Graham Taylor, Wendy Neufeld and Joanne Field are this year’s recipients of the Order of Abbotsford.
The announcement was made Monday by mayor Henry Braun.
“Each of these individuals have dedicated countless hours of time and energy to making Abbotsford a complete community, and a better place for future generations,” Braun said.
Graham Taylor, a now-retired 38-year employee of the city, was recognized for devoting many hours to organizations and causes throughout the community.
Starting in the 1990’s, Graham has worked with the many multi-sport games hosted in Abbotsford, often with a focus on the transportation of athletes.
Taylor is also a long-time volunteer for the Canada Day parade, has served as president of the Abbotsford Kiwanis Club, worked 15 years with Operation Red Nose, as well as the 861 Silverfox Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron Abbotsford and Abbotsford Air Force Association.
He has worked on many memorial events held at Thunderbird Square, including Remembrance Day, the Vimy Memorial, and the Battle of Britain, often overseeing setting up ceremony sites, ensuring the delivery of equipment and making sure the clean-up is complete.
Wendy Neufeld, a W.J. Mouat graduate who went on to become one of only a handful of female farm insurance specialists, was cited for her involvement in the creation of children’s playgrounds and free libraries.
A member of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas, serving as secretary, treasurer, president, and assistant district governor for District 5050, Neufeld played a key role in creating a partnership between the city and the Rotary Club, which resulted in construction of 16 Rotary playgrounds as well as the establishment of Little Free Libraries in four city parks that have distributed over 35,000 free children’s books.
She is chair of the Abbotsford Community Foundation, which last year provided over $600,000 for student awards to graduating high school students in Abbotsford and grants to local charities and non-profits.
Joanne Field, who served as trustee on the Abbotsford School Board from 1996 to 2011, was recognized as an advocate for youth.
Field served as school board chair for four years, was a member of the Mayor’s Crime Reduction Task Force, Abbotsford Youth Commission board of directors, School District No. 34’s Drug Prevention Committee, New Beginnings Advisory Committee, and the City of Abbotsford’s Traffic Safety Advisory Committee.
She is a founding member of the Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association (ARJAA) and the current executive director.
Field is also an advocate for Character Abbotsford, a society dedicated to challenging citizens and organizations to intentionally practice and promote character daily.
She is an active Rotarian and the 2007 recipient of the Abbotsford Community Leader Award.
The Order of Abbotsford award ceremony will be held July 1 at the Canada Day ceremonies at Abbotsford Exhibition Park.
One or more recipients will be presented with the Citizen of the Year award which honours individual contributions of a citizen who has served with the greatest distinction and excelled in fields of endeavor benefiting the residents of the City of Abbotsford.
All three recipients will have their names recorded in the Order of Abbotsford Merit Book, which is maintained by the office of the mayor.
Nomination forms for the 2017 Order of Abbotsford awards are available on the City’s website at www.abbotsford.ca/order.