Shelley Howard (left) is congratulated by MP John Duncan after he presented her with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal Thursday.

Jubilee medals awarded to Campbell River-area residents

Community members recognized for contributions with honour commemorating Queen's long reign

A new commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada.

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

During the year of celebrations, 60 000 deserving Canadians will be recognized. Eleven Campbell River & area people received medals last Thursday from Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan.

The recipients are:


Mary Ashley

Ashley served as mayor and councillor in Campbell River from 1982 to 2006. She was recognized in 1994 as Freeman of the City – “in recognition and appreciation of her fine qualities of mind and personality and the eminent public services rendered by her to the City of Campbell River.” Her volunteer activities include: Founder and vice-chair of the Campbell River Community Foundation; Co-chair and founding member of the Island Corridor Foundation; and founding director Campbell River Hospital Foundation. Ashley is a dedicated community member who has and continues to contribute in so many ways through her commitment to the many originations she has been a part of over the years – a true volunteer.


Donald Assu

Assu is Hereditary Chief and first band manager of the Cape Mudge First Nations serving the band from 1958 to 1996. He is a highly respected fisherman and businessman in his community who sits on the Cape Mudge Resource Board as well as the Nuyumbalees Cultural Society Board since its inception in 1979. Don can also be credited with bringing the band and local School District together adopting the Liqwala/Kwakwala Language Program as an option in the district curriculum. Don has done a tremendous job over the years to promote sustainability and the culture of his band to the benefit of those within the band and the community at large.


Michael Atchison

Mike has been a member of a Vancouver Island Fire Department for over 31 years – starting in 1974 with the Comox Fire Department.

Although he had taken some time off since 1974 he has since served as longtime Fire Chief for the Village of Sayward and is current Volunteer Fire Department Chief for the Village of Zeballos. Atchison has spent many volunteer hours responding to fire calls and in the training of volunteer members. Known as “Chief big Daddy” (by his stature you can see why), Atchison has often been involved in fundraising over the years and once raised $1,500 on behalf of the Sayward Fire Department for the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock by getting his ‘locks’ shaved. As Public Works Foreman for both communities he pays close attention to the drinking water supply, making sure the sanitary and storm infrastructure has been well maintained, as well as keeping the parks and streets in a condition all can be proud of.  Atchison has also served on the BC Ambulance Service for 15 years, some of them as first responder, and currently as a driver. And above all Atchison is a family man and values his time with his family above everything else – the rest of us have been very lucky they have shared him with the community for so many years.


Carol Chapman

Every community wants and needs a Carol Chapman.

Passionate about giving back to her Campbell River home, Chapman helps others while contributing to the betterment of her community. Chapman always says ‘yes’ to helping with projects that support community health, education and infrastructure. Known as Campbell River’s quintessential fundraiser, Chapman has spearheaded initiatives for burn victims, cancer patients and the local SPCA. Chapman has been instrumental in reviving the annual Canada Day celebrations, now Campbell River’s most successful annual event. Chapman’s positive attitude and heartfelt desire for her community inspire and motivate all those who support the growth and development of Campbell River.


Arlene Fehr

Principal of Gold River Secondary School on Vancouver Island, Fehr has helped direct her students to broaden their horizons and reach out, taking two teams to E-Spirit, the Business Development Bank of Canada’s National Aboriginal Youth Business Plan Competition in Halifax in 2007.

Not only has Fehr dedicated her career to educating and supporting youth she also offers much of her “off” time to the same cause.

An example of her commitment this past summer, for the second time, she acted as a chaperone to a group of local and BC students who travelled to Beijing joining 800 youth from around the world for the experience of a lifetime. While there they spent two weeks learning Chinese customs and exploring the countryside. She not only gives the students moral support and guidance,  many times she has been known to use her own resources to provide for others so they are able to participate. Her dedication and commitment are second to none.


Priscilla Henderson

Henderson is a member of the Campbell River Indian Band and was the first Administrator for the band filling that position for 15 years.

Henderson followed that up with duties as the Finance Coordinator and then the Administrator of the Kwakiutl District Council which she has served for the past 22 years. Henderson also coordinates the participation of several advisory services for the ten Vancouver Island Member Nations of the KDC.

Her involvement in successful and beneficial programs, boards and committees for the KDC Member Nations throughout the Province include areas of Health Care, Policing and Safety Services, the Ministry of Children and Family Services, Financial Management, Education and many capacity building services which illustrate her dedication to her position and the community she serves.


Shelley Howard

Shelley is the Executive Director for the Campbell River Head Injury Support Society which provides education, advocacy, support, and fellowship to brain injury survivors, their caregivers and their families, and education to the general public about brain injury.

Howard has worked tirelessly over the years with both children and adults.  It is because of her vision, diligence and perseverance that the Campbell River Head Injury Support Society was able to relocate to their new facility last year.

She not only worked long hours as their executive director but she also acted as general contractor for the initial renovation of their new facility; she hammered nails, sanded drywall, and learned more about renovation than she cares to admit but without her dedication the project would not have been completed when many others did not think it was possible. And it does not end there.

Howard continues to work hard and her vision to expand the facility and offer more services are a huge part of her commitment – the community of Campbell River is very lucky to have her.

Maurice Johnson

Johnson is a long term member of the Campbell River Gun Club and recipient of the Ted Mack Award in 1997.

Johnson has been actively involved with the Canadian National Shooting Team as a supporter and coach and has lead members to compete at all levels, everything from national to international competitions.

He currently sits on the executive committee of the Shooting Federation of Canada serving as a Provincial/Territorial appointee.

Johnson has been an inspiration to many young people over the years and not only has had students who have medaled in competitions but have also gained valuable skills that lead to future careers such as with the RCMP.

Johnson has been a dedicated volunteer over the years and has sacrificed much of his own time to ensure others have success – today it is his turn to receive a medal.


Frances Jones

Jones has volunteered for many years with Campbell River Rotary and the Willow Point Business Improvement Association.

In fact, she is otherwise known as the unofficial “Mayor” of Willow Point.  She is the push behind multiple initiatives in the Campbell River area and she has devoted her time selflessly to improving quality of life and responsibility of the citizenry.  She is a true leader.

Jones is also known for her generosity as a florist and this has been very apparent in the floral arrangements offered for many community functions that celebrate the City of Campbell River and the many organizations that work within it.


Sian Thomson

In 1995, Thomson established the Justice, Advocacy, Dignity and Empowerment Society, known as the JADE Society, to develop positive solutions for individuals and families in crisis or struggling with such issues as homelessness, poverty and physical or mental challenges and was the driving force behind the society for over 18 years.

Her tireless devotion in providing advocacy services of every description has assisted many thousands of individuals.  Thomson is a mentor, an organizer, a leader, a compassionate individual who has worked hard to ensure that Campbell River is a safe and kind place to live for all its citizens.


William West-Sells

West-Sells is the visionary and “trail hacker” for the Kusam Klimb trail and annual event in Sayward.

Known to locals as “Bill’s Trail”, the Kusam Klimb trail was developed through 15 years of dedication and selfless construction. Originally cut as a waterline, West-Sells continued to carve a trail on up through the forest towards the H’Kusam peak.

By 1992, West-Sells had cut a trail up to the 2,000 foot mark. In 2003, two hikers coming down from the top bumped into West-Sells and his dog Chia. They ended up at West-Sells’s house and heard West-Sells’s vision for an endurance event using his route. Before long, the Kusam Klimb event was born.

So after 20 years of work, is West-Sells all done? Hardly. West-Sells is now adding in a few benches at the lookouts. The trail has also officially been recognized by the Forest Service for recreational use.