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City councillor earns national recognition

The Canada Humanist Association has named Coun. Lorrie Williams as its Humanist of the Year.

The Canada Humanist Association has named Coun. Lorrie Williams as its Humanist of the Year.

Humanist Canada's vision is a world where reason and compassion guide public policy and beliefs are respected provided they are compatible with the rights of others.

"I am flattered," Williams said. "I am thrilled. This is quite exciting."

Previous recipients of the award include novelist Margaret Atwood.

Williams founded the Canadian Harambee Education Society in 1985, an organization that sponsors high school girls to attend high school in Africa. More than 600 girls are sponsored annually.

She recently attended a ceremony in Toronto, where she received the award. The award was handed out that the Humanist Canada annual conference, whose theme was Planetary Overload - Survival of the Human Species.

Williams was previously recognized for her efforts by receiving the Humanist Heroine Award from the American Humanist Association in 1999 and the Governor General's Meritorious Service Medal.

Humanist Canada is a national not-for-profit charitable organization that promotes the separa-tion of religion from public policy and fosters the development of reason, compassion and critical thinking for all Canadians through secular education and community support.


Cathy Sales is teaching a new generation some of the skills needed to be an early childhood educator.

Sales, who was the director of St. Barnabas Daycare for many years, recently left the position to join the early children department team at Douglas College.

Completing her master of arts degree in leadership at Royal Road University led to the new professional opportunity.

"While the children who attended St. Barnabas daycare benefited by her passion, the advocacy Cathy promoted in her work was instrumental in helping to develop the New Westminster early child development framework. New Westminster children and families can be confident that Cathy's leadership has influence policy that we have today," said her friend and child-care colleague Larry Railton. "Cathy has joined the Douglas College faculty as a full-time instructor in New Westminster and will continue to inspire young minds who will one day be those passionate early-years advocates that can influence change."

According to Railton, Sales started working at St. Barnabas Daycare during "turbulent times" that included financial instability. Although it had a debt owed to the provincial government, he said it managed to turn the corner and fully repay the debt under Sales' stewardship.

Railton said Sales was one of the members of New Westminster's early childhood community who helped frame what's know today as the city's Early Years policy.

He also said Sales' passion for inclusive care for children with special needs was well-known and she often advocated for those children and their families to government.


The New Westminster Historical Society will be doing an historical appraisal of the Columbian Methodist College at its upcoming evening event.

For a number of decades, from the late 1800s to the mid-1930s, Columbian College was a well-regarded institute of higher learning and part of the educational scene in British Columbia. Located near Queen's Park, the college aspired to be the main provincial university, but political forces strived to deny it that opportunity.

To hear more about the college, drop by the New Westminster Public Library auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 7: 30 p.m. where Eric Damer will discuss the college. Damer and Gerry Thomson are educational researchers who worked together on its preparation.

The program is free and everyone is welcome. There is no need to preregister.

Do you have an item for Around Town? Send ideas to Theresa, tmcmanus@royalcity See her Only in New West blog online at www.