Jessie Ann Gamble loves researching and preserving local history.
For her efforts, Gamble, from Armstrong, a huge part of the community with the Armstrong Heritage Society, the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery Society, Rathfriland (Northern Ireland) Sister City Committee and the Okanagan Historical Society, has been named a recipient of the 16th B.C. Achievement Community Award, which will be handed out at Government House in Victoria May 1.
“When I first heard, I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, how can this be?’” said Gamble. “I was surprised, amazed, humbled and honoured. I said to the lady I’ve done what I’ve always loved to do, it’s as simple as that. I’ve had opportunities by getting involved with local history.”
Gamble is past president of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery, as well as past president of the Okanagan Historical Society. She continues to sit on that board’s executive, now part of the OHS’ editorial committee.
Gamble and her husband, Len, will travel to the provincial capital to collect the award, one of 25 British Columbians receiving the honour.
“Our communities are made stronger by British Columbians who go above and beyond,” said Premier John Horgan. “Thanks to the 2019 recipients for helping build a better province for everyone.”
Added Anne Giardini, chairperson of the B.C. Achievement foundation: “It is an honour to celebrate the excellence and dedication of these 25 outstanding British Columbians. On behalf of all of us at the B.C. Achievement Foundation, thanks go to each one of them for strengthening their communities and inspiring others to community action.”
Two other Okanagan residents are being honoured with the award: Arnold Trewhitt of Lake Country and Polla Eid of Kelowna.
Gamble is quick to point out she’s had a lot of help and support over the years in all the volunteer work she does.
“Things are never done in isolation,” she said. “There are lots of people working with you. Over the years, I’ve had the support of residents of Armstrong and Spallumcheen that have been incredibly supportive of the museum and art gallery.”