Over the next few weeks volunteers on committees and commissions across Oak Bay will be pinned.
The Honour of the Oak Leaf was established through the Community Initiatives Committee to recognize those appointed by council to serve the district as a volunteer committee, commission, board or panel member or those who have served on council.
“They had used the oak leaf pins for something in Oak Bay,” said Coun. John Herbert, chair of the CIC. “It is a duplicate of a pin that had been given out before in Oak Bay.”
Established last week, Mayor Nils Jensen, who worked with Herbert on the initiative over the last two years, pinned the first two volunteers Monday night in a “symbolic first.”
“These are people who give of their time and expertise,” Jensen said.
Jensen selected a pair of longest-serving volunteers, Ken Agate and Jean Sparks, as well as the youngest volunteer with the district Andrew Stinson to receive the first awards.
“It hasn’t been work, it’s been enjoyable,” said Agate.
Sparks was unable to make the Monday meeting, and it’s expected she’ll be awarded the pin this Monday night.
Stinson, now 21, came out when the district created the Environmental Advisory Committee three years ago. “He comes to virtually every meeting of council,” Jensen said, pinning the Oak Bay High grad turned UVic student.
Each honouree, whether present in one or 10 positions, earns a pin. The district will also maintain an Oak Leaf Register where each honouree’s name will also be inscribed once followed by the first year that person served the community.
The register will be updated at the end of each council term.
“It is really nice to recognize people. We have an awful lot of people who do a lot for the municipality and have done for years and years and years,” Herbert said. “For some of the other things, you get appointed to a committee and you don’t get anything other than abuse.”