When it comes to the history of White Rock, there are few who can match Lorraine Ellenwood in terms of sheer knowledge and commitment to preserving the city's storied history.
Be it her work at the White Rock Museum and Archives, teaching dyslexic children or co-founding the Semiahmoo Swim Club, Ellenwood has been a pillar of the community ever since her arrival in the 1970s, and on Monday she was honoured as such.
That honour came in the form of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award, which city council presented to Ellenwood on Monday.
The medal was provided to the city by the Canadian government in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years as the Queen of England. The Canadian government was granted 60,000 of the awards by the monarchy, to be given out at the discretion of the country's various municipalities.
"We were allotted one medal to give out and after a little soul searching, came up with Ms. Ellenwood," said White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin, who outlined some of her achievements over the years.
In particular, Baldwin noted one instance when the museum lost its old location at the city's former post office, and rather than see the archives and museum lost, Ellenwood stepped up to organize the archive's collection and help with the move to a new location.
"(Losing the post office) pretty well took the wind out of sails at the whole archives society and caused a lot of problems," said Baldwin.
"Lorraine kept it all together and if it would not have been for Lorraine, we would not have a museum today."
Ellenwood was moved by the honour, and addressed the small crowd gathered after receiving her award.
"I find it hard to express the adequate words for this," she said. "I can say without hesitation that (this is a result of) the energies and dedication of the people I've worked with over the years.
"This proves that White Rock heritage is worth preserving."
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