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Posted: March 27, 2013

District Mayor honoured with Diamond Jubilee Medal

Hon. Bill Bennett helps Mayor Dean McKerracher cut a celebratory cake Monday night at the district council chambers.

A total of 60,000 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals have been presented to worthy Canadians this year, marking the 60th year of the reign of the Queen of Canada.

In every occasion, stories explaining the reason for the medal presentations ring with high achievement – many in the arenas of leadership and community building.

That was certainly the case in the presentation of a Diamond Jubilee Medal to District of Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher Monday, March 25.

Kootenay East MLA and Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett presented the medal to Elkford’s three-term mayor.

“It is such a personal honour for me to present this medal to Dean. Dean has distinguished himself for many years as a strong advocate for Elkford. He deserves this commendation and I know all citizens of Elkford join with me in celebrating Mayor McKerracher’s contribution to their beautiful community,” he stated.

Through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, McKerracher received this distinction for his exemplary efforts and contributions to make Elkford a desirable place to live. The nomination recognizes the important role municipalities – and their elected leaders – play in ensuring our prosperity and high quality of life.

Bennett said good community leaders seek public office because they love their communities and Elkford is “lucky” to have a mayor who loves his town as much as McKerracher, who is also vice-chair of the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District and one of the longer-tenured directors on the Regional District of East Kootenay board.

He has been an active supporter of Elkford for 41 years, a member of council since 2002 and Mayor since 2005.  During that time he has been dedicated to the promotion of Elkford and has a lengthy list of accomplishments.

He is most proud of the award-winning Elkford Community Conference Centre, the improved working relationships with the Elk Valley communities and senior levels of government, Elkford’s award-winning branding, the Official Community Plan (OCP) which has received numerous accolades for its focus on climate change and sustainability, one of which was the OCP’s recognition by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and last, but not least, the continued accessibility and energy efficiency improvements to district facilities such as the upcoming arena/pool project which will include a new ice plant combined with an energy retrofit for the aquatic centre.

Bennett assured Elkford council, staff and a packed public gallery on hand for the March 25 district meeting that their mayor never stops working for his community – within its boundaries, the region and with Victoria.

He pointed at the new community centre as an example of McKerracher’s tenacity and commitment to Elkford.

“Without question, all council played a role but absolutely unequivocally, Dean played a key role in the community centre,” Bennett said. “I’m really proud to have worked with you Dean.”

Joking that the district staff likely had a bet going on whether he’d “tear up,” McKerracher smiled and humbly said, “He’s right, I do love the community.”

Pictured above with Mayor Dean McKerracher, centre, and is Elk Valley RCMP Detachment Cst. Andy Reutgen.

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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