by NR Insurance, has only been an award category for two years. Said Brenda Boyd, the advertising manager of The Parksville Qualicum Beach News: "It is my pleasure to highlight and celebrate the not-for-profit organizations that have made a difference this year in Qualicum Beach. The three worthy nominees have done just that. I would like to announce the Qualicum Parksville Kiwanis Housing Society as Community Builder of 2014. Congratulations to Pat, Scott, Renata and the whole team."
Newsmaker of the Year honors went to Anne Skipsey for her impressive win in the municipal elections in November and her active participation in seeking a solution to closing schools in Qualicum Beach.
"Anne was front and centre in the town's two biggest news stories of the year," said Parksville Qualiucm Beach News editor John Harding. "She was a clear choice for this award."
Also acknowledged was Tom Pope as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Saud Cindy Koutecky, representing Coastal Community Credit Union: "Coastal Community Credit Union is privileged to be recognizing Tom with the lifetime achievement award. Tom loves books, and people and Qualicum Beach, and was a driving force in the business and volunteer community to affect positive change over many years."
Said Graham at the conclusion of the gala last night: "I want to thank those of you took the time to nominate someone you believed deserved recognition for what they do and how they do it. And I especially want to thank our nominees — all of you are the reason we celebrate the best of our community... you are the ones that make us proud to live and work in Qualicum Beach."
— NEWS Staff/QB Chamber of Commerce