‘We’re lucky to be here,’ says Pioneer Award winner
Irene Frith remembers meeting people in her travels who were awed by her city’s “rich” name.
“It means one thing, that we’re lucky to be here,” she told a crowd at the Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport Friday afternoon.
Frith, like pioneering Richmond Review publisher Ethel Tibbits, was a trailblazer for women and a community builder. She was the first woman to run for the mayor’s seat in Richmond in the 1970s after sitting on city council, ran a personnel placement and secretarial services firm in the 1960s at a time when female business owners were virtually non-existent, and became the first female port authority chair of the North Fraser Harbour Commission in 1989.
Frith was recognized for her lifetime of achievements when she was handed the prestigious Pioneer Award at the 2013 Ethel Tibbits Women of Distinction Awards.
“Richmond has been kind to me. They’re wonderful people in this community and they always have been.”
Since the introduction of the Pioneer Award in 2009, six local women have been honoured for their lifelong contributions to the community.
Standing in front of the hotel’s packed ballroom, Frith called it “amazing” so many people came out to honour Richmond women, reflecting on her early days hosting gatherings at the old Minoru Hall for a couple dozen people.
“I’m just amazed that this many people would turn out for something like this, and I thank every one of you. It means so much to me,” she said.