A Northwest B.C. physician who was instrumental in fundraising for the new Upper Skeena Recreation Centre in Hazelton was recognized by the province this month.
Dr. Peter Newbery was one of 18 people from across B.C. who received the Medal of Good Citizenship award for his service and commitment to helping others on Dec. 5.
“Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Good Citizenship Medal. Your outstanding contributions to the well-being of your communities inspire us all,” Premier John Horgan says in a press release. “The generous gifts of your time and support make a difference in people’s lives and help build a stronger province for everyone.”
Newbery is a long-time physician in the Northwest, and served as a physician at Wrinch Memorial Hospital in Hazelton. Through his connection with the University of British Columbia and the medical school there, Newbery helped in the formation of the University of Northern British Columbia.
He subsequently worked with Dr. Charles Jago to establish the Northern Medical Program which now provides doctors, nurses and other health care providers to many northern communities.
After retirement, Newbery was invited to work with the Upper Skeena community as a fundraising chair for the new recreation centre. Through his work, he helped to raise over $5 million in donations, resulting in a federal and provincial grant of $12 million towards the new $20 million recreation centre.
The now-open Upper Skeena Recreation Centre, also known as the Heart of the Hazeltons, serves as the region’s centre for cultural and sports activities. It includes a professional-sized indoor ice rink with seating for 500 spectators, a multi-purpose gym, fitness centre, meeting and social areas, and a kitchen.
This isn’t Newbery’s first award, either — in the past, he has also received the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
This year’s recipients were selected from more than 100 nominees.