The New Year started much like the old year ended for Squamish council with an acknowledgement of Corinne Lonsdale's contribution to her community.
The former mayor was given Squamish's highest honour for what new mayor Rob Kirkham called 40 years of service, at a meeting of council on Tuesday (Jan. 10).
Along with serving as a councillor and mayor Lonsdale has volunteered with organizations like the community's Expo 86 committee, the Loggers Sports Association, the Squamish Legion, the historical society and more.
The District of Squamish's highest honour is called the Freedom of the Municipality Award and it was given to Lonsdale.
"We're giving Corinne the keys to the city," said Mayor Kirkham after he gave her a plaque with a large key on it.
Through tears Lonsdale joked that she was bored over the weekend so she looked online at the council agenda and saw that the first item was a presentation to her. She thanked the community for the honour, which followed acknowledgement last year for her 25 years in municipal politics.
"My life isn't over and I'm not finished yet," Lonsdale said of her plans to continue contributing to the community.
After the Lonsdale tribute the members of council listened to a presentation from Squamish's Bear Aware Coordinator. Meg Toom outlined a number of accomplishments and informed the local leaders that funding from the provincial government to support the program in Squamish hasn't been confirmed. She said the funds might not come this year. Coun. Patricia Heintzman noted that confirmation of the funding is usually received by this time each year. Last year $68,000 came from the province to supplement money dedicated by the District of Squamish to support Bear Aware initiatives so the council members voted to write a letter to the Environment Minister encouraging the minister to continue funding Bear Aware.