2019 Citizen of the Year Maury Murphy listened humbly on Friday night as Dave Handy (right) and Jason Truscott, both Creston Valley Rotary Club members, feted the long-time Lion. (Photo credit Lorne Eckersley)

Maury Murphy is 2019 Citizen of the Year

Murphy began his lifetime of service in a big way when he joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1944.

At Friday night’s Blossom Festival opening celebrations, the name Maury Murphy was added to the illustrious list of Creston Citizens of the Year.

Now 93, Murphy began his lifetime of service in a big way when he joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1944.

The long-time Erickson orchardist joined the Creston Lions Club in 1951 and he remains an active member to this day.

READ MORE: Creston Lions Club celebrates 75 years of community contributions

Murphy joins such luminaries as Tak Toyota (1971), Harry Haberstock (1990), Lela Irvine (2002) and Alex Nilsson (2004) with the Citizen of the Year designation.

Creston Valley Rotary Club’s Jason Truscott made the presentation, listing of a summary of Murphy’s contributions:

• Maury has lived his life in service to his country, his community and his family.

• He was born and raised in the Creston Valley and after high school graduation, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy and served from 1944-1946.

•In January 1951 Maury joined the Creston Lions Club and he has served his community as a Lion for 68 years.

• He has served as chairman of the Blossom Festival Queen Pageant and organized the Lions Club parade float, which carried Creston royalty not only in our parade but throughout the Kootenays.

• Maury led the Lions’ Adopt a Highway Program for many years, which organized a cleanup of litter along Highway 3A.

• When the Lions Club took over the Viewpoint pavilion on Highway 3A it was Maury who provided the leadership and guidance.

• Maury is the Lions Club’s representative for “sight preservation and action.” His dedication to his cause has enabled him to collect in excess of 55,000 pairs of prescription eyeglasses for recycling. He packages them on a bi-monthly basis and drives them to Cranbrook for forwarding at his own cost. Ultimately, these glasses find their way to people around the world that otherwise might not have the gift of sight.

• Maury, at age 93, never misses a meeting of his beloved Lions Club, and he is truly an inspiration to Lions Club members and to all who know him.

For his efforts as a Lion, Murphy was recognized by Lions Club International by being awarded a Melvin Jones Award, the highest possible distinction for a Lions Club member.

“We and the members of the Creston Valley Lions Club would be remiss if we allowed Maury’s contribution to the Creston Valley to go without acknowledgement,” wrote Murphy’s nominators. “He is truly an inspiration to all those who know him and we believe fully deserving of Citizen of the Year.”

Murphy took the stage in the company of family members to accept a large bouquet and a package of gift certificates from local restaurants.

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