“Hewitt loved Sidney” says Gay. He was excited to be actively involved in his beloved Sidney. With any successful community project, it takes many hard-working volunteers, and Hewitt was the first to acknowledge this. He embraced his community spirit throughout his career, both in Regina and in Sidney. As the youngest-ever counsellor on Regina City Council, Chair of the Regina General Hospital and CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Care Association, Hewitt was responsible for many innovations and contributions to the community. In 1992, prior to moving to Sidney, Helmsing was awarded the Commemorative Medal for Community Services by the Governor General.
The Hewitt Helmsing Community Service Award, which recognizes Hewitt’s contribution as a founder of the Sidney Community Association prior to his death in 2017, was presented by Helmisng’s wife, Gay to its first recipient, Jocelyn Gifford.
Hewitt’s local community activities and services were far reaching and included: support in launching Victoria’s first Dragon Boat festival; Chair of the Peninsula Celebrations Society; serving on Sidney’s Vision Committee; Chair of Sidney’s Development Office; Vice-Chair of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce; and board member of the Sidney Business Association and the Peninsula Foundation. In the health field, Hewitt served two terms as Chair of the Saanich Peninsula Health Association and Chair of the Paddling for Health (Victoria Dragon Boat) fund raising committee for breast health programs. “Hewitt never just served on a board, he felt compelled to actively participate” says Gay.
As the first recipient of the Hewitt Helmsing Community Service Award, Jocelyn Gifford was also recognized as the founding member of the Sidney Community Association. Jocelyn worked tirelessly as a member and advocate since its inception. She was also involved in the Habitat and Environment Committee and worked to engage Sidney residents in protecting environmentally sensitive areas such as Reay Creek Park, the Shoal Harbour and Roberts Bay Bird Sanctuary. Thank you Jocelyn!
The Hewitt Helmsing Community Service Award will be presented annually by the Sidney Community Association to recognize outstanding contributions to the community.
excerpt from Gay Hewitt Helmsing‘s address to the Sidney Community Association’s AGM