Denny Forrest was named 2019’s Ladysmith Citizen of the Year just before the Kinsmen Ladysmith Days Parade began. This came as a surprise to nobody more than Forrest himself.
“Not a chance,” Forrest said of his likelihood of being named Citizen of the Year. “I had no idea when the announcement came that it was going to be me.”
Forrest has lived in Ladysmith since 1975, and has devoted countless hours to local sports. He jokes that he’s still a “newbie” to Ladysmith, as him and his wife, Mary have only lived in town for 44 years. Forrest spent much of his life coaching youth sports teams in Ladysmith. He served for six years on town council, and was instrumental in the development of Forrest field, which is named after him and his wife.
“Denny Forrest is one hell of a character,” town councillor Duck Paterson said. “He’s worked his butt off for youth sports in Ladysmith.”
Paterson served on council with Forrest, and described him as a “thinker” with “a great heart for youth”.
Aside from his service to the town, Forrest has worked at Den’s Ladysmith Collision Centre for 25 years after taking over the business from his father. Forrest is now looking back on his years of service to the community.
“Facebook’s going nuts. I’m not a big Facebook guy, but there’s a lot on there from a lot of people, even friends from Australia and different places. It’s quite something. You just do what you do, and I feel good about it now, that’s for sure,” Forrest said.