Historian and longtime Citizen columnist T.W. Paterson photographs the historical wreckage of a plane on Mount Benson. Paterson recently won an award from the British Columbia Historical Foundation. (Submitted)

Cowichan’s Tom W. Paterson wins award for historical writing

British Columbia Historical Federation hands Recognition Award to local writer

Tom W. Paterson, Cowichan Valley historian and local author, has won a Recognition Award from the British Columbia Historical Federation, the province’s largest historical organization.

The award was presented at the Federation’s awards gala annual conference on June 5, which was held online this year.

The BCHF explains on its website why Paterson was chosen for the award this year.

“T.W.’s efforts in promoting an understanding of history are exemplified through his publications,” the BCHF said.

“Tireless in his pursuit of the past, T.W. has authored more than 30 books and countless articles on the history of British Columbia since his teenage years. His longstanding column, Cowichan Chronicles, ran in the Cowichan Valley Citizen for 23 years, serving as a notable avenue for the public to learn about the colourful and multifaceted history of the province.”

The BCHF noted that the person who nominated Paterson for the award said “Truth is, T.W. is exactly where he belongs, fulfilling an important role by explaining why history is so important and showing us how fascinating it also can be.”

“Larry Pynn, former Vancouver Sun environmental reporter now retired to the Valley, very kindly nominated me and sought out several endorsements as were required,” said Paterson. “I’m very pleased, of course, to be recognized by my fellow historians and history aficionados.”

He expressed his joy and thanks to have the opportunity to write about local history on his Cowichan Chronicles website.

“I thank you all for allowing me to entertain and, I hope, inform you,” he said.

“I’m grateful, too, for the privilege of being allowed to write about ofttimes forgotten people and events, thus being able to, if but momentarily, spotlight the men and women who built this province. We of the 21st century take so much for granted. It’s so easy to forget that the British Columbia, the Canada in which we live, is the envy of much of the world. And it was all made possible through the efforts of those who came before us — the men and women of the First Nations and of every nationality — who pioneered the way.”

robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.comLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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