From left, Coun. Dorothy Baert, Coun. Duncan McMaster, Mayor Josie Osborne, Coun. Al Anderson, volunteer award recipient Ruby Bernard, Coun. Tom Stere, Coun. Andrea McQuade and Coun. Britt Chalmers celebrated Bernard’s significant volunteer contribution to her community at a ceremony in Tofino’s council chambers on Dec. 11. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

From left, Coun. Dorothy Baert, Coun. Duncan McMaster, Mayor Josie Osborne, Coun. Al Anderson, volunteer award recipient Ruby Bernard, Coun. Tom Stere, Coun. Andrea McQuade and Coun. Britt Chalmers celebrated Bernard’s significant volunteer contribution to her community at a ceremony in Tofino’s council chambers on Dec. 11. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Bernard earns Tofino’s top volunteer honour

Longtime local celebrated for 57 years of community commitment.

During their last regular meeting of 2018, Tofino’s municipal council cheered longtime volunteer champion Ruby Bernard.

“We have a very important presentation to make today,” said Tofino mayor Josie Osborne at the start of Dec. 11’s council meeting. “Ruby, it is a real honour to be able to say a few things about you…You’ve been here for 57 years in Tofino and you have truly lived a life of service.”

Osborne explained that Bernard arrived in Tofino in 1961 and served as a registered nurse at the Tofino General Hospital, later becoming an Acting Matron.

“When her three children were young, she was a Brownie leader for many years and she taught Sunday School as well at St. Columba Church. She has served as treasurer for the church for 35 years, been the music coordinator and provider for that same period, and continues to this day to provide that service,” Osborne said adding Bernard played a key role in the recent construction of St. Columba’s new addition.

She added that Bernard served on the Library Board and launched a story time event at the library, for which she donated the furniture at the time and that Bernard also served on Tofino’s municipal council for two terms from 1990-1996.

She noted Bernard has also volunteered for the Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Tofino Hospital Foundation and Tofino Salmon enhancement society.

Bernard told the Westerly News she was surprised and honoured to receive the recognition.

“That floored me because I’ve always thought of myself as, sort of, behind the scenes,” she said. “I was surprised and I was honoured too. It was a nice thing to get.”

She added that volunteering is vital to keep small communities vibrant.

“You do these things in a community and you don’t think of it as anything extraordinary. You just go from one project to the next, to the next, to the next. That’s what makes small communities. You do your part in it to keep the community spirit going,” she said. “It makes you part of the community…Small communities, I think, are where it’s at and you put back into the community what you can and you probably get more back from doing that than you realize.”

Bernard was presented with a plaque heralding her positive impact on the town and will also have her name placed on Tofino’s growing Volunteer Wall of Fame on Campbell Street.

READ MORE: Tofino cheers volunteer firefighter of the year

READ MORE: Tofino honours volunteer champion

READ MORE: Art Skoda earns Ucluelet’s top volunteer honour



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WILDLIFE TREE: Tofino Poet Laureate Christine Lowther stands next to a giant cedar tree on District Lot 114, the site of Tofino’s controversial affordable housing project. The tree was pinned with an official Ministry of Forests yellow wildlife tree sign to educate fallers that the tree needs to be left standing for food, shelter and nesting. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Tofino author Christine Lowther calling for poetry about trees

“I’m thrilled to be of service to trees through poetry.”

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March 6. (Westerly file photo)
Tofino’s mayoralty candidates lay out key differences

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March 6.

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Clockwise from top right, chamber executive director Jen Dart moderated a Zoom-based forum last week where Tofino’s mayoralty candidates J.J. Belanger, Andrea McQuade and Dan Law made their pitch to lead their community. (Screenshot)
WATCH: Tofino mayoralty candidates face off at forum

Town to elect new mayor and two new councillors on March 6.

A man died in a house fire at the Ahousaht First Nation reserve on Feb. 17, 2021. (BP File Image)
House fire claims life of one man in Ahousaht

Investigation underway as tight-knit community mourns, foul play not suspected

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read