On Wednesday, April 20 Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender, on behalf of Premier Christy Clark, presented Patricia Housty, a well-known Bella Bella citizen, with the province’s newest honour, the Medal of Good Citizenship at the Wawiskas Community Hall in Bella Bella.
Launched in July 2015 by Premier Clark, the prestigious Medal of Good Citizenship recognizes individuals who, through exceptional long-term service, have made outstanding contributions to their communities without expectation of remuneration or reward. The medal reflects their generosity, service, acts of selflessness and contributions to community life. Nominations for the Medal of Good Citizenship are accepted year-round.
A pillar for the community, Housty will be honoured with the medal for being a generous volunteer, role model and community caretaker within the Heiltsuk First Nation and all of Bella Bella. Housty has offered many quiet acts of kindness ensuring impoverished families have food, and is a powerful mentor and champion for the community’s youth.
After the loss of the community’s grocery store in a fire, Housty took the lead in having an interim location set up at the United Church building. Thanks to her quick thinking and resourcefulness, the store was back up and running in two days and the residents of Bella Bella were able to shop for food supplies.
“Back in September 2015 my family was making plans for a Community Retirement dinner for my dear aunt – Pat Housty, during that time we received favourable congratulatory responses from various dignitaries at all levels of government and corporate affairs.When we contacted Minister Rustads office, we also learned of the call for nominations for the new provincial Medal of Good Citizenship award,” said her nephew, Reg Moody. “With the assistance of Jeff Svanhill. Leona Humchitt and myself, we completed the application for Pat Housty. We were hopeful that the successful applicant would be named prior to our community Retirement celebration. We just learned of BC’s award selection and results two weeks ago.”
Moody said it was “hard to summarize in a few short words what Pat has contributed to our community and Nation.”
Her service to community and countless hours of volunteering include mentoring youth; serving as a Heiltsuk Tribal Councillor; fundraising for the local basketball team, now the pride of the Heiltsuk First Nation; and facilitating food service for important community gatherings including weddings, funerals and potlatches. Housty is among a select group of British Columbians who will receive the Medal of Good Citizenship and the first Aboriginal person to receive the honour.
“Auntie Pat you are so deserving of this award. You have always maintained a humble heart and never expected anything in return. We are proud to say that you are ours. We are richer for your generosity and your heart. May you be richly blessed in return,” said Moody. “You epitomize what it means to be Heiltsuk, to serve the people and to speak and act correctly. In my current and future political leadership roles with our Nation, I can only hope to measure up to the extremely high bar and standards that Auntie Pat has set.”
“I have enjoyed each and every moment of working with the community, and for the community. Our community is one that comes together, especially when others show an interest,” said Housty. “Throughout my 42 years as manager of the grocery store I was able to see each and every day areas where citizens could use a little extra help, and it was my pleasure to ensure that we showed them there was someone to assist with their daily needs.”
The Medal of Good Citizenship was launched in 2015 to recognize individuals who, through exceptional long-term volunteer efforts, have made outstanding contributions to the well-being of their communities.
Nominations for the Medal of Good Citizenship are accepted year-round. All regions in the province were represented on the Medal of Good Citizenship Selection Committee and members came from various professional backgrounds. More than 220 nominations were reviewed. Additional medal presentation ceremonies will be held throughout the province in the coming months.