Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes is now a lifetime member of the Oliver branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
The appointment came as a surprise during Oliver Legion Branch 97’s annual award ceremony this pastº weekend, when dozens of awards were presented to the members celebrating milestone anniversaries and who went above and beyond.
Hovanes said he was able to be much more active on the Legion’s executive before his days on Town of Oliver council, but he’ll always be a very proud member.
“It’s nice to know that at the Legion, we keep on continuing to pass the torch. And who ever keeps picking up the torch never loses focus with our core goals: looking after our veterans, their families; Remembrance and community service. I’m very, very honoured, Thank you so much.”
“He is a person who dedicated so much time to the legion,” said Legion president Peter McKenna. “Let it be whatever he had to do he did. It was very deserving that he should get it – it’s people like that that deserve lifetime memberships.”
Among the award winners were branch service medal recipients George Boychuk and Larry Chalmers. Certificates of Appreciation were given to Maureen Doerr, Jacque Endreny, Gloria Luypen and Jeff Luypen.
The most senior achievement went to Curly Giesbrecht, who earned his 60 Year Bar and Pin.
A 50 Year Medal and Pin was awarded to Thelma Forty (presented Oct.18). Forty-five Year Pins went to Michael Channen (Oct.12), Wilbert Goddard and Peter Harbottle. Forty Year Pins were shared with Harvey Devine and Frederick Wright and Phyllis Petersen.
Earning 35 year pins were Ken Barlow (Oct.18), Lawrence Burkley, Frank Endreny and Terry Ridgewell. Elsie Mathers was the lone recipient of a 25 Year Pin (Oct.18). Flo Robinson and Denise Ujfalusi were given their 20 Year Pins, and Thelma Barlow earned her 15 Year Pin (Oct. 18).
A 10 Year Pin was presented to Lily Zekanovic. Brian Giesbrecht was awarded both a 45 Year Service Pin and 40 Year Pin.
Ruth Gottschalk and Gary Guraliuk were presented 35 Year Pins, and Ron Olafson and Roberta Schafer earned their 30 Year Pins.
Twenty-five Year Pins were awarded to Dee Granger, Tom Irvine and Tina Yerburgh. Earning 20 Year Pins were Lee Alaric and Lois Walters. Margaret Slade was given her 15 Year Pin.
Earning both 20 Year Service and 15 Year Pins were Pat Brown, George Kolompar, Darryl Macartney, Dorothy Nemeth, and Ivan Youche.
And Ann Gerhart earned her 15 Year Pin.