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McDonnell honoured as 2011 Nelson Citizen of the Year

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
April 11th, 2011

By The Nelson Daily

Bill McDonnell, 67, has played in front of an arena full — the Civic Centre Arena — of rabid hockey fans hungry for a win during his days as a netminder for the Western International Hockey League’s Nelson Maple Leafs.

He was Nelson’s official Olympic torchbearer and had the honour of lighting the cauldron when the relay for the 2010 Winter Olympics came through Nelson.

Saturday night McDonnell, joined by his wife Ann, was honoured as the 2011 Knights of Columbus Citizen of the Year.

More than 100 people turned up at the St. Joseph’s Elementary Gymnasium to pay tribute to the teacher, hockey goalie, coach and all-round organizer.

“This award is a recognition of someone in Nelson that donates their time in helping build our community and that’s what we are,” Faithful navigator of the LH Choquette Assembly of the Knights of Columbus Bob Tremblay told The Nelson Daily prior to Saturday’s banquet.

Tremblay said the award, which dates back to the early 60’s, is voted on by a committee with no links to the Knights of Columbus.

A handful of former recipients, including Bruce Morrison, Alan Ramsden, last year’s winner Mathilde Klassen, Dr. John McKay, Dr. Ken Muth, Frances Welwood and Doug Stoddart, joined McDonnell on this monumental occasion.

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