photo: contributed

Kelowna resident to receive Good Citizen Award

Edward Dickins will receive a medal

Nineteen British Columbians will be receiving the province’s Medal of Good Citizenship for their outstanding community service.

“It is an honour to congratulate these community leaders whose commitment helps strengthen our society,” said Premier John Horgan in a press release. “The Medal of Good Citizenship awards recognize these individuals and their remarkable contributions to our communities and our province as a whole.”

Launched in 2015, the Medal of Good Citizenship recognizes individuals who, through exceptional long-term service, have made outstanding contributions to their communities without expectation of remuneration or reward. The medal reflects their generosity, service, acts of selflessness and contributions to community life.

“Everyone receiving medals today embodies the best qualities of being a British Columbian,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and chair of the medal’s selection committee. “All of us on the selection committee were impressed by the generosity, compassion and sacrifice each and every one of the recipients has demonstrated. Congratulations to all honourees.”

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Medal of Good Citizenship recipients come from every corner of the province: from Quathiaski Cove to Queen Charlotte, Nelson to 150 Mile House, North Vancouver to Kelowna and Langford to Port Alberni, demonstrating that B.C. communities are full of people doing good things for the benefit of their communities.

In Kelowna Edward Dickins was named to recieve a medal.

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Dickins epitomizes the definition of ‘volunteer’ on behalf of his fellow citizens. From the day he volunteered for service with the British Columbia Dragoons (BCDs) in July 1940 to his continued service to the citizens of B.C. at the Okanagan Military Museum in July 2016.

Dickins served Canada as part of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps in England, Italy and Northwest Europe including being wounded during World War II. Upon his return to Canada, he continued his service with the Army Reserves until his final retirement in 1975.

Dickins has volunteered and served as:

  • Commanding officer with the Royal Canadian Army Cadets;
  • President of Branch 26 Royal Canadian Legion;
  • President of the BCD Regimental Association (Whizzbangs);
  • President and founder of the Kelowna Veendam Sister City Association;
  • Provincial president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce;
  • Co-chair of the Kelowna Cenotaph Improvement Project; and
  • Founding director of the Okanagan Military Museum Society.

In addition to his leadership roles in all of the above organizations, Dickins was a volunteer veteran representative for 16 years at Remembrance Day services at 20 senior’s homes; he spoke at numerous schools about his military service and at multiple citizenship ceremonies with respect to understanding the history of Canada. He also assisted in 2016, at age 93 in the Okanagan Military Museum Society’s refurbishment of a historic World War I field gun.

It is only in very recent years that Dickins has been unable to act as a docent at the Military Museum but he does continue to work on mailing newsletters for the Whizzbang Association in spite of his near blindness.

Dickins defines good citizenship. He has spent the last eight decades of his life doing good deeds on behalf of the citizens of this country and this province. Dickins’ hard work, entailing thousands of hours of volunteer time, is demonstrated by results such as: the Veendam Walk in Kelowna City Park, a new inclusive cenotaph to recognize locals who paid the ultimate sacrifice; the Okanagan Military Museum; the BCD Mural at the Military Museum; and generations of Canadians that value those who have served their country honourably.

Dickins continues to exemplify good citizenship even in his advanced age. Our British Columbia is a better place because of the compassion, dedication and tireless commitment of Dickins.

This year’s recipients were selected from more than 100 nominations. In addition to the Medal of Good Citizenship, individuals may be nominated for the Province’s other honour, the Order of British Columbia, which recognizes people who have served with the greatest distinction and excelled in any field of endeavour, benefiting British Columbians and others across Canada and beyond.

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