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Richmond Rotary Clubs awards eight individuals for community contribution

Helping others is in their DNA, says Rotary governor
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(from left to right) Jeff Jiang, Jim Kojima and Alan Sakai, Maggie Ip, Clara Chow and Miles Timmis (very right-hand side) were recognized as Paul Harris Fellows.

Richmond’s four Rotary Clubs gave out Paul Harris Fellows to eight people for “making a difference in other people’s lives.” 

Helping others is in their DNA, said Lorne Calder, governor of Rotary International District 5040, of the fellowship recipients. 

“They are role models for the younger generation to showcase that doing good makes you feel better, gives you more purpose, leads to better health and make you sleep well,” laughed Calder, noting that each recipient has a story to tell. 

Richmond businessman Jeff Jiang was honoured for helping a stranger just released from prison get back on his feet. During that time, the man was living in a trailer and was down on his luck. Jiang not only offered him a job but also his backyard to park the trailer. 

Former Richmond East MLA Linda Reid was recognized for being an active volunteer with Richmond Cares, and Richmond Gives following her retirement as one of the province’s longest-serving MLAs. 

Jiang and Reid were nominated by the Rotary Club of Richmond. 

Jim Komiji, born and raised in Steveston, was honoured for his “extensive history of service” to local organizations such as the Minoru Seniors Society and the Steveston Community Centre, where he has volunteered since 1957. 

Retired Richmond School Principal Alan Sakai received the recognition for his involvement in the Steveston community, including chairing the Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market.

Sakai has also been involved with the Steveston Judo Club. He joined the club in 1964 as a young judoka and went on to become a volunteer instructor, teaching techniques and the philosophy of Judo. 

 Komiji and Sakai received the award from Rotary Club of Steveston. 

Richmondite Clara Chow received the recognition for volunteering in different capacities for more than 18 years since immigrating to Canada in 2003. Chow is the past president and current director of both the Richmond Chinese Community Society and the Vancouver Diamonds Lions Club, according to the Rotary. 

Over the years, Chow also organized numerous benefits for the Richmond Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society. 

Maggie Ip, founder of SUCCESS, a social service organization, received the recognition for serving as a bridge between communities. Ip started her teaching career with Richmond School Board as a high school English as a second language teacher. Since Ip’s retirement in 2003, she has continued her volunteer work in senior services. 

Chow and Ip were nominated by Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset. 

Other award recipients include Miles Timmis, principal and owner of Disposal King Ltd and Chuck Keeling, Executive Vice President of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. 

Timmis and Keeling were nominated by Rotary Club of Richmond Sunrise. 

Rotary, an international humanitarian service organization, established the Paul Harris Fellowship in 1957 to show appreciation for individuals who have made substantial contributions to their communities and to encourage others to follow suit.