Monday to Friday, you can find Lumby’s Robert Wilkinson volunteering with the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners. He used to be the society’s assistant manager but stepped aside for awhile after his beloved wife passed away a few years ago.
When not helping the Gleaners, Wilkinson spends his time running the Lumby Food Bank.
For all his work, the former miner, labourer and millwright welder/fabricator was named Lumby’s 2020-21 Good Citizen of the Year Sunday, July 12, at the Lumby Golf Course in a socially distanced ceremony organized by the Lumby Lions Club.
“I’m honoured that you, my peers, chose to recognize me,” said Wilkinson, 73. “I don’t do this on my own. I serve a mighty master that lives within my soul. He’s the one that’s given me the heart and the resources to do the things I’m involved in.”
The Lions presented Wilkinson with a plaque and a gift certificate.
“The award is given annually to a deserving citizen and Robert is very deserving,” said Lumby Lions Club secretary Linda Vlasveld.
Wilkinson, who arrived from the Yukon Territory to the Whitevale subdivision he still lives in back in 1982, said it was nice to be recognized for his volunteer work.
“It does something to your heart,” he said. “It encourages you to strive even deeper. But I don’t look for recognition.”
In a regular year, Wilkinson would have been honoured with a ride in the annual Lumby Days Parade, which was cancelled in June due to COVID-19. Wilkinson will ride in the 2021 parade along with the 2021 Citizen of the Year.