Former Armstrong-Spallumcheen top citizens meet for tea, cake

Former Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award winners were recognized again for their past and present contributions with an afternoon tea at the Brown Derby Restaurant. Among the former winners able to attend were Alberta Frost (seated, 1997); Shirley Fowler (back, from left, 2004); Betty Bifano (2012); Barb Schmidt (2018); Edna Luxton (2007); John Hoile (2015); Ken Brandel (2019); Jessie Ann Gamble (2003); Cathy Crane (1998); Judy Ells (1989) and Jack Jamieson (2006). (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Former Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award winners were recognized again for their past and present contributions with an afternoon tea at the Brown Derby Restaurant. Among the former winners able to attend were Alberta Frost (seated, 1997); Shirley Fowler (back, from left, 2004); Betty Bifano (2012); Barb Schmidt (2018); Edna Luxton (2007); John Hoile (2015); Ken Brandel (2019); Jessie Ann Gamble (2003); Cathy Crane (1998); Judy Ells (1989) and Jack Jamieson (2006). (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Mike Babott of Rhythm Productions (right) interviews Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce 2015 Citizen of the Year winner John Hoile at an afternoon recognition tea for former winners Tuesday, Aug. 24, at the Brown Derby Restaurant. Joining Hoile at his table are 2007 winner Edna Luxton (centre) and 2006 winner Jack Jamieson. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Mike Babott of Rhythm Productions (right) interviews Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce 2015 Citizen of the Year winner John Hoile at an afternoon recognition tea for former winners Tuesday, Aug. 24, at the Brown Derby Restaurant. Joining Hoile at his table are 2007 winner Edna Luxton (centre) and 2006 winner Jack Jamieson. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Brown Derby Restaurant owners Carolyn Russell and Neil Todd hosted an exquisite appreciation afternoon tea Tuesday, Aug. 24, for 11 former winners of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award. There will be no award presented again in 2021 due to COVID. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Brown Derby Restaurant owners Carolyn Russell and Neil Todd hosted an exquisite appreciation afternoon tea Tuesday, Aug. 24, for 11 former winners of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award. There will be no award presented again in 2021 due to COVID. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
The last person named Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year before COVID was Armstrong Legion president Ken Brandel (centre). Brandel, his wife, Judy (left), and Township of Spallumcheen Mayor Christine Fraser won a quiz as part of an appreciation afternoon tea at the Brown Derby Restaurant honouring 11 former winners of the award, and earned the prize of cutting the celebratory cake. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)The last person named Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year before COVID was Armstrong Legion president Ken Brandel (centre). Brandel, his wife, Judy (left), and Township of Spallumcheen Mayor Christine Fraser won a quiz as part of an appreciation afternoon tea at the Brown Derby Restaurant honouring 11 former winners of the award, and earned the prize of cutting the celebratory cake. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

The betting money was on former Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Shirley Fowler having her first date with future husband, Fred, at a local gravel pit.

It wasn’t (Sadie Hawkins Day Dance).

Edna Luxton, 2007 Citizen of the Year, stunned the crowd of former award winners and dignitaries gathered at an appreciation afternoon tea hosted by the chamber Tuesday, Aug. 24, at the Brown Derby Restaurant by announcing she harboured a secret desire to learn pole dancing.

The two fabulous questions were part of a nine-question quiz on former Citizen of the Year winners compiled by the Brown Derby’s Carolyn Russell with her husband and partner, Neil Todd, announcing the answers to the quiz.

Former Armstrong Legion president Ken Brandel – the last person named Citizen of the Year prior to COVID in 2019 – along with his wife, Judy, and Spallumcheen Mayor Christine Fraser correctly answered six of nine questions to earn the dubious honour of cutting and serving a massive cake to the audience.

“This year is a reflection of looking back,” said Fraser, addressing the winners before cutting the cake. “Everybody’s done a great job and thank you for all of your service to our communities.”

The township also gives $500 to the Citizen of the Year but because there will not be one named for a second straight year due to COVID, the money will be divided up among local organizations as recommended by the former winners.

Brandel jokingly begrudged carrying on as the reigning Citizen of the Year.

“If I have to,” he smiled. Brandel continues to do work for the local Legion.

Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper attended with mother-in-law, 1997 winner Alberta Frost.

“Every one of you has done something great for our communities, and it’s great to get together to celebrate that,” said Pieper.

Frost, Fowler (2004), Luxton and Brandel were among 11 former winners who attended the recognition tea. They were joined by Judy Ells (1989), Cathy Crane (1998), Jessie Ann Gamble (2003), Jack Jamieson (2006, with his late wife, Dawn), Betty Bifano (2012), John Hoile (2015) and Barb Schmidt (2018).

All attendees enjoyed tea and finger food, courtesy of the Brown Derby, and had to follow 21 strict afternoon tea rules of etiquette.

The Citizen of the Year award was first handed out to Fred Bechtold in 1976. There have been 45 total winners, with 10 of them being couples.

READ MORE: Armstrong Legion president chosen Citizen of the Year

READ MORE: Schmidt collects Armstrong Spallumcheen Citizen of the Year



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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