A retired Crowe teacher who now spends his days volunteering has been selected as this year’s Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year.
“I was surprised and didn’t think I was deserving,” said Laurie Ingersole, of his reaction when Brian Volpatti of the Knights of Columbus asked him to accept the honour.
“People are very generous with their time and money in Trail. It’s their kindness that makes me very, very proud to be part of it.”
With so many other givers, the Trail resident couldn’t believe he was being recognized, even though his community contributions started in the late 1960s when he moved to Trail from Australia.
“I came here in 1967 with the intention to ski for two years and leave, but I stuck around,” he said. “I decided this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life.”
The Crowe English teacher would often be seen walking up the high school hill with his brief case in hand, recalled Trail trustee Lorraine Manning, who worked as a secretary at the high school for five years in the early 1970s.
“My kids have told me that Laurie was one of the best teachers they ever had,” she said. “He’s a really kind and thoughtful person, he’s the kind of person that people feel comfortable talking to.”
The 73-year-old left Crowe in 1998, when the timing felt right, but has been heavily involved in a number of community organizations since.
Beyond chairing the Friends of the Public Library, Ingersole delivers books to “shut-ins,” people who can’t leave their house to visit the library themselves.
He is also involved with St. Andrew’s Anglican Church and when he’s not at the church or library, Ingersole can be caught on stage performing with the Columbia Phoenix Players.
“I like this community very much and like to work for this community,” he said. “I feel that the community has done a lot for me and this is my chance to give back.”
The annual honour, which has been awarded since 1957, will be presented on May 3. The ceremony, held at 7 p.m. at St. Michael’s School, kicks off Silver City Days.