Cranbrook resident Neil Cook has been awarded the province’s highest honour, the Order of British Columbia.
Cook — who has dedicated a huge portion of his life to the people of Cranbrook, volunteering countless hours of his time and helping to build and support numerous projects and organizations — is joined by 12 other recipients of the award this year, including singer Michael Bublé.
Normally, the award would be handed out on B.C. Day, but due to the pandemic, 2020’s recipients will receive theirs at the Government House in Victoria in 2021.
Last year, Cook was honoured with the Medal of Good Citizenship from the Province of B.C.
Cook played a crucial role in founding the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation, now known as the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR) back in 2003.
Cook and his wife Marilynne have shared their home with 24 foster children over the years. He’s also spent 22 years volunteering with the Cranbrook Community Christmas dinner as a fundraiser and chef, as well as being a member of the Church Committee at Christ Church Anglican for the past decade.
Cook has also served for seven years as the volunteer Chair of the East Kootenay Homeless Coalition. A big part of his vision with this work is to create a 24/7 homeless shelter in Cranbrook, a pursuit which is still ongoing.
He’s also been a member of the Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary, the Cranbrook Rotary and the Kinsmen.
Lt. Gov. Janet Austin, Chancellor of the Order of British Columbia, said she was “delighted to welcome 13 new members to the order.”
The 13 recipients of the 2020 Order of British Columbia are:
• Neil Cook, MGC, of Cranbrook
• Michael Bublé of Burnaby
• Shashi Assanand of Richmond
• Ryan Beedie of West Vancouver
• Shirley Chan of Vancouver
• Paul George of Gibsons
• Rusty Goepel of Vancouver
• John Malcolm Horton of Delta
• Mel Krajden, PhD, of Vancouver
• Janet Nadine Mort, PhD, of Brentwood Bay
• Tracy Porteous of Vancouver
• Carole Taylor, OC, of Vancouver
• Ruth Williams of Kamloops
There were 160 British Columbians nominated this year, part of more than 5,900 nominations the province has received in the 31 years the order has been handed out. Of those, 460 people have been awarded from all around B.C.