Clayton Cassidy (second from l) received the Medal of Good Citizenship at a ceremony in Cache Creek last week. With him are (from l) Cache Creek mayor John Ranta

Clayton Cassidy (second from l) received the Medal of Good Citizenship at a ceremony in Cache Creek last week. With him are (from l) Cache Creek mayor John Ranta

Local volunteer honoured with Citizenship Medal

Clayton Cassidy has volunteered his time for many organizations over the last 30 years, and was tireless in his flood relief efforts.

Cache Creek resident Clayton Cassidy is the first person in the Fraser-Nicola riding to be awarded the B.C. government’s Medal of Good Citizenship.

The award, created last year, recognizes outstanding citizens for their “exceptional long-term service, and contributions to their communities without expectation of remuneration or reward. The medal reflects their generosity, service, acts of selflessness, and contributions to community life.”

At the medal ceremony at the Cache Creek park on June 23, Cassidy said he was “honoured and humbled” to be chosen for the award. “There are many others in this community who are very deserving.” Among those he thanked were his wife Rose and their family, “for allowing me the time to volunteer. I really appreciate their support.”

Cassidy was nominated for the award by the Cache Creek Beautification Society (CCBS), largely through the initiative of president Carmen Ranta. “She brought [the award] to the society’s attention and submitted the application, which was a lot of work,” says CCBS secretary/treasurer Wendy Coomber. “The rest of us basically listened to her and said ‘What a great idea!’”

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart, who presented the award, said that Cassidy needed no introduction. “He has been volunteering in the community for more than 30 years; there’s probably no committee that he hasn’t sat on.”

She said the award was given “in recognition of his selflessness, generosity, and outstanding contributions to his community and the province,” and that it was an honour to present him with the medal.

“I have known him for so long, and know the work he does. The letter of recommendation [for the award] was so easy to write. He’s such an incredible presence in the community.”

Cache Creek mayor John Ranta said to the 50 people at the ceremony “I don’t know about you, but those two words—Clayton Cassidy—evoke a sense of reverence in my soul. If you know Clayton is involved in doing something in our community it’ll be done right and done well. He’s the type of person who makes it an honour to serve in this community.”

Carmen Ranta was out of town and unable to attend the ceremony, so Coomber spoke on behalf of the CCBS. “Clayton has demonstrated amazing leadership and selfless devotion to his community for many years,” she noted. He has been a member of the Cache Creek volunteer fire department for more than 30 years, serving as chief from 1992 to 2002, and again as of May 2016. He has coached minor hockey, soccer, and minor softball and served on myriad community committees, including the Cache Creek Elementary School Parent Advisory Council and the Graffiti Days committee.

However, it was his work in the aftermath of the flood of May 2015 that many people singled out. “After the worst part of the flood was over, I drove up part of Stage Road to look at the damage,” said Coomber, “and there was Clayton, walking towards us in his gumboots with an umbrella, and that irrepressible grin of his.

“The process of applying for this award included interviews with many other volunteers, council, and four families who were greatly impacted by the flood and who were helped by Clayton. Their recollection of the events of the flood, along with their glowing praise for his relentless assistance, were sometimes made as tears filled their eyes. It was amazing and heartwarming to hear from them how Clayton continued to assist flood victims into the fall, months after the crisis was over.

“Clayton has been volunteering for centuries,” said Coomber after the ceremony. Noting his recent re-acceptance of the fire chief position, she says that it is an example of how he is always ready to step in. She adds that volunteering runs in his family: “His father Ken was a big community volunteer, and his children are.”

Of his actions after the flood, she says that was “just him. He spent a lot of time with the Kovacs’s, whose house was devastated. He got down and dirty in the mud, and gave everything he had.” He was also one of five members of the Flood Relief committee, and Coomber says he took a good active part. “It was very clear he was very concerned about everyone who had had any kind of damage.”

Cassidy remains humble about his many contributions to Cache Creek over the years, including his work after the flood. “It was easy to help people in need after the flood. It was gratifying to be able to help families clean up and get back into their homes after the flash flood.

“The reason I volunteer is a desire to help other people. I consider it good karma.”

Just Posted

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual Internet speeds in BC communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

Fireworks are among the things now banned throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, as the weather heats up and a dry summer looms. (Photo credit: Black Press files)
Category 2 and 3 open fires, fireworks now banned in Kamloops Fire Centre

Ban on certain types of fires and fire activities in place until Oct. 15

Cache Creek Village office, date unknown. (Photo credit: Wendy Coomber)
Cache Creek eyes water conservation bylaw as usage increases

Water bylaw was considered in 2019 but did not move forward

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Most Read