Governor General honours veteran Comox Valley volunteer

Courtenay's Gwyn Frayne has spent years helping others and standing up for what she believes in.

LOCAL COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER and activist Gwyn Frayne displays her Caring Canadian Award she received from the Governor General last week.

LOCAL COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER and activist Gwyn Frayne displays her Caring Canadian Award she received from the Governor General last week.

Courtenay’s Gwyn Frayne has spent years helping others and standing up for what she believes in — and now, her efforts have been recognized by the Governor General.

Frayne received the Caring Canadian Award in Victoria on Thursday for her contribution to the Comox Valley community.

She said she felt very honoured to receive the award, but noted she was shocked when she found notification in the mail about a month ago.

“I mean that was a surprise, to get that (in the mail), because I’m always criticizing the government — I was rather surprised,” said Frayne with a laugh. “I actually thought the Governor General’s office was going to inform me they’d made a mistake.”

Frayne worked as a social worker and taught social work before taking an early retirement.

But unlike most, Frayne did not slow down in her retirement.

At 78 years of age, she’s still involved with the Council of Canadians, the Citizens for Quality Healthcare, CoalWatch Comox Valley, and is busy protesting the proposed Enbridge Pipeline in B.C.

In the past, Frayne was executive director of the Comox Valley Crisis Centre; she helped start the Eureka Clubhouse, which is a centre for adults with mental illness; helped start the North Island AIDS Coalition, which is now called AIDS Vancouver Island; helped start the Sonshine Club; helped secure funding for the Salvation Army’s men’s shelter; and has been integral in numerous other projects and sat on various community organization boards.

As an example of her dedication, she used to phone 50 people to notify them of meetings for the Comox Valley Coalition to Save Social Programs, (which is now dissolved), and sat outside Stan Hagen’s office one hour per week for one year in an effort to have social programs reinstated.

Comox Valley resident Sally Gellard met Frayne over 20 years ago during the Comox Valley Crisis Centre training sessions Frayne led, and said she has been an inspiration and mentor to many in the Valley.

“Gwyn pointed out the injustice of people living without homes, of people with mental illness being left without support, of violence against women, occurring right beneath our noses in our privileged Comox Valley community,” said Gellard. “She has continued to be a defender of human rights and social justice on many issues facing us in this community; homophobia, lack of adequate care for seniors, women and children experiencing violence and privatization of our health care systems to name a

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The 5th Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
City of Courtenay awards contract for 5th Street Bridge project

The City of Courtenay has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of… Continue reading

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Gas prices jump in the Valley – and experts predict prices to rise even more

“We still could be talking about record prices…”

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. NIC photo
Learn about Practical Nursing opportunities for Island students

Students interested in exploring a future in health care are invited to… Continue reading

The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is hoping to see more bike lines in the Cumberland area. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cycling coalition wants better bike links for Cumberland

Group says members want more connections with Comox Valley

The Courtenay Legion has identified 16 homeless veterans living in the Comox Valley. File photo
Courtenay Legion unites with Qualicum to help homeless veterans

Last year’s Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless count conducted in the Comox Valley identified… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Most Read