Awards honouring athletics, grades, and volunteering handed out by Langley Township

Awards honouring athletics, grades, and volunteering handed out by Langley Township

Walnut Grove’s Prabhasha Wickramarachchi earned Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award

An individual who helped shine the national sports spotlight on the Township of Langley, people who promote sustainable agriculture, and a top student committed to humanitarian causes have been honoured for their exceptional volunteer efforts.

Each spring, the Township recognizes volunteers during a celebration, which includes the presentation of the Eric Flowerdew Volunteer Award, the John and Muriel Arnason Award, and the Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award.

While this year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19, the recipients were recently presented with their awards by Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese in small, socially distanced ceremonies.

“Volunteers play such an important role in our community,” said Froese. “Everything they do and the time and expertise they generously give has a huge impact on everyone around them. Volunteers truly make a difference and it is our honour to recognize them and let them know how much they are appreciated.”

Eric Flowerdew Volunteer Award

Named after a former parks and recreation commissioner, school trustee, and municipal councillor – the Eric Flowerdew Volunteer Award recognizes an individual who promotes an active living lifestyle that enhances Langley’s quality of life and community spirit through creative, cultural, physical, or social pursuits.

The 2019 Flowerdew Award was presented to Nigel Easton.

For 17 years, Easton was manager of the Langley Curling Centre and served on the board of directors for Curl BC.

He helped bring several high-profile events to Langley Township, including the 2020 New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championships.

Working with the Township, the curling club, and volunteers – he helped ready the George Preston Community Centre for the national event and ensure its success earlier this year.

Easton has helped individuals in wheelchairs get the training they need to enjoy curling and worked with the Township to build an access ramp at George Preston.

He is also active with the Nicomekl enhancement society.

As treasurer, Easton applied for government grants and reached out to the Pacific salmon foundation, putting the society in a profitable position and allowing it to improve salmon habitat.

John and Muriel Arnason Award

The John and Muriel Arnason Award is named after former Township of Langley councillor and freewoman Muriel Arnason and her husband John.

It is given to two people who volunteer together to make the Township a better place.

The 2019 Award was presented to Carol Paulson and Dave Melnychuk.

As founding directors of the Langley sustainable agriculture foundation – who serve as secretary and president – the pair have been helping ensure farmers and food production thrive into the future since the volunteer-run organization was created in 2011.

READ MORE: Young violinist and pianists lauded by Langley Community Music School

As a team, they educate farmers and the public through workshops, educational materials, and community events, and recently launched the new Langley learning farm.

They are the driving force behind the ecological services initiative, which was undertaken with the Township to reward farmers for voluntarily maintaining ecologically sensitive areas on their land.

Melnychuk has served on the Township’s agricultural advisory committee and Paulson has been a member of the economic development and the recreation, culture, and parks advisory committees.

Also nominated for the Arnason Award were Langley animal protection society volunteers Karen and Rob Hunt.

Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award

Presented to a student in Grade 11 or 12 in recognition of their athletic achievement, academic accomplishment, leadership, and commitment to the community, the Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award is named after the Township’s first recreation director, an internationally recognized athlete, photographer, and originator of the Langley Walk.

Winner of the 2019 – 2020 Award was Prabhasha Wickramaarachchi.

With an average of 97 per cent, Wickramaarachchi is one of the top graduating students at Walnut Grove Secondary, having received outstanding academic awards for pre-AP biology, pre-calculus, and French.

She was the Concours D’art Oratoire French Speech Champion for Langley in both 2015 and 2018 and topped her school’s chemistry contest.

A member of the Walnut Grove track and field team who trains with universal athletics club, she has excelled in local, provincial, and national competitions.

Wickramaarachchi is the Fraser Valley champion for 400 metres, a member of the junior girls 4 x 100 provincial championship team, and won gold at the BC Summer Games.

In 2019, she placed sixth in Canada for U18 Women’s 400 metre hurdles, in her rookie year in the event.

Wickramaarachchi has committed over 400 hours to her school’s humanitarian club, is part of Langley’s youth homelessness initiative, serves with the Starfish Backpack program and ocean research team, and raises funds for several causes.

As well, she is the founder of operation safety, health, and education – which purchases supplies for a girls’ orphanage in Sri Lanka.

Nominees for the Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award included:

• Alex Sol – Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary School

• Brooke Balharry – Langley Secondary School

• Kari Stam – Credo Christian High School

• Lexi Kowalewski – Aldergrove Community Secondary School

• Makenna Gardner – Langley Christian School

• Shannon Kao – R.E. Mountain Secondary School

The Swensson Award winner received a $750 scholarship and the Flowerdew and Arnason Award recipients received $750 to contribute to a recognized charity or society of their choice.

“Congratulations to this year’s recipients and thank you to the hundreds of hard-working volunteers whose contributions help make the Township of Langley such a wonderful place,” Froese said.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

LangleyLangley TownshipStudents

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

 

Awards honouring athletics, grades, and volunteering handed out by Langley Township

Awards honouring athletics, grades, and volunteering handed out by Langley Township

Just Posted

The family of injured Willoughby resident Ronald Gerald Jesso is hoping someone saw something that will help solve the mystery of how he came to be so badly hurt on the morning of Feb. 22. Jesso is still in hospital. (Jesso family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An appeal to help solve the mystery of an injured Langley man

Family of Ronald Gerald Jesso asks witnesses to come forward

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Liberty roses – created by acclaimed rose breeder Brad Jalbert – will be planted in White Rock later this month. (Contributed photo)
‘Liberty Rose’ to be planted along Johnston Road and at White Rock City Hall

Poppy-like rose created by acclaimed rose breeder Brad Jalbert

Brad Kiendl, president of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Langley Chamber hosts tax man for talk on business benefits

A CRA liaison will speak at this month’s virtual meeting

Undated Google Street View image of Peterson Road Elementary School in Langley. A member of the school community has tested positive for COVID-19. (Google)
COVID-19 case reported at Peterson Road Elementary School

Person is ‘self-isolating at home’

Seveya Jepsen is inviting people to stop by her Pet Food Drive on Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Jepsen family/Special to the Langley Advance Time)
Langley girl’s 10th birthday goes to the dogs, and cats, and rabbits

Seveya Jepsen is concerned that animals have enough food so she’s hosting a pet food drive.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Retired B.C. teacher and star CFL kicker charged for assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 closed in Metchosin, detour made available early Saturday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. RCMP Lower Mainland District officer, Asst. Commissioner Stephen Thatcher presents RCMP blankets to (from left) Chief James Hobart, Chief Maureen Chapman, Chief Derek Epp and Chief Mark Point. (RCMP)
Historic agreement significantly expands Indigenous role in Lower Mainland policing

Community Safety Agreement builds relationship of ‘trust, communication and prevention,’ says Chief

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Lower Mainland teens with Ocean Wise’s YouthToSea program have launched an initiative called Clean Coastal, Eat Local, through which they’re offering restaurant gift cards to individuals or households that organize a coastal cleanup in the month of March. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise)
Teens challenge Lower Mainlanders to clean up their act

YouthToSea offers restaurant gift cards in exchange for a cleaner coastline

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Most Read