Ed Araki was one of 24 volunteers in B.C. that received a Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award on Friday at Government House in Victoria.
The award, which consists of a certificate and lapel pin, was created in 1995 to recognize people who have made a significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad. Often working behind the scenes, these individuals volunteer their time and efforts to help their fellow citizens.
“I was surprised,” said Araki. “You don’t volunteer for recognition. You volunteer to help make a difference.”
A volunteer firefighter since 1956, Araki has dedicated over 40 years to the community, from being a minor hockey, baseball and softball coach to ensuring participation and access to affordable recreation, culture and sport services through his membership at Hope and District Recreation, Culture and Airpark Commission. In 2000, he joined the Hope Crime Prevention Society where he researched crime prevention techniques, organized training courses for other volunteers, patrolled high crime areas and recruited volunteers. He’s currently a board member with Hope Crime Prevention Society, Block Watch Society of B.C., and the Upper Fraser Valley Crimestoppers.
“Without volunteers you can’t do anything,” said Araki. “I do it because I enjoy it and I’m giving back to the community. It’s very rewarding.”
Following the ceremony, recipients and their guests had the opportunity to visit It’s An Honour!, a new travelling exhibit that showcases stories of Canadians who have been recognized for their extraordinary achievements with national honours such as the Order of Canada, decorations for bravery and military valour decorations.