City of Prince George Hosts Birthday Celebration
Prince George, B.C. – The City of Prince George celebrated its 100th birthday in style tonight with a special dinner at the Civic Centre.
It included a long list of dignitaries including the mayor and members of council, area MLAs, community leaders, and civic volunteers.
It also included a speech by Lheidl T’enneh councillor Jennifer Pighin who spoke of her love for the city.
“Prince George is the place I chose to live and there’s no place I’d rather be,” she told the jam packed hall. “We’re here to acknowledge the history of the city, it wasn’t always pretty but none of us were here when it happened.”
MLA Shirley Bond reminisced, telling the audience how she grew up on George Street where her family owned a restaurant and “how she used to ride her bicycle on wooden sidewalks.”
Mayor Lyn Hall also spoke of how the city plans to build on the momentum gained through hosting the Canada Winter Games through the city’s centennial celebrations.
He also made special mention of the Games volunteers calling them “what the city is all about,” to a big round of applause from the audience.
Several honours were also handed out including one to Don Bassermann, who received the city’s highest honour, the Freedom of the City Award.
“Don is extremely deserving of this honour,” said Mayor Lyn Hall. “Freedom of the City is meant to recognize exceptional merit and contribution – two terms that I believe are synonymous with Don.”
Bassermann also served the city as a past board member of Tourism Prince George, the 2015 Winter Games Bid Committee, and the Two Rivers Gallery.
He was just the 13th Prince George resident to receive the award (the others include Cliff Dezell, Shirley Gratton, Anne Martin, Colin Kinsley, John Backhouse, Harold Moffatt, Garvin Dezell, Carrie Jane Gray, Pastor Lance Morgan, Ted Williams, Chief Justice J.O. Wilson, Peter Wilson, and The Rocky Mountain Rangers Royal Canadian Cadet Corp.).
Other award winners tonight included:
Outstanding Volunteer Award of Merit: Dan Rogers and Robin Draper
Recreation and Culture Award of Merit: Linda Self, Andrea Fraser, Lisa Redpath, Betty Burbee
Community Service Award: Pat Culham, John Nielson, Kristi Francis, Bart Vanderline
Youth of the Year: Emily O’Reilly
Honourable Mentions: Erica Haugland, Yalda Safaei
City Councillor Murray Krause, who also chairs the city’s 100th anniversary committee, reminded the audience the city will continue to celebrate the city’s centennial, including a series of events planned July 10th – 19th.