A familiar name in the Comox Valley community is a provincial award winner.

Lawrence Burns, former fire chief, and current Chair of the Courtenay Heritage Advisory Commission, has received the Heritage BC’s Award of Recognition in the Distinguished Service category this year.

He was awarded for his life-long volunteer commitment to Courtenay’s heritage conservation through participation, research, education and interpretation, and public awareness, as well as many community-wide heritage events including the Centenary Committee.

Another member of the Heritage Advisory Commission, Judy Hagen said Burns made an impact on everything he was a part of.

“Living all his life in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, Lawrence Burns, now aged 90-plus years still has a great love and passion for local history. His years as a volunteer for the City of Courtenay Fire Department and later as fire chief ensured Lawrence was always front and centre in every major event in the life of the City. This makes him a living encyclopedia able to provide ‘chapter and verse’ to confirm City history. When he joined the Heritage Commission and later became Chairman, he always had a story to add to the conversation. Without him, the heritage of Comox Valley would not be told so completely,” said Hagen in a prepared statement for the award ceremony.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, that ceremony, which was originally scheduled at the annual conference in Chilliwack on May 8th, has been cancelled.

The City of Courtenay is asking the community to congratulate Lawrence on his achievement.