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2018 Citizen of the Year
This year the community chose Bruce Russell to ride in the parade as the 2018 Citizen of the Year. Bruce was chosen for his dedicated efforts to clean up Mannion Bay, one of Bowen’s most popular beaches, and ensure the water was safer for swimming. Additionally, Bruce has been involved with many other community initiatives such as building the Golf Course and supporting the Cove Commons Annex project.
Choosing one person to represent an island of 3800 is always a difficult, perhaps absurd challenge. So many islanders contribute so much in so many ways, that it is almost impossible to declare a single winner because there really shouldn’t be any losers. The selection committee and the Museum and Archives which has taken on this event, introduced a new judging process in 2017. The intent was to help us become as inclusive and impartial as possible. The first step was to call for nominations which formed the basic list but still omitted some very deserving folks. So the committee then compiled a longer list that we believed included every islander who in any way makes a significant difference on Bowen. Then, each committee member, judging separately so as not to influence the others, ranked the long list for their ten top choices. Only then were the lists compared, ranked, and a top ten identified and featured in the Undercurrent. We called these “Islanders Who Make a Difference.”
Again, we considered all nominees to be people who go the extra mile, all winners in their own right! But who would ride in the parade as Citizen of the Year? Well, once again, to keep the choice as objective as possible, we decided to have all our nominees choose a winner among the winners. Liken it to the idea of an all-star team picking its captain.