Hugh Carter moved to Vernon in 1980 and has held several volunteer positions around town. He is the June 2020 Respect Works Here Community Champion. (Respect Works Here)

Community Champion: Hugh Carter celebrates teamwork in volunteering

It was 1957 when Hugh Carter arrived from the Caribbean to pursue an opportunity being offered by the Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford to participate in the field of healthcare. It was there that he also met and married his wife.

After a few short years, he and his wife moved to Drumheller then Calgary where he returned to school and studied Respiratory therapy under the guidelines of the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists.

After graduating and working at the Calgary General Hospital for approximately three years, he was hired by the Calgary Foothills Hospital as a Clinical Respiratory Instructor for their student program for several years.

In 1980, he moved to Vernon as the Respiratory Therapy Department Head at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, a position he held for 14 years. After resigning from that job, he worked for Praxair as an on-call Respiratory Therapist where he enjoyed the one-on-one contact with patients in their homes.

“I felt I could help them to live the best life they could with their particular respiratory challenge, as I was able to spend more time with them,” Carter said.

But this humble and self-effacing man is hesitant to talk about the many volunteer positions he has held over the years in Vernon.

He wants to ensure that those who worked alongside him are given equal recognition, since “we are a team,” Carter said.

People like Mollie Bono whom he happened to meet and learn of volunteer opportunities at the First Nations Friendship Centre where he was asked to be on the board of directors, also serving as a member on the Aboriginal Education Committee.

At the Friendship Centre, he learned about the efforts of dental hygienists offering dental care to needy clients and children all of which led to the formation of a steering committee to create a dental access program for low-income residents.

Carter also speaks highly of Laine Lowe, who was the initiator of this program now known as the Community Dental Access Centre. Located on 31st Avenue, it is now an autonomous resource centre in Vernon.

Carter also donated his time to teach a quit smoking program since smoking can be detrimental to teeth, as well as health in general.

Other examples of volunteer colleagues who Carter likes to give credit to include: Marie Fleming who initiated the idea and included him in the steering committee that created Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre; Roseanne Van Ee, a Naturalist in Vernon who invited him as a member in the early Allan Brooks Nature Centre steering committee; and, again Mollie Bono involving him as a volunteer with the Komasket Music Festival years ago.

When asked about his singing with the Aura Chamber Choir and his involvement with the Astronomy Club Carter said, “Ah, that’s not volunteer stuff. That’s passion!”

The monthly Community Champion feature is submitted by Respect Works Here, which is an initiative of the Social Planning Council of the North Okanagan. They are also the host agency for the Local Immigration Partnership Council and the Thompson Okanagan Respect Network.

READ MORE: Community Champion: Amanda Shatzko leads by opening door for others

READ MORE: New relief fund aims to help North Okanagan small business and non-profits


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Aces aplenty at Vernon Golf Club

Local track has 14 recorded holes-in-one since April 30

Sad ending in case of missing Vernon senior

Body of Wayne Orser found floating in Okanagan Lake Tuesday, July 7

Vernon murder case back in court

Voir dire held for one of two accused in death of William Bartz in July 2017

North Okanagan district shifts attention to wildfire season

FireSmart, Grab-and-Go Bags and emergency planning among tips for wildfire preparedness

Vernon police deem car fire ‘suspicious’

A vehicle was fully involved last night on 24th Avenue, cause still unknown

84-year-old Okanagan resident finishes 12,000-piece puzzle

Willie Tribiger started the puzzle in 2013, completing it in six and a half years

LETTER: Keep your pooch on a leash

Hey there “responsible dog owner.” I would just like to say thank… Continue reading

LETTER: the cheapest and easiest way to save lives

We are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of a Coronavirus vaccine. So… Continue reading

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Booze on beach extended through summer in Penticton

Pilot project will stay in place until Oct. 15

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read