The way Dawn Jamieson remembers it, she saw an ad in a newspaper for people to join an Armstrong council-appointed committee focusing on heritage.
Her friend Gail Salter was committed to the committee. So Jamieson called another friend, Jessie Ann Gamble, told her about the ad and said “if you’ll do it, I’ll do it.”
That was 20 years ago, and the trio of ladies have made the Armstrong Heritage Advisory Committee one of the strongest in B.C.
Council honoured their commitment to heritage by presenting them with the city’s Recognition of Excellence award.
“Armstrong’s heritage program is recognized as one of the best in the province and the committee is frequently asked for guidance by other small towns,” said Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper.
Gamble, Jamieson and Salter have developed an inventory of heritage buildings in Armstrong, a heritage designation bylaw and ensures owners of designated buildings (there are 10 in Armstrong) of the city’s granting program.
They manage the grant program which provides city funds to owners of heritage-designated buildings for maintenance, restoration and/or repairs.
The trio is forming a community heritage register that ensures information on the designated buildings in Armstrong is forwarded to the provincial heritage branch for inclusion on the provincial heritage register. They then forward that information to Ottawa for inclusion in the national heritage register.
The ladies make sure heritage is included in the city’s official community plan.
They have developed the heritage plaquing program which gives the history of 23 buildings in Armstrong.
And they have completed the cemetery project where the trio named roads at the cemetery, had signposts for the roads made and erected, and built a directory with a map and alphabetical listing that helps people locate family members.
“It’s been something we’ve loved doing, truly,” said Gamble upon receiving the excellence award, and gave credit to the city’s politicians.
“We have such a supportive council, as well as the people that were in place before you. That’s what makes heritage in this town work, is the support of the council. It’s very, very important.”