Mr. Speaker, it was Friday evening at a gala that Don and Rose Brittain were chosen as Parksville's citizens of the year. Sadly, the award was posthumous for Don, who passed away suddenly on February 6.
Don Brittain was a founding member of the Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department and was fire chief for nearly two decades. He worked much of his career with the Ministry of Transport and Highways, and finished as an inspector of commercial vehicles.
An avid outdoorsman, hunter and farmer, a leader with 4-H and Arrowsmith Search and Rescue, Don was a good neighbour to everyone who knew him.
The Brittains raised their own and numerous foster children. Their home was a magnet for young people, and love was the foundation.
Don's memorial service drew an estimated 750 people, who jammed the hall to remember a man who always showed up when help was needed. Don's truck and firefighting gear were featured at his memorial. Area firefighters saluted a local icon and on Friday, and Parksville's citizen of the year received a standing ovation.
It is my pleasure to salute Don Brittain, citizen of the year, one great Canadian who left a legacy that shaped a community.