FOUR local residents were recognized for their service to Terrace and area at a ceremony held last night at the Sportsplex banquet room.
In just the sixth occasion of its kind since the Order of Terrace was established in 1998, Jose Coosemans, Chris Hansen, Dana Hart and Nirmal Parmar were presented with medallions and certificates by Terrace mayor Carol Leclerc before an audience of friends, family and past recipients.
“You make Terrace a far better place to be,” said Leclerc in addressing the four recipients.
Chamber music from Inverary Music preceded and followed the presentations and a reception with food provided by Northwest Community College rounded out the evening.
The four recipients were escorted one at a time to the front of the banquet room by two RCMP officers in red serge and Terrace city councillors took turns reading out the contributions made by the four people.
By conferring the Order of Terrace upon deserving individuals, the City of Terrace acknowledges and applauds their significant achievements and contributions.
Following are details of the accomplishments of the four recipients.
Jose has been self-employed as a private music instructor teaching piano, voice and music theory, and as a piano tuner/technician.
He worked as a teacher on-call from 1974 to 1995, primarily teaching music at the elementary and secondary levels, French and band (at the Secondary school). He also teaches music (Band) at Centennial Christian School.
Jose was the Music Director (conductor) of the Terrace Community Band for three years. He among the first members of the Terrace Symphony Orchestra.
He is an active member of the Gitwinksihlkw Brass Band and the United Nisga’a Band, Gitlaxdax Nisga’a.
Jose supports music at Caledonia Senior Secondary School as the official accompanist for the school choir. Jose has been involved in numerous Caledonia musicals over the years, spending countless hours rehearsing and in performance. He performs at other schools such as Uplands Elementary School during assemblies as well.
He has supported countless students as an accompanist (on piano) at the Pacific North West Music Festival and Provincials over many decades. In fact, he has only missed two Pacific North West Music Festivals in over 43 years. Jose estimates that during each music festival he is involved in about 100 performances on average.
Following a robbery at the Sunshine Seniors Day Care (which used to be located in the lower part of the Knox United Church), Jose donated a piano to the facility. That piano is now at Terraceview Lodge. He also donated a piano to Ecole Jack Cook. Jose also donated 10 traditional First Nations drums to Terraceview Lodge for the residents to enjoy.
Jose graduated from the First Nations language program in the Nass. He speaks many languages, including Netherlandic, French, English, German, and Sm’algyax.
Jose is a member of the Terrace Nisga’a Dancers. He has also taught at ‘Na Aksa Gila Kyew (Kitsumkalum) school as a Sm’algyax language and culture instructor. He has written down and arranged a number of hymns in Nisga’a.
Jose participated in the recent production of Carmen and donated his pay from the opera to the homeless fund.
Jose was the coordinator of the Terrace Community Justice Program from 2003 to 2009. Community Justice is a community based initiative which promotes restorative approaches to justice and is an alternative to the traditional court system.
Chris moved to Terrace in 1956. She has been married for 46 years, has 2 children and 5 grandchildren.
Chris has been involved with the Greater Terrace Beautification Society for 20 years. Before her involved with the Beautification Society Chris had been caring for a sick friend for 9 months until her friend passed away. She got involved in the Society during her “spare time” with the perspective that somebody should do something to beautify Terrace.
The Beautification Society focusses on neglected areas and “no man’s land” around the community. The overpass is a project for which Chris feels a sense of accomplishment, although she has more plans to update the southeast corner and she would like to see all four corners of the overpass completed. When it is completed it will be the jewel of the community.
Chris has been a steadfast pillar of the Greater Terrace Beautification Society. Progress on beautification can be slow and it is important to Chris to stay on task, something she has demonstrated repeatedly.
Projects that the Greater Terrace Beautification Society have taken on include:
Hanging Christmas Lights
Hanging flowering baskets
Memorial Trees and Benches,
Specific projects such as the Howe Creek Tree Farm, Bridgeview, the Four-Way Stop, Nu Floors, and Praxair.
The annual community weed pull
Monthly meetings and
Communities in Bloom.
Regular maintenance is the key to keeping Terrace beautiful. Chris takes the long view of service and volunteerism.
Chris credits leveraging partnerships and connections to make the Beautification Society’s projects successful.
After working in radio and television journalism, Dana joined the RCMP in 1989. He has served in seven different provinces and territories, including detachment commands in the Yukon, New Brunswick, and British Columbia.
Dana has also served on the protection details of two Prime Ministers, Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper.
In August 2011, Dana returned to British Columbia as the Officer in Charge of the Terrace RCMP Detachment where he served until his retirement in May of this year.
Dana is married to Pam, who is also a retired RCMP member. He has two sons: Johnathon who is a captain in the Canadian Armed Forces light infantry and Corban, who is a new family physician in Eastern Ontario.
Dana is the recipient of the Queen’s golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Medals, the RCMP Long Service Medal and Bronze Clasp, and a Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery. He was also selected as the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce’s Executive of the Year in 2014.
Following his retirement this year Dana and Pam moved to Prince Edward Island to be closer to family. Terrace is the longest place Dana has lived since leaving high school.
When Dana took over as Officer in Charge at the Terrace RCMP he implemented a practice of reporting out to the media a summary of the calls that the RCMP handled during the previous week. Many residents may not have been aware of the challenging circumstances and calls that take of the time of our RCMP.
Dana was instrumental in the naming of Terrace’s newest park, the Cst. Mike Buday Park which is located on the bench off Mountain Vista Drive.
Dana is an avid hockey player and participated in the annual Guns and Hoses charity hockey game each year, with proceeds from this event going to Kidsport.
Dana placed a high value on community outreach and supported or initiated a number of RCMP activities which grew connections in the community and strengthened the RCMP’s role in Terrace. The Kids n’ Kops summer day camps, Special Olympics soccer games, and bike rodeos gave youth the opportunity to have positive interactions with the RCMP as well as teaching valuable skills.
Community events such as the 100th year of policing community barbecue and the ceremony to celebrate the 25th year of the Kitsumkalum pole in front of the RCMP detachment made the RCMP a deeper part of the fabric of our community.
Dana has been described as exemplifying everything the RCMP stands for. He remained steadfast in his determination to foster a safer community and to bridge the gap between Terrace residents and the RCMP.
Nirmal Parmar moved to Terrace in 1969 with his wife and young family. During his first year he volunteered at the Thornhill Fire Department and began work as a teacher.
In 1984 Nirmal, along with a number of like-minded individuals, started a new multicultural group, which would eventually become the Terrace Multicultural Association. The Terrace and District Multicultural Association became a registered society in 1986. The TDMA has hosted a very successful annual community potluck in Terrace for approximately 3 decades.
Nirmal has organized facilitated, and delivered many workshops regarding multiculturalism to community groups and schools in the Terrace area.
As part of his role with the Terrace & District Multicultural Association, Nirmal assisted with the annual Canadian Citizenship Awards Ceremony, which is held from time to time in Terrace. He was the TDMA’s representative on the provincial board of the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (“AMSSA”).
In 2000, Nirmal teamed up to organize a community group which would address the issue of institutional racism in the workplace and schools. This resulted in the creation of the Skeena Diversity Multiculturalism project which later because the Skeena Diversity Society.
Nirmal has been an integral part of the Skeena Diversity Society and remains committed to the goals of an inclusive and diversity society.
In 2003 Nirmal joined the Kermode Friendship Society board. He served the Society as Treasurer, President, and Chair of the Building Committee. During a difficult time for Kermode, Nirmal stepped down as President and resigned from the Board to act as the Interim Executive Director to enable the Society to continue to function while the Board found a new Executive Director.
Nirmal served on the Terrace and Area Health Council from 1995 to 2001. He was Treasurer for Scouts Canada (Terrace District Council) from 1984 to 1986.
He was a Trustee of the Terrace Public Library from 1981 to1989 and again from 1999 to 2007.
Having served continuously on the Northern Saving Credit Union Board of Directors since 2003, Nirmal was Chair from 2012 to 2015.
He is a Director of the Vanderhoof & Districts Co-operative Association, and was a long-term Director of the Terrace Co-operative Association.