Two long-serving community figures were acknowledged by the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, June 12.
Dr. Nick Rubidge, president of the College of the Rockies, is retiring in September after 12 years in the position,
Garry Anderson retired in May as the executive director of the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel.
At the Chamber’s last monthly luncheon for the summer, members of the business community expressed their gratitude for Rubidge and Anderson for their years of service to the Cranbrook community.
“Today the chamber has chosen to say thank you and goodbye to two gentlemen who have left a lasting legacy to the community of Cranbrook,” said Chamber president Mike Adams.
Adams began by congratulating Rubidge on his achievements, ever since 1975 when he had a hand in creating what was then East Kootenay Community College.
“Nick has dedicated 40 years to enriching lives and empowering the community through furthering post-secondary and adult education,” said Adams.
In accepting the gratitude of the business community, Rubidge said his role in the small community of Cranbrook has allowed him to see people as entire individuals with all of their interests, not just what they do for a living.
“It has been a great privilege to have been president of the College of the Rockies,” Rubidge said.
“My heart is full of gratitude for your kindness and the years you have supported the college,” he said to the gathered business community.
Next, Laura Kennedy of the Chamber and Corinne Friesen, chair of the railway museum board, gave an irreverent wrap-up of Garry Anderson’s numerous achievements in creating the museum in Cranbrook. These started in 1976 when he sparked the creation of the Cranbrook Archives, Museum and Landmark Foundation, then turned a single historically significant rail car into a venerable collection, through to his receiving of the Order of Canada.
“When I first met Garry, I thought, ‘Who is this crazy guy?'” said Kennedy. “But guess what, he never fell of the tracks and look what we have to show for it.”
“Only Garry could seek out these treasures and then know what to do with them once he found them,” said Friesen.
“There is a great debt of gratitude due to him for his loyalty and dedication.”
“No other person will leave a legacy for this city like you have,” added Kennedy.
Anderson accepted the community’s recognition by urging the community to keep striving to protect Cranbrook’s heritage.
“I really appreciate the attention people have paid to me over the years,” Anderson said.
“Once I was the past, present and future of the museum. Now I am content to be the past.”