Known as being quiet, dependable, and staying out of the spotlight, Sparwoods Robert (Bob) Burritt was made know to all when the Honourable Senator Nancy Green Raine presented him with the Queens Jubilee Medal for his outstanding dedication to his community. Many members of the community attended the award presentation and were glad to see Burritt receive the medal.
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is given to Canadians nominated by senators, MP’s, Military and RCMP leaders and in Bob’s case, Mayors. It is awarded to those who volunteer, aid and assist in making their community a better place. It is a complex medal, depicting a picture of the Queen and diamond shapes expressing the anniversary. The ribbon is made of blue red and white, the colours found in the 1953 Coronation Medal, the 1977 Jubilee Medal, and the 2002 Golden Jubilee Medal. It was designed by the Canadian Heraldic Authority, and produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.
Prior to the awards presentation Greene-Raine chatted with those attending, learning the history of Sparwood and how the town came to be. She commented on the beauty of Sparwood and expressed her pleasure to be in the area, and to be presenting the award to Burritt.
Sparwood Mayor Lois Halko, introduced Burritt, and expressed her appreciation for his dedication to the community. “Bob Burritt has never been recognized for all of his community work and he never brings attention to himself, but he gives so much to the community,” she said. “I feel that Bob is our ‘hidden gem’ in that he is always present, but to this point unrecognized,” said Halko. Burritt may be most well know in the Fraternal Order of Eagles which he had joined in 1978, where he had served as President and in the past secretary for over twenty years. In 1986 Burritt was a founding member of the Sparwood Futures Society, where he now he sits as President. The group was instrumental in building a non-profit campground facility in the community. The project was so successful that an expansion took place, and now sees the 63 campsites now booked ninety -eight percent of the summer months. “This campground has been a true asset to our community and is appreciated by many visitors in the area,” said Halko. The Sparwood Futures Society was also the supporting society behind the Seniors Housing complex known as Lilac Terrace and the Sparwood Water Spray Park. Bob was also a founding member of the Lilac Terrace Board of Directors and has been President of that Board for the past seven years.
“Bob is truly respected by residents of our community for his unfailing assistance and dependability. It was my hounour to nominate him as he is an extraordinary community volunteer,” concluded Halko.
True to his manner and as humble as one could be Bob was very thankful for the award, but expressed that it was because of the assistance of many others within the community that projects and ideas were so successful.