Rispin honoured for long service with fire fighters union

0514 - a great big salute to Mike Rispin who has been selected the first ever president emeritus of the Nanaimo Professional Fire Fighters Local 905. That comes after 18 years of service as a union leader to Nanaimo Professional Fire Fighters – 10 consecutive years as president of the union local. He was presented with a plaque and a ring in a tribute to his service.

Congratulations Mike, your Dad would be proud.

Kids boating safety campaign under way for 2018 season

0513 - The 2018 Kids Don't Float program of Nanaimo Marine Rescue was launched on Saturday with sponsors on hand to hang the first loaner personal floatation devises (PFDs).From left, Rod Grounds,Harbour Master of Port of Nanaimo, Ian MacPherson, Boating BC, the Rescue Bear, Debby Thomson RCMSAR 27 and Dawne and Sophia Negrin, representing the Marcus Negrin Memorial Fund.

B.C. Games salutes four Nanaimo volunteers

0514 - The B.C. Games looked back on four decades of sport, and also honoured four of the area’s standout volunteers.

The Sport B.C. Community Sport Hero Awards were presented at the B.C. Games’ 40th anniversary special event at the Nanaimo Museum on May 2.

The local honourees are Eloy Fiandor for judo, Selena Pellizzari for equestrian, Rick Bevis for volleyball and Brian Boas for lacrosse.


News Bulletin reporters win top media awards

0502 - Hats off to writers at the News Bulletin who were recognized for their work at the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray Awards on Saturday in Richmond.

Bulletin writers took first and second place in the the Feature Article, 25,000-plus circulation category. Karl Yu won first place and Tamara Cunningham took  second place in the category. Black Press Media newspapers took home 66 awards at the 2018 B.C. and Yukon Newspapers awards.

Tom Harris golf tournament honors his legacy

0513 - The first Tom Harris Charity Classic golf tournament is set for June 15 at the Nanaimo Golf Club. Money raised will go into Harris' community endowment fund at the Nanaimo Foundation.

Tony Harris, Tom's son, told NanaimoNewsNOW while the obvious goal is to raise money for deserving community causes, there's a greater motivation behind the event.

"Towards the end of his life, dad was really focused on encouraging more people to think about how they want their legacies to be remembered," Tony said. "We want to provide an opportunity to amplify dad's spirit of giving and maybe encourage more people to think of themselves as philanthropists."


Happy birthday 100 for Frank Ney

0512 - There was a birthday party, young and old came out to celebrate a former mayor who used bathtub racing and pirate costumes to help put Nanaimo on the map decades ago.

About 80 people attended a special event honouring Ney’s 100th birthday on Saturday morning at Maffeo Sutton Park.

The birthday bash was organized by the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society and Ney’s family. As with birthday parties, there were speeches from local politicians, cake and songs.


Lott awarded Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers

Jeff Lott in Germany on a recent trip to pick up stem cells for a recipient in B.C.

By Merv Unger

0501 - For some people, retirement means kicking back in an easy chair and watching the rest of the world go by. Not so for Jeff Lott, former officer in charge of Nanaimo RCMP. 

Lott’s retirement has focussed on what he can do for his community, and for that he has been awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers by Governor General Julie Payette.

The award recognizes his work with the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society as a volunteer courier. That takes him to virtually all corners of the world to pick up and deliver bone marrow and stem cells for leukemia patients at Vancouver General Hospital and B.C. Children’s Hospital. The society was founded in memory of Bruce Denniston, a former RCMP member in Powell River who died of leukemia.

Lott started his RCMP career in 1973 as a constable with Nanaimo Detachment and later served in Campbell River, Ottawa, the Northwest Territories, Port Alberni, Queen Charlotte Islands, Parksville and Powell River. Before returning to Nanaimo in 2001, he was the province’s Deputy Chief Firearms Officer.

The list of his community involvement and volunteer service is impressive, to say the least.

• He got an early start – beginning as a youth in his home town of Moose Jaw, Sask., he took a leadership role with the YMCA.  He continued as a volunteer coach in youth soccer, baseball and Special Olympics and as a hockey referee for more than 20 years. 

• 1990, Lott was named Port Alberni Citizen of the Year, recognizing his work in the community, particularly coaching youth in sport.

• 1999 - 2018 - Honorary Aide de Camp for the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

• 2000 - 2010 - Board member with Nanaimo Youth Services Association.

• 2001 - 2016 - St. John Ambulance, serving a number of terms as chairman of the Nanaimo Branch Executive Committee. St. John is known for providing volunteer emergency medical aid at local sporting venues and numerous other public events.

• 2002 - Awarded the Queen Elizabeth 50th Golden Jubilee Medal for service to his community. 

• 2005 - Appointed Member of the Order of Merit (MOM) of Police Forces in Canada by Queen Elizabeth.  

• 2007 - Recipient of the Long Service Medal, Gold Clasp, for 35 years of meritorious service to the RCMP.

• 2008 - Board member of the Nanaimo Addictions Foundation.

• 2010 - Special security division of the RCMP for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

• 2013 - Admitted to the Order of St. John (SBStJ) by the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

• 2014 - President of the B.C. Summer Games in Nanaimo which raised $775,000 to stage the games, leaving a legacy fund of $120,000. He had previously volunteered for both the B.C Seniors Games and the B.C. Disability Games in Nanaimo.

• During his term with the RCMP in Nanaimo, he was an Incident Commander for the Island Emergency Response Teams.

• 2016 - He was an active member of a sponsorship group for a Syrian refugee family in Nanaimo. 

• 2016 - Awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

 • 2017-present – He is a community stream stewardship volunteer, working with the Departure Creek Salmon Smolt Trap project promoting local community stream stewardship. He also participates in stream restoration projects. 

• Most recently, he developed a training program for certified amateur radio operators to anchor communications for St. John Ambulance during local and regional disasters.

Lott is a sports and outdoors enthusiast. He and his wife enjoy kayaking, scuba diving, mountain biking and travelling. 

If only he could devise some way to add more hours to the clock he would probably do even more for his fellow man.