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Posted: September 27, 2019

Rotary honours Al Skucas and Neil Shuttleworth

By David B. Savage

The Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club is known for many biking initiatives including the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo (which uses the NorthStar Rails-to-Trails), We Bike, Cycling Without Age, the downtown bike racks, and support for the development of the Chief Isadore Trail (a 44 km portion of the TransCanada Trail) plus other non-motorized trials in and around Cranbrook and the Community Forest.

In addition to building an even more healthy and attractive family focused community culture for the Cranbrook area, biking trails, events and training attracts significant economic benefits and encourages families to play, live and work here.

On September 10, the Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary hosted an evening to thank the many volunteers for the continued success of the 2019 Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo.

The 2019 Gran Fondo again had 500 riders and attracted many more spectators and visitors to our area from as far away as Tennessee. The Cranbrook Rotary, Kimberley Rotary, Wasa Lions Club, and other organizations collaborated with Cranbrook Sunrise to again make the Gran Fondo a world class event.

Eighty volunteers participated in the Volunteer Appreciation night. A highlight of that evening was the presentation of Paul Harris Awards to Al Skucas and Neil Shuttleworth by President Al Dyck.

Over the past 15+ years, as a volunteers, Neil Shuttleworth and Al Skucas have dedicated thousands of volunteer hours to envision, engage, fund, and create non-motorized trails in our area. Marlene (Al) and Pat (Neil) have been steady supporters of Al and Neil’s work.

Al Skucas has championed our area, been President of TrailsBC (still a very active board member), and in the past two years is an active founding member of Velo Canada Bikes national association. As a dedicated and successful non-motorized trail leader, Al has been recognized in Ottawa for what he and many others have created for our community.

Neil Shuttleworth is best known for his success in working with community and government stakeholders and then designing and building a world class trail system. When faced with real adversity in designing the Cranbrook to Wardner Trail, Neil created the only non-linear (and I suggest the most beautiful) section of the TransCanada Trail/ The Great Trail. Compare the built costs of our Chief Isadore Trail (including the Mayook Bypass hill climb) to other regional rail trails.

On National Aboriginal Day in June 2017, Cranbrook, the Chief Isadore Trail, the Ktunaxa Nation and The TransCanada Trail received national media and social media attention for the opening of the newest section of The Great Trail.

Being presented a Paul Harris Award as non-member is a significant recognition. Paul Harris Awards have been given to great people including Mother Teresa, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, and polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk.

Rotary’s focus is Service Above Self. Al Skucas and Neil Shuttleworth have been doing exactly that for more than 15 years.

For more on Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary.

Above image: Neil Shuttleworth and Al Skucas (middle left and right) presented Paul Harris Awards by Sunrise Rotary President Al Dyck, right and Ursula Brigl, left. Photo submitted


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