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Heritage awards handed out in Maple Ridge

Six awards given to individuals and organizations who have advanced heritage in the community
Jill Smith and Tom Little won the Sheila Nickols Heritage Award. (Special to The News)

City of Maple Ridge Heritage Awards were handed out.

Awards are given by the Community Heritage Commission in recognition of special initiatives, accomplishments, and projects advancing heritage conservation and awareness in the community.

This year The Whitehead Property at 11406 205th St. won the heritage site award.

The property is an outstanding example of conservation to an early Craftsman bungalow in the community, read comments about the award.

Owned by Leanne Koehn and James Rowley, the house’s generous wood detailing contributes to the character of Hammond and the heritage of early Port Hammond settlement. Koehn and Rowley entered into a heritage revitalization agreement in 2015 and recently completed the conservation work on the building.

Haunted History BC won the history hero award. Victoria Vancek and Gina Armstrong co-founded Haunted History BC in 2020 and created the very first Canadian paranormal magazine called Evenings and Avenues – Hauntingd in the Outskirts, released June 2022.

The book features Maple Ridge’s Kanaka Creek Regional Park, Golden Ears Provincial Park, and Alouette Mountain Trail.

Tom Little and Jillian Smith, caretakers of Haney House for 27 years, received the Sheila Nickols award.

“Together, Tom and Jill took great care of the house, garden, and grounds,” read comments for their award.

“Their contribution to protect and beautify Haney House, so that future generations can learn historical facts, stories, and memories is invaluable.”

The stewardship of a community cultural asset award went to Wild and Immersive.

The organization runs educational programming for youth in the UBC Research Forest, teaching them the importance of local ecosystems and diverse ecology. The program teaches people of all ages how to take care of natural heritage in their own backyards.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge Heritage Awards celebrate those fighting to preserve history

ALSO: Heritage Month, homes and neighbours

Shengbin Li, Xiaoxiao Zhang, and Shaohua (Aaron) Dong received the youth heritage award. The three International Baccalaureate students from Meadowridge School are volunteers with the Maple Ridge Museum as part of a translation project where they translated a series of the museum’s blog posts into Chinese.

And Fred Braches received the heritage commendation.

He is an award winning author who published his book Whonnock: Pictures from the Past in late 2022.

Braches, who once had a career in ocean transportation until he retired in 1995, has been amassing material and researching and writing about he early history of Whonnock and Ruskin. So far he has published three books on the subject.

The awards ceremony took place Friday, Feb. 24, at the Hammond Community Centre.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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