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Local leaders appointed to Order of BC

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 12:46 PDT, Tue August 4, 2020

Last Updated: 2:29 PDT, Tue August 4, 2020

Longtime Richmondites Shashi Assanand and John Horton are among this year’s Order of British Columbia honourees.

Assanand founded the Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Service Society, which provides support to immigrant, refugee and visible-minority women, children and families facing domestic violence. Horton is a marine artist whose over 1,400 paintings show the history of BC’s coast. He was also a longtime marine search and rescue volunteer who used his own vessels to respond to 600 incidents.

The pair are among 13 new members to the order, announced on BC Day.

“They have helped us to grow as a province, taught us to care for our environment, enriched our lives with literature and art, helped us to address past injustices and inspired us to become a more caring and inclusive society,” said Lt. Gov. Janet Austin. “To recognize these remarkable people, who are changing our communities for the better in many ways, is an honour of great personal significance to me.”

Through her work, Ugandan refugee Assanand has helped bring awareness to domestic violence across all cultures, as well as role modelling acceptance of individual and cultural differences. Over the last 29 years, the Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Service Society has served well over 40,000 women. 

As part of the Canadian Marine Rescue Auxiliary, which he joined in 1979, Horton has helped rescue hundreds of vessels. He has also spent many years maintaining the search and rescue services’ 52-foot Delta Lifeboat, formerly the Steveston Lifeboat, upon which he has attended almost 900 incidents to date.

This year, 160 British Columbians were nominated for the Order of BC. Since its inception, 460 British Columbians have been appointed. Members have been appointed from all regions of the province and in numbers generally proportionate to a region’s population.

The usual recognition ceremony has been postponed and will be held next year. To learn more about the Order of British Columbia, click here.

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