At 78 years old, Bill Reid has spent much of his life giving back to Surrey, and now he's been recognized by the Queen herself for his efforts.
Earlier this month, Langley-Pemberton-Whistler Senator Gerry St. Germain presented Reid with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for his work in the community, both in political and business roles. Other recipients included Mayor Dianne Watts and William Vandekerkhove, president of the Super Save Group.
"It was probably the highest honour I've ever received from an agency of any kind," said Reid, executive director of Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce and vice-president of the Cloverdale BIA. "I had a rolling stomach for a couple of days after I got advised of it."
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee award is given to Canadians who have made significant contributions to their communities or for achievements they have made abroad that bring credit to Canada.
At the ceremony, St. Germain said, "Mr. Reid has tirelessly dedicated himself to improving the quality of life and enhancing the business environment in Surrey."
Reid has an extensive history in the province. He served Surrey as an MLA in the British Columbia Social Credit Party from 1983 to 1991, while simultaneously serving as the province's minister of tourism for most of that time.
"That was the best job I ever had in my whole life," said Reid. "I was the minister of tourism from '86 to '91, when Expo was on and we had the best place in the world to visit."
Reid's involvement with the city - especially Cloverdale - began in 1961 when he joined the Cloverdale Kinsmen Club. After more than 50 years later, he's still bending over backward for the Surrey suburb.
With all his work in the Cloverdale area, he's often dubbed the Mayor of Cloverdale - though he's not too fond of the title.
"People throw that out and I tell them not to because I don't want to offend Dianne Watts," he said.
In addition to his current work with the BIA and the chamber, he is an active member on the Cloverdale Rodeo Board, the Surrey Heritage Society and the Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society, among many other groups.
"You get people who join and then you get people who are doers," he said. "If I agree to work with somebody or do something, I just get right up to my eyeballs in it."
Seventy-eight years in, Reid has done more than his fair share of work for Cloverdale, but he doesn't see that as a reason to stop now.
"My heart's right here," he said, and that's enough of a reason for him to keep working.