Merville native son latest to join Comox Valley Walk of Achievement

From the Order of Canada to various academic honours, Jack Hodgins' awards spread across the country, but his latest nomination brings him back to a familiar place — the Comox Valley.

Author Jack Hodgins will become the latest inductee onto the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement.

Author Jack Hodgins will become the latest inductee onto the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement.

From the Order of Canada to various academic honours, Jack Hodgins’ awards spread across the country, but his latest nomination brings him back to a familiar place — the Comox Valley.

Born and raised in Merville, the novelist and short story writer has written more than 15 novels and has stories and articles published in several magazines in Canada, France, Australia and the U.S. He is also the subject of a National Film Board film, Jack Hodgins’ Island and a book, Jack Hodgins and His Work.

As part of the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement, the committee is honouring Hodgins and his work on the walk with a personal plaque located on a sidewalk in downtown Courtenay.

“(The award) came as a complete surprise,” said Hodgins from his home in Victoria. “The community is definitely my roots. I still strongly associate with the Comox Valley.”

After attending Tsolum School and graduating from the UBC, Hodgins spent many years teaching high school in Nanaimo, at the University of Ottawa as a visiting professor and in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria.

Many of his novels and stories are set on Vancouver Island, and admits readers, especially those on the Island and in the Comox Valley, can relate to his characters.

“People recognize specific characteristics, and say they are like an accurate portrayal of people they truly know,” he noted.

During a noon ceremony July 8 in the Sid Willimas theatre, Hodgins will be honoured at a small induction celebration, followed by a walk up Fifth Street to the plaque unveiling in front of the Laughing Oyster Bookshop.

“I’m so happy we chose Jack,” said Jackie Green, committee chair, in a press release. “He’s a wonderful man who has touched us all with his novels.”

The goal of the Walk of Achievement is a to recognize Comox Valley residents who have made significant and lasting contributions in their professional or personal lives, said committee member Erik Eriksson.

Previous honourees include Red Robinson, Dr. Fred Leung, Dr. Robert Smith and Stan Hagan.

The purpose of the walk is to recognize outstanding achievement of individuals from the Comox Valley who have excelled in their field of endeavour; to inspire Comox Valley youth to believe in themselves and to explore the limitless possibilities the world has to offer; and to instill a sense of pride throughout the Comox Valley that it is a community that nurtures achievement.

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