Over 60 years of volunteer work

Tom McEwan named Warfield-Trail Citizen of the Year for 2013

Sometimes things happen for a reason and if Tom McEwan had made some different choices after serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War, the Greater Trail area would have been much poorer for it.

Now, in recognition of his extensive volunteerism for the community, the 90 year-old has been named the TrailWarfield Citizen of the Year for 2013,

When McEwan completed his degree in chemical engineering at the University of British Columbia in 1951 he had offers in other parts of Canada but he and his wife Edie, who passed away in 2008, chose to come to Trail instead.

“I had offers in Ontario in chemical engineering, that’s where the chemical guys were. But neither of our fathers were well at that time and we wanted to stay closer to Vancouver, where they were,” McEwan said. “Within a month or so of being here we had a lot of friends and we really loved it. It was a nice, family-oriented community and we decided to stay.”

And stay they did.

McEwan went on to work for Cominco Ltd. for 35 years, retiring in 1986. With his beloved wife, he raised six sons who went on to become a B.C. Supreme Court Justice, two successful lawyers, an economic development officer, an associate deputy minister with the provincial government, and the former Chief Executive Officer of Sobeys Canada.

At the same time of pursuing his own career and raising children, McEwan also threw himself into helping to build and support the community he had grown to love, volunteering in health care, sports, education, elder and youth care, and religion.

Over the years McEwan served as a member of the Spiritual Care Committee of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH), the Trail Regional Hospital Board, the original building committee and member of the board of directors of Alpha House, the St. Michael’s Catholic School’s original building committee and board of directors, a member of the Board of Advisors and the Board of Governors of Notre Dame University in Nelson, a member of Toastmasters, president of the West Trail Little League, the United Way, the Trail Athletic Association, an assistant Scout Master, and the Trail-Warfield Stingrays swim club executive.

“I just liked being here and felt I should give back. Edie was the same way, family and community oriented,” McEwan said. “I believe that part of the reason we’re here is to be concerned with others and do what we can to help. When we do that we honour the source of life, whether you call it God or Buddha or whatever you like.”

Tom has relinquished some of his responsibilities but still actively serves on the Board of Directors of the Generation to Generation Society-Sanctuary, Trail Hospice Society, the KBRH Foundation, the Interior Health Medical Ethics Committee, a grief support group which he founded and facilitated, the Royal Canadian Legion, and the Knights of Columbus.

McEwan will receive the Citizen of the Year award May 6 at a public ceremony at the St, Michael’s School Gym, at 7:00 in what is generally considered to be the kick-off for the annual Silver City Days celebration.

Just Posted

Warfield removes diseased trees

Dutch Elm disease is taking a toll on village trees

Trail Life Chain to be held Saturday

Annually, Life Chains are held in Canada and the U.S. with over 30,000 participants in Canada alone

Drug use a problem at Trail hockey games, warn RCMP

Police recommend changes to Trail Memorial Centre washrooms

Montrose moves to ban pot retail

Retail, production and distribution of non-medical cannabis sales prohibited under Montrose bylaw

Castlegar, Grand Forks areas to see cleaner winter roads under new contract

YRB set to take over 10-year maintenance contract on Monday

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read