Columns: A special visitor to honour Williams Lake

The Honorable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, will honour the Cariboo On Dec. 1 with a visit.

The Honorable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, will honour the Cariboo On Dec. 1 with a visit.

Officially she is the Queen’s representative to the government and people of B.C. Her job is to sign off in the Crown’s name new laws passed by the provincial legislature. No law becomes the law until it is given Royal Assent by the Lt. Governor.

Unofficially, but in reality this position is a representative of the people of B.C., with huge symbolic importance based on the personal qualities of the people selected for the five-year term as Lt. governor.

Her Honour was invited to Williams Lake by TRU GRIT, a group of citizens who are devoted to the development of the local campus of Thompson Rivers University. They provide local support and raise money, in part for bursaries and other needs.

The occasion is the Dec.1 1 launch of the new program at TRU — The Applied Sustainable Ranching Program (ASUR). Yes it is aimed at helping to assure a future for ranching in B.C. and will serve local students and students from away and abroad.

The event at the Tourism Discovery Centre at 7 p.m., Dec. 1 will feature ranching industry and university speakers about the new program. The Hon. Judith Guichon however, will give the keynote address.

Everyone is welcome. Come meet ranchers, supporters, suppliers and of course Her Honour.

I have known Judith Guichon for a while now. She and I served on the Board of Directors of the Grasslands Conservation Council of British Columbia, an organization devoted to ensuring the grasslands legacy, which is the home to many species at risk and to the many grazing cattle.

She was inspiring to work with.

Among her many credentials I would say are three, which stand out.

She travelled to B.C. as a young woman from Eastern Canada and fell in love with the grassland region of BC and the late Laurie Guichon of the Nicola Valley.

Laurie Guichon was from the historic Guichon ranching family. After his untimely passing, Judith Guichon continued on in a leadership role, managing the family ranch and serving the ranching industry and the community in various ways.

Her endearment to ranching has forever been guaranteed by her succession to the elected position as president of the BC Cattlemen’s Association, which represents most of the ranches in BC.

In that role she would have had to have frequent meeting with senior government officials: the Premier, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, and other Agriculture industry leaders. I am sure that helped establish her reputation. She was able to practice her gracious manner effective voice, which provided a natural transition to the provinces highest office.

If you have an ounce of support for agriculture’s role in the economy and feeding our communities and the importance of a good education for the next generation of ranchers and farmers, please come out to this celebration and meet the Honourable Guichon.

David Zirnhelt is a member of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association and chair of the advisory committee for the Applied Sustainable Ranching program which is starting at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake this January.

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