The Board of Directors of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) has approved the nomination for the prestigious Medal of Merit award. This year’s recipient is Dr. Bill Hick, a respected medical doctor who helped improve the health of North Coast communities in Canada. Moreover, he assumed a leadership role in the community that eventually led to the further development of the Port of Prince Rupert. As president of a community-based holding company, he acquired the leases of the Fairview site as a preferred general cargo terminal and convinced the federal government to purchase the site for a break-bulk terminal in 1970. His further work led to the infrastructure necessary to open Ridley Island in 1979 and the construction of Prince Rupert Grain in 1986. In addition to putting the Port of Prince Rupert on a sound business foundation, he sat on the Board of the Port for 10 years; served on the board of BC Ferries for 11 years; and was the BC representative on the Council of Canada West Foundation from 1979 – 1990. In 2003 he published the book entitled, Hays’ Orphan: the Story of the Port of Prince Rupert, a passionate memoir and history of the Port or Prince Rupert.
The award will be presented at the upcoming Annual General Meeting and Conference in Prince Rupert, August 24-26, 2009, at the Chances Convention Centre. The Medal of Merit will be presented at the luncheon on Wednesday, August 26, 2009. The Medal of Merit is, “Made in recognition of outstanding works or service, preferably of national impact, by an individual, institution or organization in the port, shipping and maritime transportation fields.” Dr. Hicks has been intimately immersed in the port and marine related businesses for many years and exemplifies the importance of local commitment and involvement in local port development initiatives. “Dr. Hicks is the kind of individual every community needs and he has shown his strong belief in how ports can help develop towns and regional economies in Canada,” said Gaetan Boivin, President and CEO of the Trois-Rivieres Port Authority and this year’s Chair of the Association.
The Association has awarded the Medal of Merit annually since 1975. Past recipients have included Madeleine Paquin, CEO of Logistec Corporation; the Hon. David Collenette, former Minister of Transport; Michel Pouliot, President of the Canadian Marine Pilots Association; and Jack Leitch, Chair of the Upper Lakes Group. (ACPA)