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Kimberley honours retiring community volunteer with new award

Kimberley’s inaugural Jack Ratcliffe Commitment to Community Award has been granted to the man who gave the award its namesake to celebrate his contributions to the community over the decades.

The award is meant to honour a person or group which has made a significant contribution to the community and will be given out annually moving forward.

Kimberley said Ratcliffe has retired from volunteering at the age of 92, after he started working with the community in the early ’70s.

“With that retirement, we got to thinking of all the contributions that Jack has made over the years. We decided it was a great idea for the community and for Jack, for us to have a permanent award in his honour,” said Don McCormick, Mayor of Kimberley.

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Ratcliffe boasts an extensive history of volunteer work in Kimberley, on top of his career with Cominco and lifelong work with the United Church. Kimberley said he served the community for 59 years, with 29 years involved with City Council, serving as Chair of Finance and Administration Committees for many of those years.

The City added that Ratcliffe donated the pay he earned as a councillor to charity.

“Jack served as Director, and in many cases Treasurer, on many boards including Kimberley and Nelson School Boards, Kimberley Ski and Summer Resort Society, Kimberley Community Skills Centre, McKim Theatre Society, Pines Special Care Society, Kimberley Public Library, BC Winter Games, Chamber of Commerce, and most recently served as Treasurer of the Health Centre Society and the Kimberley Community Development Society. Jack was also an Air Cadets Commanding Officer and Coach of high school basketball and softball,” said the City of Kimberley.

The City added that Ratcliffe has been giving back to Kimberley for many decades with his wife, Rose, all while raising six kids.

“Jack Ratcliffe has spent an entire lifetime doing community service. He’s such a humble man, he’s never been in the spotlight or looked for recognition in any way, shape or form. He’s just been an awesome contributor to the community, and we’re thrilled to be able to recognize that with this award,” said McCormick.

Going into the future, the Jack Ratcliffe Commitment to Community Award will be awarded annually to a person or organization nominated by the community. Recipients of the award will receive $500 to contribute to the charity of their choice. Ratcliffe chose to give the first donation from the award to the Kimberley United Church.

Winners of the award will be those who have made a significant impact on the community through extensive volunteer time commitments and contributed talent, energy and skills to support growth, visibility or opportunities.

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