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Awards handed out to Duncan’s best

Awards handed out at city council inaugeration

Editor’s note: for photos of the award winners, see page 2.

Four citizens of Duncan were honoured for their work in the community during city council’s inaugural meeting on Nov. 5

Duncan runner Hazura Sangha was awarded the 2018 Perpetual Trophy for Excellence & Sportsmanship by the City of Duncan at the meeting.

In his 20th trip to the 55+ BC Games, Sangha finally completed his long sought after sweep by winning gold in all five of his events — the 10km, 5km, 1500m, 800m and 400m races — at the 2018 Games in Kimberley and Cranbrook in September.


Not content just to win, the 86-year old also set a provincial record in the 85-89 400m race, with his time of two minutes and five seconds taking five seconds off the old standard.

He was just three seconds off the world record of two minutes and two seconds.

Sangha has said that he runs to stay in shape, and stays in shape so he can volunteer with a variety of organizations, to give back to Canada.

“I am lucky to live in this place,” said Sangha, who served in the Indian Army before he moved to Canada, in a press release from the city.

Sheila Johnson was awarded the 2018 Perpetual Arts Trophy at the meeting.


In 1983, Sheila and Jim Johnson started the Concenti Singers.

Both Sheila and Jim were teachers with the Cowichan Valley School District where they taught music during the day and then continued to share their love of choral music, to the adults in the Concenti Singers in the evenings.

They performed together and collaborated on many concert programs together until Jim died in 2012, but Sheila has continued on with Concenti. After retiring from teaching in the schools, Sheila formed the Cowichan Valley Youth Choir in 2002.

Both Concenti and the CVYC have benefited greatly from Shiela’s talents as a pianist, conductor, teacher, composer, and arranger.

Sheila has fostered a love and joy for choral singing and music-making to hundreds of young people in the Cowichan Valley during her decades of music leadership.

Judy Hill was one of two city residents chosen to be on Duncan’s 2018 Scroll of Honour.

Hill’s long list of accomplishments include her prolific fundraising as a long-time director on the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation; developing and shaping the growth of downtown Duncan through tourism initiatives; her support of competitive sports; and her long time commitment to the city’s totem committee, where she has used her expertise in Pacific Northwest Coast native art to provide the city with guidance in managing the world’s largest collection of outdoor totem poles.

Her volunteer work also includes being a founding member of the Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area, a director on the Duncan/Cowichan Chamber of Commerce and a founding member of the Cowichan Valley Tourism Association.

Hill believes in Duncan so firmly that she opened her business, Judy Hill Gallery, the same year that Eaton’s left and the downtown was a quiet place to be for some months.

She never flagged in her belief that this is, and will continue to be, the best small city in Canada.

The other recipient of the 2018 Scroll of Honour was Leanne Closson.

Closson is recognized by words like diligent, perseverance, giving, compassionate, and courageous.

Because of her skill and dedication to sports growing up, she was pressed into coaching the younger ones and was only too willing to help with her teammates.

Closson volunteers with local organizations such as the Duncan Junior Baseball Association, and the Cowichan Valley Football Association and has been part of a dragon boat team.

She has coached and has organized or given a helping hand in a number of charitable tournaments throughout the years, all of which have benefited the community immensely.

Closson has also been a committed member of the Duncan Volunteer Fire Department since 2005 and was sworn in as captain in 2017.

She has sacrificed family events, endured many sleepless nights, and is never too far away during her weekends on call to protect persons and property when the siren calls.

Closson is also the city ’s parks foreman, managing the parks and playing fields for the city for more than 10 years, not including the few summers working as a summer student while attending university.

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