Yet another valley local has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding community work.
Long-time Invermere resident Bob Campsall, who is the fifth Columbia Valley resident to be recognized with the medal in the past year, was one of four constituents recently selected by Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald to receive the commemorative medal that honours the contributions and achievements of 60,000 Canadian residents.
“First of all I was surprised,” Campsall told The Valley Echo. “I’m a great respecter of these formal types of activities so I felt doubly honoured that I should be considered.”
Originally from Cranbrook, Campsall — who soon turns 74 — left when he was 18 years old to earn his undergraduate and graduate degrees in education at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria respectively.
After several years of work in Dawson Creek, Revelstoke and Agassiz, Campsall relocated to the Columbia Valley and has lived here ever since.
“I’m a Kootenay lad through and through,” said Campsall with pride. “I’ve been in the valley since 1962, a teacher and principal of most of the schools in the district so almost everybody who is under 100 has been in my care at one time or another.”
Campsall has also been in the public’s eye as a politician, having held office as a District of Invermere councillor for five terms beginning in 1996. He retired from municipal politics just before the last election after 15 years of service, and says his longevity in local government is likely the main reason why he was recognized with the medal, followed by his 50 years in the area during which time he’s been extensively involved in many outdoor, environmental and community activities, including over 40 years with the Lake Windermere District Rod & Gun Club, 20 years with the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society and several years with Wildsight and Ducks Unlimited.
Other initiatives he’s supported such as a teen club in Windermere over 40 years ago, go so far back, “people wouldn’t even remember,” he said with a laugh.