2019 Awards Recipients

The City of Duncan presents awards each year to residents who demonstrate excellence in the fields of arts, sports and long-term service to the community. On December 2, 2019, at the Annual Meeting held at City Hall, this year’s awards were handed out:

Duncan Fire Hall Long Service Awards

Recipient Years of Service Current Role
Art Sanderson 20 Years Chaplain
Corky Adams 20 Years Captain
Ron Olaussen    25 Years Deputy Chief
Wray Watson 30 Years Assistant Chief
Mike McKinlay 30 Years Chief
Rick Starke 35 Years Retired Captain

St. John Life Saving Award – Paul McCoy

This year, the St. John Ambulance Cowichan Valley Brigade presented the Life Saving Award to Paul McCoy.

Article Credit: CFB Esquimalt Lookout Navy News

Chief Petty Officer Second Class Paul McCoy, is in the 33rd year of his career with the Royal Canadian Navy and currently works in his unit’s Underwater Warfare branch as a Coastal Advisor on Sonar Operations.

But he also works a part-time job as a First Aid instructor for the St. John Ambulance training centre in his hometown of Duncan. On March 10, 2018 one of his students, 66-year-old Earl Morris, suffered a cardiac arrest during his class.

“It happened to Earl in the right place at the right time,” said CPO2 McCoy. “If you are going to have a heart attack, have it in a first aid class where there are people fully trained and willing to help.”

The incident occurred as the class was taking a break and Chief McCoy was in the hallway. A student rushed to him to say Morris had collapsed in his chair, was unresponsive and not breathing. CPO2 McCoy, with the help of another instructor and student, sprang into action and used their training and equipment to save the heart attack victim’s life.

CPO2 McCoy, who is certified as an Occupational First Aid Level 3 and Advanced Medical First Responder, assessed Morris’ condition and then moved him to the ground. He performed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) while the other instructor administered oxygen.

CPO2 McCoy used a defibrillator to keep him alive while his student and the other instructor continued to perform CPR until paramedics arrived. Paramedics then used their defibrillators approximately six times before Morris was stable enough to be transported to hospital. He has since recovered.

CPO2 McCoy received his First Aid Instructor certification while serving in HMCS Calgary in 2007. Over the course of his life he has used his first aid training to save the lives of others. Those include severely injured accident victims of a head-on-collision on the Malahat, and two pedestrians who were struck by a vehicle in Sooke.

He recommends first aid training and refresher training to everyone.

“The training gives you the tools and confidence to properly perform first aid,” he said.  “It could be you or someone you love lying there next time. If you know what to do, you will be able to jump in and help. Everyone should have this training.”

2019 Perpetual Arts Trophy – Judy Brayden

Judy Brayden’s main contribution to the Cowichan Valley arts community, since she and her husband moved here in 2007, has been the support of local visual artists through the Cowichan Valley Arts Council (CVAC).  Her passion and leadership saw CVAC rise into the top 25% of Arts Councils in B.C.

Judy was CVAC President from 2011-2013, 2016-2017 and Past President from 2013-2014 and 2017-2018.  By 2019, her volunteer hours exceeded several thousand.  During this time, she organized, installed, and supported countless art shows. One of the most noteworthy was the November 2014 facilitation, with artist Yuko Yamamoto, of a two week visit, workshops, and show by kimono art Master Tetsuo of Tokyo, Japan.

After her first year as CVAC President, she began a series of presentations to the Board of Directors of the CVRD to demonstrate how small amounts of grant-in-aid dollars spent in the Arts could benefit the entire community.  These demonstrations were a major factor in Arts and Culture becoming a line function in the CVRD annual budget.  This enabled CVAC to reach a level of funding security crucial to its sustainability.

Judy also spear headed the change of an annual CVAC youth scholarship program into a two year hands-on mentorship program for 14 to 16 Grade 11 and 12 students.  This has become a flagship program for the Arts Council and involves accomplished artists in the community mentoring students and assisting them in reaching their portfolio goals.

She has also developed a strategic planning process which lays out the goals, values and vision of CVAC.  An artist and designer herself, Judy has always led by example, always thinking and creating ‘outside the box’.  This passion, combined with her energy and enthusiasm, has significantly impacted the richness of the arts community.

We thank the Cowichan Valley Arts Council who worked closely with the City in selecting this year’s recipient. In honour of her award, Judy was given a carved wooden box from artist Robert Andrew of Mayne Island.

2019 Perpetual Trophy for Excellence and Sportsmanship – Gerry Rees

At a young age, Gerry was involved in various sports that notably included ruby, cricket, and tennis.  He played rugby at a high level in Wales with club teams such as the Bulth Wells, Birmingham City Policy and in the Premier Division with England’s Moseley Rugby Club.  Upon arriving in Canada in 1976, Gerry became a prominent player for the Cowichan Rugby Club.  As a rugby player, Gerry was noted for his kicking abilities and that earned him a try-out with the Canadian Football League BC Lions.

In 1976, Gerry began coaching and managing the Village Green slo-pitch team. He began coaching competitively in 1986 starting with the Silver Bullets, Meridian Foods, and then the Oak & Carriage Pub.  These teams reached unparalleled success including provincial titles in 1992, 1993, and 1997 and a Canadian National Championship in 1994.  The national champion featured 24 teams.  Gerry’s teams were noted for winning and in 1990, the Silver Bullets won 106 games and lost only five.  The wins included high provide tournaments such as the Whistler 5000.  His teams also won the Crofton Days tournament in 22 out of 25 years.

Gerry was the Cowichan Slo-pitch League President for 16 years, umpired for over 30 and acted as Chief umpire for 12 years.  He also served on the Cowichan Sportsplex Board of Directors, and was President of the Cowichan Rugby Club for six years.

2019 Scroll of Honour – Reta & Otto Lachman

For many years now, Reta & Otto have come regularly to Providence Farm to help out with the Farm Fashions program.  Farm Fashions is a program in which donated clothing is, for the most part, given to people in need.  As volunteers they are constantly busy sorting donations and supporting the participants. Otto also helps with repairs around the building and does other odd jobs as needed. Reta and Otto’s assistance has been a great asset to this social services.

Reta and Otto can also be seen in the midst of many activities for their church, offing willing hands and thoughtful reflection whenever and wherever they are needed.  They provide a meal for up to 60 people one day a month for the “Meals on the Ground” program, helping ensure folks are fed and served on “Souper Thursday”, or providing baking for our regular Friday “Third Place Café”.  Reta provides food know-how, ensuring folks are well fed with appetizing and satisfying meals, and serving the same, while Otto works in support, helping with groceries, preparation, and service too. They are also on hand for the church’s annual events, in the fall “Harvest Fair”, winter “Burns Dinner”, and various garage sales which the church benefits from their many hours of volunteer service.

They can both also be counted on for advice, support research, and work when it comes to church renovations projects.  The recent kitchen restructuring was helped greatly by Reta’s careful advice along with Otto’s community contacts and his skills in carpentry.

Otto has been a Speed Watch volunteer prior to 2003, and has continued to volunteer in that capacity as well as expanding his time and service as a Citizen on Patrol.  Over the years Otto could volunteer up to 250+ hours per year.  In 2017, when his regular partner stepped down from Citizens on Patrol, he focused his time in the Speed watch program and still volunteers 100 or more hours each year. Reta supports Otto in his volunteer service with Speed Watch, and ensures the volunteers get tasty treats at each celebration event by providing baked goodies.

Both also volunteer their time to wrap several gift baskets for many different organizations throughout the Cowichan Valley.

Freedom of the City – Phil Kent

Freedom of the City is given to individuals who have made a significant long term commitment to service to the City of Duncan and its citizens.

This Freedom of the City recipient has given very unselfishly to his community for nearly two decades, not only through his service on Duncan City Council, but also well beyond his associations with the City.

He was first elected to Duncan Council in 1999, and was the City’s Mayor from 2005-2018.

He served on the Cowichan Valley Regional District Board from November 2005-December 2016, as a Director, and then as Vice Chair.  He also was Chair of the CVRD Region Services Committee and served on the Economic Development Commission, Emergency Preparedness Committee, and Transit Committee.

During his tenure on City Council, accomplishments, with collaboration and partnership, were completed including:

The Vancouver Island University Cowichan campus; the Aquatic Centre; the University Village Plan; the Downtown Duncan Revitalization Plan; flood mitigation works; the rejuvenation of Centennial Park and ensuring the railway corridor stayed.

He also has a long history of community involvement including:

Chair of Island Coastal Economic Development Trust from June 2008-August 2018. “ICET” as it’s known for, was created in 2006 by the Province of BC, to provide economic diversification, planning and regional revitalization in the Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast region.

He served on the Cowichan Success by Six Council of Partners, from January 2008-June 2018.  Success By 6® is an early childhood development initiative dedicated to providing all children ages 0 to 6 to develop the emotional, social, cognitive, and physical skills they need as they enter school.

He continues to serve as the Vice-Chair for the Island Corridor Foundation, and has been on their board since 2012. The Island Corridor Foundation is a non-profit society and federally registered charity established for the purposes of owning and managing the rail corridor on Vancouver Island.

He has been self-employed in business for over three decades, and most recently consulting for communities to lower their carbon footprint.

He holds certificates in Business Management, Strategic Planning from Royal Roads University and Sustainable Community Development from Simon Fraser University.

Thank you to Phil Kent for all your work and contributions to the City.


If you would like to nominate an individual for a 2020 award, please download an application form the Forms & Applications page.