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Creston’s Citizens of the Year, 2024, and Centennial Citizen

Amber Parsons and Rita Scott named Junior Citizen of the Year and Citizen of the Year. William Constable is Creston’s first Centennial Citizen
Creston named its Citizens of the Year Friday, May 17, at the Blossom Festival Opening Ceremonies at KRSS Theatre. Amber Parsons is Creston’s Junior Citizen of the Year, Rita Scott is Citizen of the Year, and for the first time ever, Creston has a Centennial Citizen — William Constable. (Barry Coulter photo)

Barry Coulter

This year’s awarding of Creston’s Citizens of the Year was especially significant.

Every year at Blossom Festival, two individuals are recognized for their contributions to and involvement with the community — a youth, as Junior Citizen of the Year, and Citizen of the Year.

In light of this year being Creston’s Centennial, for the first time a Centennial Citizen of the Year was chosen as well. The honour won’t come around again for another century.

The Citizens were named at Creston Valley Blossom Festival’s opening ceremonies — “100 Years Of Music”

Nicole Nixon, of the Creston Rotary Club, at the Kootenay Rivers Secondary School theatre, listed the Junior Citizen’s accomplishments and efforts before announcing Amber Parsons as the recipient.

“This amazing youth is a natural leader, and has served on student council for six years, both at Adam Robertson Elementary, and currently at Kootenay River Secondary School. As volunteer, vice-president and president, they’ve spearheaded dances, bake sales, special events, and many other activities.

“This person is also the Creston Valley Hockey Association Youth Ambassador, is currently working on the prom committee,” with not only planning the big night prom, Nixon said, but also the fundraising.

Parsons has served as School District 8 student trustee, among other community roles.

Jason Truscott, representing the Creston Valley Rotary Club, announced Rita Scott has 2024 Citizen of the Year for Creston. He too described the recipient’s community engagement before naming her.

Scott moved to the Creston Valley in 2007, and “hit the ground running, and continues to be a tireless worker for our area,” said Truscott.

One of Scott’s first volunteer jobs was working at the Options for Sexual Health clinic, assisting clients.

She served as a director with the Community Resource Centre (now Valley Community Services), from 2008 to 2013, serving as Board chair for most of that time. Under her leaderships, the organization acquired a building to house

Scott was a founding member of the Creston Valley Housing Society, and is still an active member. She was part of the building of both Legacy Place and Cedar Linden, and continues to take part in the management of both buildings. She’s played an important role in obtaining funding for a third building, which will be built on 16th Avenue.

Scott is seniors’ representative on the Town of Creston Affordable Housing Committee, and she has served on the Creston Valley Community Foundation.

She worked with the Columbia Basin Trust on its Social Granting Committee, and its Social Advisory Committee.

“Volunteering is the love of my life. I’ve loved it more than almost anything else I have done,” Scott said.

“I really want to encourage anybody who isn’t interested in what’s going on out there, who cares what happens in our community, to get off your duff and get out there and volunteer.”

Truscott also named Creston’s first ever Centennial Citizen; “and there will not be another one for 100 years — Creston’s Centennial Citizen, Mr. William (Bill) Constable.”

William Constable, who turned 100 years old on Monday, May 20, was the first birth registered in the newly incorporated Village of Creston.

“His youth was at a time when horses were still required to get around, especially in the winter, and the only heat in the ‘vehicle’ was a hot potato … which later became lunch!” Truscott said.

“The summer nights were so quiet, he would listen to the Yaqan Nukiy drumming five miles away to mark the end of the strawberry picking season.”

Constable was Grade 12 president of the Creston Valley High School, and went on to serve as a flying officer in the Second World War. Upon his return from war, he worked in the local builders supply, before marrying and working in the education sector, retiring I n 1986.

He’s been an active member of the Anglican Church, and charter member of the Junior Chamber, a member of the Kiwanis Club, the Royal Canadian Legion, the Masonic Lodge, the Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club, the Creston Valley Recreation Board, The Creston Valley Teachers Association — and then the Retired Teachers Association.