Valerie Hundert, Kuldip Gill (posthumously) and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 57 received this year’s Mission Heritage Awards Monday night.
Jim Hinds, co-chair of the Mission Heritage Commission made the presentations, while Mayor Ted Adlem and Kim Kokoszka handed out the awards.
Hundert received the Heritage Award for education and promotion for her leading role in establishing Heritage Week as an annual, multi-cultural and multi-generational event since its inception 11 years ago. She has worked with schools and community groups to organize events that educate and promote Mission’s heritage. Some include student art work displays, plus the annual heritage tea and pioneer social.
Gill was honoured with the Special Heritage Achievement Award. She graduated from Mission High School in 1952 and spent 20 years of her adult life working in forestry and mining before returning to school to acquire a PhD in anthropology and a master of fine arts in creative writing from UBC. She published two books, Down in the Valley in 2004, and Valley Sutra, in 2009 after her death. Her husband, Jim McIntosh, accepted the award on her behalf.
The Legion also accepted the Heritage Award for promotion and education. Established 86 years ago, the organization is the oldest service group in Mission. In addition to supporting veterans and their families, the Legion also financially aids sports teams and dance groups. As well, they have preserved the names of men and women who lost their lives in wars.
The awards program was established in 2007 to recognize efforts made by individuals, groups and businesses that made significant contribution towards enhancing, protecting and/or restoring heritage resources of Mission.