The Beaver Valley Citizen of the Year Committee takes great pleasure in announcing a posthumous award to Bill Thompson as the recipient of the “2022 Citizen of the Year.”
“This award recognizes volunteer contributions to our community and Bill exemplified these qualities, which made him an outstanding citizen of the Beaver Valley,” the committee shares. “Bill’s passion, dedication and time commitment has served the Beaver Valley community very well. Our only wish is that we could have given Bill this very deserving recognition while he was with us.”
Bill passed away on Oct. 6, 2021. His family will accept the award on his behalf.
The presentation ceremony and reception honouring Bill Thompson will be held at the Beaver Valley Curling rink on Friday, May 27 at 7 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to attend, and to meet and congratulate his family.
Remembering Bill Thompson
Bill was born in Saskatchewan in 1936 and moved to Fruitvale in 1948. By all accounts, he had many fond memories of the old homestead on Bluebird Corner.
At a young age, Bill picked up as many paper routes as he could and perhaps that is what inspired his love for his job delivering mail as he was a letter carrier for 32 years.
In his youth, Bill played fast pitch and was a pitcher for team Mission Orange that went to New York City for a World Series in 1960.
He also played for the Montrose Beavers and won many awards as MVP, All Star Pitcher and Leading Hitter.
Much to the chagrin of his wife, Alice, 30 years later Bill arrived at an East versus West Softball game during Montrose Sports Day dressed in his old Montrose Beavers uniform.
His love of ball extended to coaching in Fruitvale during the 80’s and he was also a statistician for Montrose and Trail Leagues. He volunteered to score keep for many different teams and tournaments. Adding to this, he never missed a grandchild’s ball game.
Bill was a man of many and diverse talents as he loved country music and played in numerous local bands with his pride and joy — his “Emmons” steel guitar.
Bill never did anything halfway. When he found his love for video-taping, he never looked back. It didn’t matter whether the community event was in Montrose, Fruitvale, Trail or beyond, he was there, rain or shine, recording it all for posterity. He was at every Beaver Valley Citizen of the Year event, quietly filming.
During the 50th Anniversary of Incorporation of the Village of Montrose, his videos played all day giving everyone laughs and stirring fond memories.
Bill loved anything to do with history and he joined the Beaver Valley and Pend d’Oreille Historical Society.
He was extremely proud to be part of this group and so enjoyed the people he volunteered with.
Bill took great pride in taping and doing a commentary on every old and new building in the valley and recording local history. One of his prize videos was of the Endersby Museum that was just outside of Fruitvale.
The Village of Montrose also has a special commemoration of Bill coming up for Montrose Family Fun Day in June. More will be revealed as that event draws near.