Correction: The reference to property being looked at around Waneta was incorrectly attributed to the LCCDT.
Sometimes echoes of the past can come back and touch the present in ways one doesn’t expect.
In one such little irony, Don Nutini is set to be honoured as the Knights of Columbus 2012 Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year in a public ceremony May 7, at St. Michael’s School gym, the same location where his volunteering career began in 1951.
“I guess it all started with building St. Michael’s School with the Columbo Lodge,” said Nutini, recalling his foray into helping the community.
“We built the first part by hand and things just kind of went from there.”
Born in Trail in 1931, the well-known community builder and promoter has been deeply involved in numerous projects around the Greater Trail area ranging from enhancing health care services, improving transportation, as well as community economic and cultural development.
Nutini sees his community work as being a means of contributing to the place that offered many opportunities over the years.
“This community gave me and my family a lot,” he said. “My interest and activity has been a means of giving back.”
However, Nutini is reluctant to take too much credit for the work he has done for Trail and area.
“I had good mentors, they had the quality of getting things done,” explained Nutini. “But you don’t do any of these things alone. I’ve always had a good team. I’ve got a trap line of guys that I go to. I can stumble into anything and they get me out. That and a wife who lets me do all these things and is involved with so much herself.”
Among the many projects Nutini has been involved in include: initiating the Hospital Foundation when he sat as chairman of the Trail Hospital Board in 1988, being a charter member and active participant in the Lower Columbia Community Development Team, championing the Trail Regional Airport and the construction of the heliport at KBRH, and volunteering as a member of the Red Mountain ski patrol and snow host.
Not anywhere ready to rest yet, Nutini sees good things for the future of Trail.
“I think we’re on the cusp of moving in the right direction,” Nutini said.
“Things could be happening in the next little while that could help this area. The work on Victoria Street will be a good start. And we’re property poor for industry, we’re (the LCCDT) working on the acquisition of property around Waneta in the near future.”
Nutini doesn’t claim to have any special formula for being able to maintain his remarkable level of activity into his 80’s.
“There’s no secrets, I’ve just kept active,” he said. “I just take on one project after another and keep giving back.”
Nutini will be honoured in a ceremony at St. Michael’s on May 7 at 7 p.m., which serves as a kick off to Silver City Days.