Cranbrook engineer honoured with Diamond Jubilee Medal

Celebration held for Elmer Higgins on anniversary of professional registration

Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett (centre) presents Cranbrook engineer Elmer Higgins with two letters — one from Premier Christy Clark and the other from Governor General David Johnston — on Higgins’ receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

A great Cranbrook citizen was feted Thursday.

A celebration was held at the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce boardroom Thursday evening, Nov. 29, to honour Elmer Higgins, on the anniversary of his registration as a professional engineer.

Family, friends and colleagues turned out to the event, which featured a special presentation.

Kelly Beriault, an associate of Higgins, opened the event, mentioning that it was 46 years ago on the same date, Nov. 29, 1966, that Elmer Higgins became a registered professional engineer in British Columbia. She talked about the significant contributions Higgins has made over the years to Cranbrook, being involved in the design, construction or renovation of more than 100 projects in the community.

Beriault made one of two presentations to Higgins — a Tim Hortons gift card. She then introduced Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett for the second presentation.

Bennett elaborated on Higgins’ community involvement. Significant recent projects, for example, include the hospital expansion, the Cranbrook arches and the new Cranbrook Public Library. Bennett also mentioned Higgins’ humanitarian work — getting personally involved to help families in need, for example — and fine woodcarving. He said the Higgins is often offered money for his woodcarving pieces, but directs the purchaser to give the money to the hospital foundation.

Bennett then made the second presentation of the evening, on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and B.C. Premier Christy Clark — the Queen  Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal  is a medal created to mark the 60th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II. The Canadian medal is to “honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.”

Bennett pinned the medal on Higgins’ chest, and Higgins then spoke a few words to those in attendence.

“When I reached normal retirement age, I was too young for cards, or golf,” he said. So he took up woodworking, journeying to England more than once to take master classes. One of his first projects was an elaborate grandfather clock, which won first prize in a Windsor plywood national woodworking contest.

Higgins said the clock was now worth about $25,000. “If I’d taken up golf instead, all I’d have had were score cards.”

Higgins told another story of getting then Social Credit cabinet minister Grace McCarthy to sign off on a proposed insulation plant in Grand Forks — a $6 million project on which Higgins was engineer. Higgins talked the local party association, of which he was a member, into letting him pick up McCarthy from the airport during a visit to the East Kootenay. On the drive into Cranbrook, Higgins said he persuaded McCarthy that the plant was a good idea for the government to endorse.

The plant has operated continously for 23 years.

Just Posted

An interview with a magician

2018 Magic Variety Show hits Key City Theatre

New slant on the next play

Cranbrook Community Theatre tries something new with next play

Fundraiser set up after car accident

Bystander fishing at nearby lake describes springing into action after hearing the collision.

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

The tradition carries on

Locals Coffee House, Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Studio Stage Door

The polls, the polls are confusing

There’s good news and bad news for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The… Continue reading

World O’ Words: No stumpage fees for the speechmakers

As long as man has been using fire, he has been chopping… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

Most Read