Bobby Burns and John Enns received Volunteer Recognition Awards from the District of Tofino on Feb. 24.
The men were nominated by the community for their long-time service to Fish and Loaves Humane Society and generous help to those in need.
Acting Mayor Duncan McMaster presented the award to the philanthropic pair before a bustling free food and goods distribution on Wednesday morning at the Tofino Legion.
“Bobby is just at every event and he just goes under appreciated for all the work he does. He is a big volunteer around town. I’ve known him for a while and everything I ask him to do he does well,” said McMaster.
Enns said Burns is a father and lives in Opitsaht.
“He’s a very conscientious and hard-working, giving volunteer,” Enns said, adding that a brain injury impacted Burns’ speech.
Burns wrote in a text that he volunteers four days a week: two days for Tla-o-qui-aht, one day for Fish and Loaves, and one day at Ckean House. He also teaches Muay Thai Kickboxing and is studying English.
As the Fish and Loaves Humane Society president, Enns tirelessly advocates for better housing for Tofino workers.
“I do try to direct the district to things they might not be aware of like all the people that are living in vans and tents that are washing their dishes and setting their tables and cleaning vacation rentals. I think they are in for a rude awakening this summer because those people have nowhere else to go except our streets,” said Enns.
He went on to say that places like Crab Apple and Meares Vista do help, and that they should be rewarded by the district rather than penalized.
“I don’t think council is aware of everything. The tail should not wag the dog. Council should take care of staff,” he said.
Enns welcomed the district award on behalf of all Fish and Loaves volunteers.
“It’s really for everyone. The majority of the work is not done by me. It started by Christian people many years ago. Thank Jesus for this place and for the good people,” he said.
Fish and Loaves recently changed their food distribution from Tuesday to 10:00 a.m Wednesday due to volunteer scheduling and to prevent crossover with Ucluelet’s food bank distribution day. Tofino’s free community food drop includes bread, a variety vegetables, fruit, and sometimes dairy. It is open to anyone in need.