A second Lake Cowichan resident has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Fire Chief Doug Knott was bestowed with the honour in a small ceremony in the Town of Lake Cowichan’s Council Chambers on Jan. 22. His wife, Gerrie, their children, sons-and-daughters-in-law and grandchildren all crowded into the room to witness Knott receiving the medal.
“It’s quite an honour,” Knott said, then added modestly, “I didn’t really expect it, that’s for sure.”
The award was the first item on the agenda for the council meeting that evening, introduced by Mayor Ross Forrest.
“It’s an honour to present this award, the prestigious Diamond Jubilee Medal,” Forrest began. “We received it in the mail, and we didn’t know whether Doug knew it or whether to keep it a secret. We’re lucky enough to have our MP, Jean Crowder, here tonight to present it.”
As Crowder took the medal and began to pin it on the fire chief, she explained that it is a once in a lifetime honour that few citizens receive.
“This is in recognition of Doug’s contribution to his community,” Crowder said. “The Diamond Jubilee Medal is awarded to Canadians who are being recognized for their dedication, service and commitment to their community.
“It’s a very special award,” she continued, and ended by saying to Knott, “and it can’t be worn by anybody else.”
Knott began his service with the Lake Cowichan Fire Department in 1979 as a firefighter. He told the Gazette how he became involved with the group of volunteers.
“Some people had been asking me to help out,” he recalled. “But I was kind of busy at the time, building this house. And actually, one of them came over and started helping me, and I thought this can’t be too bad a group of guys!”
And it kind of went from there, he says.
Forrest said how deserving he thought Knott is of the award.
“He has lived and given to Lake Cowichan his entire life,” Forrest said. “He has been involved with sports but most noticeably is his contribution to the Fire Department.”
Knott has been a fireman for over 30 years and has trained many of the LCVFD recruits. He has been involved with volunteering for charitable fundraising that has assisted many people.
“Our community has certainly bene-fited from Doug’s contributions,” Forrest said. “I am very happy to see him receive this much-deserved recognition.”