12/25/2012 03:57 EST

Best Good News BC Stories Of 2012


With so much heartache in the news of late, it's worth taking the time to remember the good news stories of the past year. British Columbians featured in positive stories, big and small, that caught our attention.

There were stories that made us smile like a fortuitous assembly of dolphins and rainbows or the runaway tortoise who made it home. And there were stories that made us cheer, like Esther and Martin Kafer, the oldest couple to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro.

From the bravery of a Sechelt RCMP officer to the generosity of a young girl, we salute those acts of kindness and humanity that helped us get through those rough days.

See our choices for B.C.'s best good news stories of 2012:

Photo gallery Best Good News BC Stories Of 2012 See Gallery

10. Happiest Construction Worker In B.C.

Carry Thomas, a veteran flagger, often dances to her own unique rhythm as she directs traffic in Kamloops. "Life is too short to be grumpy," she says.

9. Wayward Tortoise Reunited With B.C. Family

A 60-year-old tortoise named Alf made a "run" for it along a remote Vancouver Island highway in September. Against the odds, he was scooped up by an alert motorist, brought to a care centre and finally reunited with his family.

8. Vancouver Island Girl's SPCA Donation

Kiana, a girl from Vancouver Island, sold her stuffed animals for $40 and donated it to the B.C. SPCA so "real animals can get better care."

7. Aboriginal Languages Reclaimed By Native Gen Y

Clyde Tallio, 25, is part of a movement of young aboriginals who are working to save their native languages. He's taken a leading role in trying to teach younger students in their traditional tongue. Dustin Rivers, a 22-year-old community activist, has been teaching Squamish Nation members at "Language Nights."

6. Dolphins, Rainbow Captivate Horseshoe Bay Boaters

A group of boaters in Horseshoe Bay got the ultimate B.C. experience when a pod of dolphins began following their water taxi back to shore — while a rainbow arched over the water.

5. Lotto Winner Spreads Wealth Around

Bob Erb, a pot activist, won a $25-million Lotto Max jackpot in November. Erb, 60, shared his new wealth around Terrace, B.C., showing up unannounced at local charities and businesses, and making sizable donations.

4. RCMP "It Gets Better" Video

Gay and lesbian RCMP officers in B.C.'s Lower Mainland released a powerful video sharing their struggles and personal stories. It was a rare and inspiring look into the Mounties who don't often get credit for the positive work they do.

3. 7-Year-Old Calls 911, Saves Grandfather In Chilliwack

Evan Rapp, 7, was hailed as a hero for saving his grandfather with a 911 call after the man keeled over in a minivan at the side of the road in Chilliwack, B.C. in October. During the 13-minute call, Raap provided details about a store and train tracks they'd passed before stopping on a gravel road. The information helped guide a police officer to the scene before an ambulance arrived.

2. RCMP Officer Saves Suicidal Woman

Sechelt RCMP Const. Harrison Mohr jumped into the ocean to save a woman who tried to commit suicide. He used his crisis intervention training to calm her down and get her to talk to him. "When it comes down to it, I did what Canadians would expect any RCMP officer to do, and I'd trust any officer I work with to do the same," he said.

1. Oldest Couple Conquer Mount Kilimanjaro

Age be damned. Esther Kafer, 84, and her husband Martin, 85, reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in October, becoming the oldest known couple to do so, according to the Alzheimer's Society of B.C. Motivated by the rapid advancement of Martin's sister's dementia, the couple took part in the climb to help raise money for the society.