On December 16 at a quaint gathering at City Hall, the George S. Majic Spiritus award was presented to this year’s recipient, Mario Rocca.
The award is presented annually in memory of long-time Fernie resident George Majic. It was inspired by his family and friends in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario where George first won the Spiritus award when he was 16 years old.
“This year’s recipient was really honoured,” said Mayor Mary Giuliano. “It is a privilege for us at council to be able to honour someone from this community because it is people like Mr. Rocca that make this community what it is.”
Rocca has been involved with the Rod and Gun Club for 45 years where he works with children; he is a member of the Elks and he has done snow removal for seniors in the community for years.
“He is the kind of guy that if you have mechanical problems with your vehicle, he will fix it for you, no problem,” said Giuliano. “He just goes about his business and that is what this award is about, honouring somebody who doesn’t get accolades; they just go about their business quietly.”
Rocca graciously accepted the award noting that his wife, Geri, also deserves recognition as she has stood beside him all through the years.
This award is especially meaningful to Rocca as he knew Majic personally.
In the beginning the awards that were given to the recipients were made out of granite from Sault Ste. Marie. This year the City of Fernie had Adam Rigby make new awards out of rock from Fernie. The awards are in the shape of a mountain.
The original award with all the recipients’ names on it can be found at the Fernie Heritage Library.