Regional District of North Okanagan directors Eugene Foisy (left) and Rick Fairbairn (right) present Richard Rolke

Regional District of North Okanagan directors Eugene Foisy (left) and Rick Fairbairn (right) present Richard Rolke

Board pays tribute to reporter

Morning Star reporter recognized for two decades of North Okanagan reporting

He’s sat through a lot of meetings and that hasn’t gone unnoticed.

On Wednesday, the Regional District of the North Okanagan honoured Richard Rolke, Morning Star senior reporter, for his many years of dedication in reporting on regional issues.

“He is an individual who has brought awareness of significant regional district and rural matters that, without his voice in words, would mean thousands of families over a generation would be unaware of critical water, agriculture, recreation, environmental and financial issues,” said Patrick Nicol, board chairperson.

“He’s much admired by all of the board members and staff and by citizens for his coverage of issues in news articles and his weekly columns. He digs in the corners and finds the answers the citizens want to hear. He gets the information we need and his approach to issues is perfect for a community of citizen-driven initiatives, and we are still of a size where we can have citizen-driven initiatives. He writes about issues in different voices and gives people a chance to be heard.”

Nicol also praised Rolke for his knowledge of the North Okanagan community and his writing ability.

“He has an appreciation of his craft. He can be fun but fair, tender and real,” said Nicol.

“That’s the hallmark of a good reporter. He is much appreciated as an individual.”

Rolke was presented with a plaque during the board ceremony Wednesday.

“It’s humbling, really,” said Rolke, who has been at The Morning Star for almost 22 years.

“All I’ve ever considered myself doing is my job. The fact that people have taken notice is appreciated.”