For longtime Nanaimo resident Donald Hubbard, volunteering his time to help others and better the community is something he’s been doing for many years.
However, free time, or lack thereof, was initially something that was a concern for Hubbard back in the 1970s when he was asked to join the local Rotary Club.
“I had a good friend who asked me to join the Rotary and I said I didn’t have the time,” Hubbard said. “He said, no, you don’t understand you have to join. It’s a licence to do business in this town. And he was right.”
Since joining, Hubbard has managed to not only be involved with the Rotary Club, but he has joined other organizations including the Haven Society and Ducks Unlimited, where until recently, he was the organization’s senior director for British Columbia.
“It was an eye-opening experience to belong to an organization like Rotary, which is worldwide,” Hubbard said. “You meet a lot of people.”
Recently, Hubbard was informed that he will be a recipient of the 2016 B.C. Community Achievement Award.
“It’s kind of shocking,” Hubbard said. “I had no idea I was nominated.”
Hubbard, who spent 44 years working for Lafarge Canada and Warren Materials Group, is among 30 individuals from across the province to receive the award. Fellow Nanaimoite and former city councillor George Anderson is also a recipient this year and will be profiled in an upcoming issue.
Hubbard and Anderson will be recognized and presented with their awards at the official ceremony May 25 at Government House in Victoria. Each winner receives a certificate as well as a medallion designed by British Columbia-based artist Robert Davidson.
“I am very honoured,” Hubbard said.
Born in North Vancouver, Hubbard moved to Nanaimo in 1958. In addition to his volunteer work, he serves as chairman for the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s board of directors, a position he’s held since 2010.
“The health authority was a perfect opportunity because I knew I could help make some changes,” Hubbard said. “I am just one cog in the wheel. Being the chairperson means I run the meetings, but the whole board has to have the mindset.”
Hubbard also serves as a director with Vancouver Island University’s international high school and was on the board of directors during the institution’s transition to becoming a university.
He said giving his time to important community organizations is about making a difference and not about receiving awards.
“Most of the people who are going to be at this award ceremony in Victoria are like me,” Hubbard said. “They didn’t do it for the recognition. I did it to make a change. I retired in 2008 and I retired with a purpose of going and doing some of this stuff (volunteering) because I always wanted to do it.”