Lana and Dan Rodlie were honoured with the Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year award by the Knights of Columbus last week. (Submitted photo)

Trail couple awarded Citizen of the Year honour

Dan and Lana Rodlie devoted more than 40 years to the improvement of the Greater Trail community

It’s a rare honour for anyone, but even more unique that a Greater Trail couple be awarded the Knights of Columbus Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year – and none more deserving.

“Both Dan and Lana Rodlie, with their ‘get it done’ hard work attitude, coupled with enhanced creativity, leadership qualities, significant contributions to visual beauty, historical awareness and cultural enhancement, have added much to our community,” said committee chair Brian Volpatti.

The Rodlies’ collective efforts and accomplishments are too many to list, but their hard work and dedication to the community can be seen everywhere one looks in downtown Trail.

“I was very surprised, gobsmacked actually,” said Lana. “I seen this award for years and years, and there are so many volunteers in our town that deserve it. I was surprised, I really didn’t know what to say.”

Originally from Norway, Dan came to Trail in 1979 to marry his pen pal Lana, a Trail native. He was soon employed by Teck as a steam engineer, and immediately became involved in the United Steelworkers Union, the United Way, the Masonic Lodge, and Shriners.

The dynamic duo volunteered to work on practically every event that hit Greater Trail, such as Silver City Days, the Jet Boat Races, Babe Ruth World Series, BC Summer and Winter Games and many more. The couple complemented each other, no matter what the cause, and are known for getting things done.

“I can see Dan being nominated, but not me necessarily,” laughed Lana. “He goes into all this volunteer stuff absolutely from his heart, all the way, he just does it all. I go into it a lot of times, kicking and screaming.”

In addition to their participation on many boards, clubs, committees, and organizations of cultural programs and exchanges, the couple is best known for the almost two decades they put into the beautification of the Silver City through Communities in Bloom (CiB).

“It cannot be understated that the scope of this program (CiB) has revitalized the image of Trail and subsequently the surrounding communities through a comprehensive beautification program linked to a national organization,” read the nomination. “Indeed, the magnitude of the program’s success in the ‘greening’ of our community is unequal.”

The Rodlies are the driving force behind CiB, and put Trail firmly on the map among cities across Canada, winning several regional, provincial, and national awards since Dan became chair in 2004.

Their various beautification projects included not only the flowers and plants, growing of gardens and planting trees, but also the addition of murals like the one on the Trail Memorial Centre wall, the White Garden, and various works in the Trail Riverfront Centre.

“I live with a man who sees every waking moment as an opportunity to do something,” said Lana. “There is no laying on the beach if we go somewhere, and when we’re at home, we have to be doing something. We’ve both developed this attitude of – you’re in this world, you should be doing something to try and better it.”

One of the Rodlies highest compliments came outside the auspices of the CiB, when the City of Trail was awarded the 2019 Garden Community Destination of the Year award from the Canadian Garden Council at the North American Garden Tourism Conference in Victoria.

Dan’s and Lana’s interests and hobbies are just as prolific. They are avid gardeners, philatilists (stamp collectors), car (Corvette) enthusiasts, members of Spokane Corvette Club and West Kootenay Smoke and Steel Car Club, passionate about culinary pursuits, history, travelling, writing, and all things nautical.

They have also been involved with the Trail Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, the twinning of Trail with cities in Japan, cultural exchanges, the Trail Historical Society, reclamation projects, and much more.

And last but definitely not least, the Rodlies also raised four children, Tina, Jamie, Chris and Olea, and, as a result, now enjoy eight grandchildren.

As they prepare to step down from their duties with CiB, the Rodlies’ myriad of contributions have left a lasting legacy on Trail, a city better and more beautiful because of them.

“It’s just an honour,” said Lana. “And it’s really nice of them to have chosen us, and for those who nominated us, I really thank them, that was very nice of them to do.”

In light of the pandemic, the Knights of Columbus are postponing the award ceremony to a later date.

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