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Jackson humbled by special honour
Brian Jackson couldn’t understand why he was being handed flowers and balloons during a Vernon Community Singers rehearsal Wednesday.
“I thought (wife) Lorrie put them up to it for my birthday,” said the 84-year-old.
But instead, Junior Chamber International and the City of Vernon were announcing that Jackson is the 2013 Good Citizen of the Year.
“What a surprise. I’m breathless. I’m run out of tears,” he said.
The retired minister has lived in Vernon since 1984, and has been involved with the Scouts for 64 years.
Locally, he has been a Scouts secretary, chairperson, commissioner and event organizer.
“Brian is the corner stone for the 6th Vernon unit. His steadfastness and dedication to the youth and leaders in the scouting movement has been demonstrated over and over,” said Margaret McGillivray, with the unit.
He is also active at Hospice House, where he is best known for presiding over Tuesday waffle breakfasts.
“He’s a bright light in the place,” said Nick Hodge, a friend and volunteer at Hospice, which provides end-of-life care.
Jackson also started a group called Chapter Two for men who had recently lost their wives. Through making lunch at Hospice House, the men could begin speaking about their grief.
He has provided support to more than 1,300 families during funeral services.
“Letter after letter explained the wonderful way in which he handled the most difficult of situations,” said Dan Proulx, JCI president, of the nominations Jackson received.
Jackson also plays a a role with Santas Anonymous and the Vernon Choir.
Leading the charge to have Jackson recognized were Cam and Nancy Clayton.
“He’s so helpful to everyone and especially behind the scenes,” said Cam.
“He has done much more than any one person knows.”
However, Jackson insists he is the lucky one and volunteering gives him purpose.
“I had too many friends who died when they came up for retirement and I thought, ‘That’s not for me.’ I just kept going,” he said.
“There’s a receiving in the giving. There’s a lot of nurturing.”