THE TRIUMPHS OF 2011: Plenty to celebrate for Nanaimo residents

It was a year of honours and recognition for Nanaimo residents.

  • Dec. 30, 2011 6:00 a.m.

It was a year of honours and recognition for Nanaimo residents.

Individuals who worked tirelessly to improve their community received high provincial and national honours. Athletes reached the podium to stand in glory. The City of Nanaimo was recognized as having the Greatest Street in Canada and was noted as being among the best in the world for air quality.

The New Bulletin looks back at some of the triumphs accomplished over the past year.


Iconic Canadian radio host and broadcast journalist Shelagh Rogers was awarded the prestigious Order of Canada. Rogers, who lives on Gabriola Island, has hosted CBC Radio One programs such as This Morning and Sounds Like Canada. The Officer of the Order of Canada is the country’s highest civilian honour and is awarded for lifetime achievement and merit in service to Canada or humanity.


Wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell wins three gold medals and one silver medal at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in New Zealand. She garnered gold in 100, 200 and 400 metre events, setting new event records in 100 and 200 metre competitions, and earned silver in the 800m.


Dover Bay Secondary School bested hundreds of contestants in the Staples Canada Recycle for Education Computer Lab Contest to win a $50,000 tech lab for the school. The reward recognized all the green initiatives the Dover Bay Eco Club has put in place over the past few years. The school beat out close to 300 schools from across Canada.


Sandra Thomson received the Honour in Culture Award from the City of Nanaimo in recognition of her decades of work to establish the Port Theatre. She worked alongside well-known and respected Nanaimo artists to fundraise more than $13 million to build the theatre downtown.

The Nanaimo News Bulletin won the top prize for general excellence in the largest circulation category at Saturday’s B.C. and Yukon Community Newspaper Association annual Ma Murray awards.


Commercial Street was voted the Greatest Street in Canada out of 6,000 nominations through the national contest hosted by the Canadian Institute of Planners. Lantzville’s Snaw-Naw-As community took third place in the contest’s Great Neighbourhoods category.


Mary-Lynn Epps won Teacher Educator of the Year Award from the Association of B.C. Deans of Education. The Grade 4 and 5 Randerson Ridge Elementary School teacher has taught for more than 30 years in Nanaimo and tries to encourage her students to take responsibility for their own learning and personalize the education experience.


Four men receive Canada’s Medal of Bravery from Governor General David Johnston for their attempts to rescue a crash victim who plunged into the Millstone River on Jan. 15, 2008. Michael Anderson, Glen Watts, Brent Blackmore and RCMP. Const. Shane Nicoll all entered the water trying to save 86-year old James McAllister.


Warni Fernando, a security guard with Casino Nanaimo, was recognized with  Great Canadian Gaming Corporation’s Chairman’s Award of Merit for saving the life of an RCMP officer who was being attacked near the casino.

The Pacific Biological Station at Departure Bay was named a national historic event by the federal Ministry of Environment. The biological station was the first fisheries research institution in the country, established in 1908.


Snuneymuxw First Nation elder Ellen White receives the Order of B.C. White, 89, is renowned as a tireless educator and advocate on cultural and women’s issues. She was among 14 people named as recipients for the 2011 award, the province’s highest honour.


Michael Hogman, 24, was honoured by Canadian Blood Services at its Honour Our Lifeblood awards ceremony for donating his bone marrow stem cells to save the life of a man in Ontario. Hogman is an army reservist and a service technician for Nanaimo-based Oughtred Coffee & Tea.


Four inductees were honoured as new members of Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame. Wheelchair athlete Michelle Stilwell, NHL player Alan Hill, soccer player Ernest “Fat” Edmunds and parks and recreation builder Larry McNabb were inducted in a ceremony at the Nanaimo Museum.


Nanaimo’s air quality was ranked one of the top 10 urban cities in the world for best air quality in the World Health Organization’s study ranking 1,100 cities in 91 countries. Canada finished third in the world for best air quality tied with Australia.


Riley Richters is awarded the Mid-Island Science and Technology and Innovation Council’s youth innovator award. The Grade 12 student in Nanaimo school district’s Career Technical Centre program is fascinated with inventing and will finish high school with his first level of training to become an electrician.


Ashtyn Lively, 12, was named the Gutsiest Citizen in British Columbia and the Yukon by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada for her efforts to raise money and awareness about the disease. She was one of six individuals named across Canada.

Just Posted

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

A section of proposed Harbourfront Walkway between White Eagle Terrace and Battersea Road. (City of Nanaimo image)
Nanaimo’s proposed walkway extension project estimated at $25-30 million

City asking for feedback on concepts to connect Departure Bay Beach and ferry terminal

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Small town residents Reed and Dusty, played by drama students Niya Irving and Cole Simpson, contemplate what brought them to a condemned park and what is keeping them there in the Dover Bay Secondary School production of ‘Bethel Park Falls.’ (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
High school drama students present outdoor performance at Nanaimo’s Dover Bay

Production to be staged in school courtyard with in-person audience

Police in Nanaimo hope the public can help find Sarah Duguay so investigators can check on her well-being. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to find woman who called police for help but hasn’t been located

Sarah Duguay, 40, not reported missing, but police want to check on her well-being

Beef to the pet owner who brought his puppy into the cold beer and wine store, where it promptly peed on another customer’s ankle.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 9

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Most Read