Barry English has been awarded the Medal of Good Citizenship by the Province of B.C., but insists that awards like this are unimportant to him. English has been volunteering in his community for all his life.
His work has included fostering dogs through the Northern Animal Rescue Alliance (NARA), clearing snowy and icy driveways for local seniors and people with physical challenges, and collecting recyclables. The money he gets from the bottle depot goes straight to NARA.
In the last four years, he has raised $79,414, which adds up to more than 1.5 million bottles and cans.
It has been a lot of work for many years. To support the recycling fundraising, English and his wife set up a bottle drop-off bin outside their gate that locals can easily access.
In addition to his volunteer work, English worked for the Terrace Pipes and Drums Society for 40 years, teaching kids how to play instruments and perform in a marching band. The organization’s players participate in important local ceremonies and events within Terrace.
As for rewards and attention, English isn’t interested.
“It’s a little embarrassing to tell you the truth,” he said. “I do a lot of volunteer work and have all my life. But I don’t do it so I can get a pat on the back.
“I appreciate the ‘thank you,’ but it’s not why I do things.”
English recovered from serious surgery two years ago, and still has ongoing health issues. Nevertheless, he has resumed his volunteer work in bottle recycling.
He lives with three dogs, two of which were originally foster dogs.