The 2018 Prince George Citizen of the Year, Harold Hartshorne, was born in the historic Resthaven Hospital in Sidney in 1947. One of eight children, he was raised and schooled in North Saanich.
After high school, he worked in a scrap yard for a wage of 50 cents per hour. He moved on to a better job in the dock yard as a hook tender on a plate barge. After he witnessed a fatality at work, he resigned and went to work for Old Country Sand Blasting and Rentals driving a truck. Harold had been driving a truck for pay since he was 14 years old so driving a 10-ton tandem truck at the age of 19 was not unusual for him.
He found work in a welding shop working on ornamental railings. He was able to use this experience to land a job with the Department of Highways as a body man, painter and a welder. He ran the body shop for the next 22 years and then transferred to the mechanical department as a Mechanic III.
Harold’s work caused them to move from Victoria to Kamloops, and finally to Prince George in 1974.
After leaving the Department of Highways, he worked at the Prince George Regional Correctional Centre for eight years managing 25 inmates and two staff members in the Centre’s garden program and teaching welding in the trades training program. He retired from provincial government work at the age of 50 and then operated A-Tec Dental Service for the next 20 years.
In 1969, Harold met Linda Wood at the local hangout at the White Spot Restaurant just two blocks from her home in Victoria.
Linda was born in Kelvington, Sask., in 1951. She was working in the office for the Beautiful B.C. Magazine when she met Harold. The young couple married in 1971 and the rest is history.
Harold and Linda have two children: Tracy (Alan) and Mylee (Darren) and one precious grandson.
Linda was a stay-at-home mom while the children were young and volunteered for everything to do with the children.
She eventually went to work for BCTel (TELUS) and retired after 26 years of service. She also assisted Harold by carefully managing the bookkeeping and the billing part of his business.
Harold has been an active member in the Rotary Clubs of Prince George for over 25 years. He was named Rotarian of the year twice and awarded the Paul Harris award on two separate occasions. One of his big accomplishments with Rotary was the setting up of a dental office in Albania complete with dental equipment and supplies donated by our local Prince George dentists and businesses through Rotary.
He is a 31-year member of the Prince George Elks Lodge #122 serving as Exalted Ruler three times and their May Day Parade Marshal for nearly 30 years.
Harold volunteered consistently over many years for good causes such as serving as a special constable for the Saanich Police Auxiliary, the South Fort George Volunteer Fire Department, the Scott Tournament of Hearts, the Prince George Airshow, AiMHi, the Otway Nordic Ski Centre, the B.C. Summer Games, the B.C. Senior Games and the Children’s Festival, just to name a few.
He has served on the boards of the Hospice Society, Northern B.C. Winter Games Society, B.C. Special Olympics, the Prince George Council of Seniors, the City of Prince George Civic Properties Committee and the Fort George Recreation Committee – again, just to name a few.
Harold concluded by saying: “I love working with people. When it comes to volunteer work, you are only successful when you recognize that it involves a huge amount of teamwork. You can accomplish many great things by working together. I would not have been able to assist these groups and work on projects without the support of my wife Linda and our daughters. They have also generously volunteered and worked quietly in the background all these years. I cannot thank them enough for their encouragement and their continued support.”
Harold has no plans of slowing down on his long-time commitment to community service.
August Anniversariesthat I know about: 74 years for Fred and Eva Buchi, 71 years for Clarence and Irene Switzer, 70 years for Romeo and Lillian Parent, 65 years for Bob and Marvina Nikkel, 61 years for Jim and Noreen Rustad, 61 years for Matt and Gerda Korolek, 60 years for Cliff and Sharon Dezell, 57 years for Maurice and Adele Mingay, 57 years for Bob and Maureen Dick, 56 years for Colin and Judy Dix, 55 years for Gerry and Mai Dulmage, and 27 years for Larryand Lucy Young.