Rosemary Hughes and Janet Spicer received massive amounts of support on March 25 as they received the Rotary Citizen of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award, respectively, at the hall of the Nakusp Royal Canadian Legion.
The Citizen of the Year is someone who has displayed any of the following: exceptional achievement; exceptional personal dedication to a worthy cause; significant personal dedication to a worthy cause; significant contribution to the community; displayed remarkable help, kindness or assistance to others or groups of others; bravery or exceptional courage; humanitarian achievements; or achievements in the fields of environment, nature or wildlife.
“Both of these powerful women have donated countless hours of their time to make this village a better place,” said Dan Nicholson, president of the Nakusp Rotary. “Their actions demonstrate the Rotary motto of service above self.”
Hughes was awarded Citizen of the Year for her hard work in getting the Old Fire Hall up and going. Not only has the market provided a space for vendors to sell their wares, a historic building in Nakusp is now preserved.
Spicer was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for her hard work in keeping the Spicer Farm thriving, along with her neverending campaign to protect animals and the environment, both in the community and around the world.
A table was set up on the stage for Hughes and Spicer, along with representatives of different levels of government including Karen Hamling, mayor of Nakusp, and Katrine Conroy, the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Kootentay West.
While Rotary hosts the awards banquet, Rotarians are not the ones who determine which citizens receives the awards. That decision falls to a committee made up of members of the community.
Hughes, visibly emotional during the ceremony, said it was an honour to be chosen, and she felt a little unworthy.
“There’s just a lot of awesome people that volunteer and dedicate their time to our community, and we should honour them as well,” she said.
After the awards were given out those in attendance were asked to come up and share stories and memories of the two.
When talking about Spicer many recount her love of animals, and her efforts to protect them.
“It defines me, more than anything I abhor cruelty,” she said. “It’s so huge to try and stop cruelty wherever I am. In Europe it was trying to stop bull fighting, trying to stop whaling, trying to stop fox hunting. Here in Canada it was trying to eliminate PMU farms.”
When she was told she would be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award she said she felt dumbfounded, and had to sit down because this was something she never would have expected.
“I was completely overwhelmed,” she concluded. “I wish I could give every person in this room the experience that they gave me. If I could do that it would be the most wonderful thing.”