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Order of British Columbia awarded to 16 civic leaders

06/15/2015 08:22 EDT | Updated 06/15/2016 05:59 EDT
The Order of British Columbia was bestowed upon 16 civic leaders with remarkable achievements by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon and B.C. Premier Christy Clark in Victoria Monday.

"The Order of British Columbia is a designation that we bestow as a society to recognize men and women who embody the best of all of us," said Clark.

"People who have made a real difference."

The ceremony took place at Government House in Victoria, where the recipients received their medals in front of friends and family.

The Order of BC was established in 1989 to recognize people with remarkable accomplishments that have benefited people in the province.

It is the highest form of recognition that the Province of B.C. can extend to citizens.

CBC News has compiled profiles on five of the 16 British Columbians who were honoured.

Chief Robert Joseph

Chief Robert Joseph is a Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, and a prominent figure in Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A residential school survivor himself, he was a former director of the Indian Residential School Survivor Society. He is also currently the ambassador for Reconciliation Canada. 

Tim Collings 

Tim Collings invented the V-Chip in 1990 at Simon Fraser University. The hardware, placed in a TV set, detects ratings information and helps parents limit children's access to violent content on television. Collings is one of the founders of Kineteks Corporation, a Vancouver-based health technology company.

Dr. Saida Rasul

Dr. Saida Rasul is a dentist and community volunteer who, along with her husband, has donated nearly $12 million to organizations in B.C. and around the world. She also helped set up two dental programs in East Africa and Pakistan to improve general health in rural communities. Rasul received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Jane Dyson

Jane Dyson is a lifelong advocate for the disabled community in B.C., managing many projects to help people with disabilities live with dignity and independence. She has worked with Disability Alliance BC for 17 years, and served as executive director for the past six years. She has also advocated for the disabled community on issues such as guide dogs regulations and barriers to employment.  

Norman J. Rolston

Norman J. Rolston invented the Able Walker in 1986 to give people with mobility impairments a way to be more active. Rolston built his first walker for his aunt who suffered from arthritis. Although it was initially met with skepticism by the medical community, everything changed after he met with the U.S. Surgeon General, who thought highly of the invention.

Full list of Order of British Columbia recipients:

Ron Burnett, C.M of Vancouver – Distinguished academic in media, arts and communications

Tim Collings of Surrey – Inventor of the V-Chip to filter inappropriate TV content

Kerry and Ginny Dennehy of Whistler – Champions for depression awareness and youth suicide prevention

Jane Dyson of Vancouver – Advocate for people with disabilities in B.C.

Al B. Etmanski, C.M., M.S.M of Surrey – Driving force in social innovation and accessibility initiatives

Chief Robert Joseph of North Vancouver – Leader dedicated to renewing relationships between Aboriginal Peoples and all Canadians

Barry Lapointe of Kelowna – Visionary aviation entrepreneur and community mentor

Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia of West Vancouver – Inspirational community leader and philanthropist

Dr. Saida Rasul of Vancouver – Dentist and volunteer for improving the lives of the less fortunate

Norman J. Rolston of Langley – Inventor of the Able Walker for mobility-impaired people

Jim Shepard of Vancouver – Business leader and philanthropist

Tamara Taggart of Vancouver – Volunteer supporting health care, the well-being of children and people with disabilities

Hari B. Varshney of Vancouver – Business leader, volunteer and philanthropist

Sing Lim Yeo of Vancouver – Long-time volunteer and philanthropist

Melvin N. Zajac, C.M. of Vancouver – Fundraiser for children with special needs and seniors with disabilities

Three others, bestowed with the order in 2014, but unable to attend the ceremony, were also honoured:

Don R. Lindsay of Vancouver - business leader and advocate for the well-being of children. (2014 recipient)

Rudolph North, C.M., B.Comm. Hon. LL.D. of Vancouver - philanthropist, humanitarian and business leader. (2014 recipient)

Lorne R. Segal of Vancouver - Community philanthropist and business leader. (2014 recipient)

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