What goes around, comes around. At least that’s what longtime Ladysmith resident Barry Frech learned on Sunday night during Ladysmith Celebrations at Transfer Beach.
Having been the chair of the Ladysmith Celebrations Society for over 30 years, Frech decided to retire from the position at the beginning of the year. Having been chair for that long and being involved in selecting Ladysmith’s Citizen of the Year for so many years, at this year’s event Frech was presented with the Citizen of the Year plaque for 2022.
It came as quite a surprise to Frech as he said he felt he hadn’t done anything really extra.
“It’s what you do when you’re having fun,” he said. “You naturally expect people to have fun and if you can be a part of that, it makes you feel good. Seeing people, especially children smiling and laughing is a great thing and I’m proud that my family and I have been able to be a part of that experience.”
Being a part of things is not new to Frech as he’s also been involved in the Ladysmith Kinsmen Club, was a Forest Wardens leader, helped out with the Show n Shine, was a baseball and soccer coach, a member of the Festival of Lights, involved in the water Search and Rescue, started the original soap box derby in Ladysmith, has chaired the longshoremen’s picnic for eight years as well as being a longshoreman for 43 years, is the president of the Island Longshoremen’s Pension committee as well as he found time to be a husband, father and grandfather.
Not one to chat about himself, Frech gave the credit for all the stuff he’s been able to do to the “others involved” and that anything that is successful is a group thing and no one person can do it all.
Celebrations chair, Al Moore, said “the committee, this year, really felt that Barry would be a very deserving winner. All his years of guiding the event, and all the background stuff that goes with it, takes a lot of time and Barry has never once flinched at doing any of the chores. Barry and Lynn and their family always step forward no matter what.”