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Bowen Island mayor receives Diamond Jubilee Medal
Bowen Island’s mayor Jack Adelaar was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of his contributions to the community and to all of Canada. “It pleases me to no end,” Adelaar said. “I think that people recognize that things are changing on the island and they are giving me a bit of credit for it.”
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. The medal is awarded by the Governor-General of Canada to Canadians who have made a significant contribution to a particular province, territory, region or community in Canada. Adelaar is one of 60,000 recipients nation-wide.
In her congratulatory letter to mayor Adelaar, Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) president Karen Leibovici wrote, in part: “Your peers in local government across the country admire your accomplishments as a community leader, and congratulate you on earning this prestigious award. FCM chose you to receive this distinction for your exemplary efforts to make your community a great place to live. It recognizes the important role municipalities – and their elected leaders – play in ensuring our prosperity and high quality of life.”
Adelaar said that although he is pleased to get the prize, he believes that the praise has to be spread among the people who support him and who he’s working with. “They are helping me and I try to help them - they’re terrific,” he said. Adelaar in particular spoke about his collaboration with other council members and municipal staff, referring to a climate of mutual support.
“I believe that we are working more collaboratively,” he said. “Council is just coming out of two days of strategic planning, and I can’t thank staff enough for giving us direction about what we need to focus on. And I couldn’t be more pleased about the way that we are moving forward with their help and input.”
Adelaar quoted something that long-time islander Bruce Howlett once said, “Council has to be realistic, not idealistic.” And added that it helps to have the feedback of staff and “not operate in a vacuum.”
“I’m saying that staff is really motivated to help us move forward, stay grounded and focus on the things we need to take care of,” Adelaar said, adding that this climate is reflected in what’s happening around the council table. “[Councillors] may have different views on different issues but by and large we are able to reach consensus,” he said. “I have the sense that our council is working together really well.”
A celebration in Adelaar’s honour will be held at the municipal hall in April. Please check the municipal website (www.bimbc.ca) for updates.