Look around Ladysmith — and outside our boundaries — and it will be hard to find a community project or event that hasn’t been helped in some way by Howie Davis.
And it’s that dedication to his community that earned Davis the Paul Harris Fellowship Award.
The Ladysmith Rotary Club presented this prestigious award to Harris June 20. It is an award that usually would go to a Rotarian, but the members of the Ladysmith Rotary felt that Davis deserves the award “because of his many, many years of contributing to many aspects of the community,” according to a press release.
Over the years, Davis and his wife Colleen have contributed hundreds and hundreds of hours to many community projects in Ladysmith, North Oyster and Cedar, the release notes.
Davis made and donated the steel bridge for the bottom end of the Holland Creek Trail and is currently in the midst of constructing the new steel bridge to replace the other wooden bridge on the trail. He is not only building the bridge, but has also donated the steel to make it.
The Davises own Ryler Bulk Carriers Inc.
“Every parade there is in Ladysmith has had at least one Ryler Trucking truck in it towing somebody’s float, as well as the stage that the town now uses for Light Up, Show ‘n Shine, Ladysmith Days and other events was donated by Howie,” outgoing Rotary president Ron Howe said as he presented the award. “About six years ago, they donated an enclosed semi-trailer to Ladysmith Secondary School to use to store old drama props, as well as other items they had no room for but need to use over and over again.”
When the Rotary and Legion took on building the Ladysmith Golf Course, Davis transported the heavy equipment needed and also operating the equipment and helped out in other ways, he noted.
“The reconstruction of the old North Oyster School is a pet project of the Davises, and they have donated hundreds of hours of labour, as well as equipment and dollars, to the very successful community project,” he added.
The Eagles Club of Ladysmith has put together a 48-foot trailer that houses emergency supplies that can be used when crisis arise. It was used during the floods in Duncan a few years ago, and it’s been into the B.C. Interior during some interface fires, explained Howe, noting the trailer was refurbished and donated to the Eagles by Davis.
Davis has also made significant contributions to Brown Drive Park.
“When the Kinsmen built the new playground at Brown Drive over the past couple of years, the wood Fibar safety ground cover had to come from Burnaby,” said Howe. “Howie Davis donated the trucks and drivers to go over and get the material, saving the Kinsmen thousands of dollars which helped to get the playground built sooner.”
Kinsmen member Duck Paterson says there are probably hundreds of things Davis does that we don’t even know about.
“Every time I tell Howie we need something, either money, equipment or what have you, I call him, and even though he grumbles, I know at the end, he’s going to do it,” he said. “And he does it because he thinks people are neat and he believes in his community.”