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Elaine Gibbons is a Community Contributor

Sax Koyama award goes to Okanagan Centre’s Elaine Gibbons1

For the first time ever, a wife and husband have been honoured with the annual Sax Koyama Citizen of the Year Award, with the honours coming decades apart.

Elaine Gibbons was named the 2015 Sax Koyama Citizen of the Year by the Oceola Fish and Game Club [in April], the same award that her husband Richard won in the early 1990s.

“This is the first time it’s been won by both a husband and wife,” said Ron Taylor, a longtime member of the Oceola Fish and Game Club. “Elaine was chosen because of her long-time involvement in Lake Country. She was on the parks committee even before we had a municipality. She was on the Okanagan Centre Green Space committee and has been extremely involved with the Okanagan Centre hall.”

Mayor James Baker presents Sax Koyama Award to Elaine Gibbons
SAX KOYAMA Citizen of the Year Elaine Gibbons receives her award from Lake Country Mayor James Baker. Gibbons’ husband Richard also won the award in the early 1990s.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker presented the award to Elaine Gibbons at the Oceola’s Club’s meeting on April 21.

“The Gibbons have been community people for years and have put a lot of hours into the community,”2 said Taylor.

The Sax Koyama Citizen of the Year award has been handed out since the 1980s and is in memory of Oceola Club member Sax Koyama, who drowned in a boating incident in the 1900.

Shortly thereafter the Oceola Club named the award in his honour.

“Sax was a member of the fish and game club, the United Church, he was a volunteer fireman and always was available to help anyone anytime,” said Taylor. “Sometimes he was asked and sometimes not, he would just do things. That’s what the club has based the award on.”

1 Kevin Parnell. “Sax Koyama award goes to Okanagan Centre’s Elaine Gibbons.” Lake Country Calendar, May 11, 2016, p. A7.

2 Elaine and Richard Gibbons have also been volunteers at the Lake Country Museum and Archives for many years. Richard has served as President and remains on the Board of Directors as Past President.


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