Alberni honours heritage excellence

The Alb Heritage Commission presented their awards to deserving groups and individuals at a ceremony at the Alberni Valley Museum last week.

Former mayor Ken McRae

Former mayor Ken McRae

Excellence in community heritage was recognized in Port Alberni last week with the presentation of the annual heritage awards at the Alberni Valley Museum.

The Heritage Commission presented awards to groups and individuals who have made a significant contribution to preserving local heritage over the past year.  This year the awards focused on youth, education and awareness.

Rodney Rogers, Jim Creighton and David Lord were recognized for their work on the heritage commission.  Local trail advocate Frank Stini was acknowledged for his  many years of work to create and maintain trails which have raised the profile of the local history associated with these transportation routes.

Popular former mayor Ken McRae was acknowledged for his support for, and interest in, local heritage and his support for heritage volunteers.

The Port Alberni Lions Club was recognized for its contribution to the annual heritage fair. The Lions’ partnership has ensured the continuation of this program, heritage commission chairman Bill Lekich said.

Three chapters of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority were acknowledged for their leadership in developing a legacy fund connecting the museum with youth.

The sorority’s initiative improves access to  museum programs for local school classes and has resulted in a large increase in school attendance at the museum.

New this year is the Ike Patterson Award for Community Heritage. Patterson, former city councillor and heritage commission member, was a keen advocate for local history and generated community interest in history through his research and regular column writing.

Patterson died in 2010 and the award has been created in his memory.

His son Kris presented this new award to four longtime members of the Alberni District Historical Society who have given many years of dedicated service to preserving and making accessible the community’s history through the archival resource.  They are Minna Hamilton, Dorothy Bouleau, Vivian Thompson and Sue Watson.