Parksville resident Roger H. Barnsley was recently awarded with the 2014 Order of British Columbia

Parksville resident Roger H. Barnsley was recently awarded with the 2014 Order of British Columbia

Parksville man honoured with Order of B.C.

Life-long university educator and Parksville resident Roger Barnsley is also a member of Island Health's board of directors

A Parksville academic has been recognized for his contributions to education.

Roger H. Barnsley has been selected as one of 25 in the province to receive the 2014 Order of British Columbia — which Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon describes as “the province’s most prestigious accolade.”

Barnsley said the news came as a surprise. “It’s a great honour,” he told The NEWS from his Parksville home Friday.

According to a government news release, the award recognizes those who have dedicated themselves to bettering the lives of fellow citizens, making a positive difference in the community and providing inspiration across B.C.

Barnsley worked in five different provinces before retiring in Parksville three years ago. He completed his PhD and MA in Psychology from McGill University.

Barnsley is the founding president of Thompson Rivers University and played an instrumental role in transitioning the University College of the Cariboo to TRU in 2004. He also worked as a professor at St. Thomas University, Saint Mary’s University, the University of Lethbridge and Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Creating access to education, he said, has been a cornerstone in his career.

“Education is all about hope,” he said, adding the most satisfying part of his job has been “the opportunity to influence young people’s lives.”

Since retiring in 2008, Barnsley has served on the BC Drug Benefit Council and is currently the co-chair of the British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfers and a Vancouver Island Health Authority director.

Recipients of the OBC are selected by an independent advisory committee from public nominations. They will be honoured at the Order of British Columbia investiture ceremony held Nov. 6 at Government House in Victoria.

Asked for one last piece of advice, Barnsley said: “You’ll never cut the lawn the same way once you’re educated.”

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