Diane and Don Marshall named Citizens of the Year

Don and Diane Marshall are Bowen Island’s Citizens of the Year for 2013


Susanne Martin photo

By Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent

Published: August 16, 2013 9:00 AM

Community engagement and volunteering are alive and well on Bowen Island, as was evident from the many substantial Citizen of the Year nominations.

The list of submissions included four individuals and two couples. Last week, the Bowen Island Chamber of Commerce announced that Diane and Don Marshall will bear the title of Citizens of the Year for 2013. Susan Pratt, director of the Bowen Island Chamber of Commerce, said that Diane and Don Marshall perfectly fit the criteria for the award that included the completion or successful results of a project, a well-exercised leadership role and remarkable services that were performed recently.

The Marshalls were nominated by Colleen O’Neil as well as Dan and Anne Gardiner.  “[Diane and Don] are dedicated to making Bowen a better place to live and are absolutely delightful people. The depth of their caring and their contribution to the Bowen community are enormous,” said Dan and Anne Gardiner. O’Neil stated that the Marshalls are both in their 80s and are examples for “living a vibrant and meaningful life.”

The Gardiners nominated Diane Marshall “for her foresight and tenacity in setting up the incredibly successful Knick Knack Nook.”

“In addition, Diane was instrumental in creating the Caring Circle health advisory committee and developing the Bowen Island health resource guide to reliable health information,” they said.

O’Neil credits Diane with being the visionary and chair of the Knick Knack Nook that has grown into one of the most treasured organizations on the island. “Not only is it sustainable and employs a huge number of volunteers, but it is so successful that it now funds other worthy causes. It is recycling at its best,” she said. O’Neil said that Diane was the force behind imagining the creation of a health resource guide and centre. The Caring Circle was created to improve “health navigation for islanders, with the goal to ultimately build a health and urgent care clinic,” she stated.

Don Marshall was nominated “for his contribution and dedication to recycling and waste management on the island,” according to Dan and Anne Gardiner. “Don has contributed much to the development and ongoing operation of BIRD and has chaired the Solid Waste Resource Management and the Sustainability Community Advisory Committees,” they stated in their nomination letter.

“Last year, Don received the Islands Trust Stewardship Award for climate change for his tireless efforts in educating the community about waste management. Don also has been highly involved with Compost Bowen (ZeroWaste), the Knick Knack Nook and Bowen in Transition.”

“As the chair of the Solid Waste Resource Management Advisory Committee, Don has been working passionately with the community and council to come up with solutions that work for Bowen in our efforts to deal with garbage,” O’Neil said.

Diane and Don Marshall are invited to take their place of honour in this year’s Bowfest parade. They are the third couple to receive the title Citizens of the Year since its inception in 1978, following in the footsteps of Pat and Karl Sanne (1993) and Lois Meyers Carter and Ross Carter (2007).

Additional nominees were Iris and Bill Carr, Pernille Nielsen, Jacqueline Massey, Ann Silberman and Bruce Russell. Susan Pratt said that this year’s group of candidates was made up of committed and inspiring islanders who have accumulated an impressive number of hours of leadership and community service.