Longtime Comox Valley conservationist Ruth Masters received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her lifetime contribution to the community in a presentation last week by Comox Valley Regional District chair Edwin Grieve.
Born and raised in the Valley, Masters is a local legend who has worked tirelessly to protect wildlife and the environment. Her activism dates back to the 1950s when the fight was on to stop the damming of Buttle Lake in Strathcona Park.
She has since been at the forefront of nearly every environmental action in BC. Countless politicians, councils and companies have received typed letters from her.
Locally, Masters has been involved with creation and preservation efforts for MacDonald Wood Park, Willemar Bluffs, Mack Laing Nature Park and the Comox estuary. She was twice named Comox Valley Citizen of the Year.
She is responsible for the naming of more than 50 peaks and small lakes in Strathcona Provincial Park, often for departed Valley veterans of the first and second world wars. A lake in Strathcona Park is named in her honour.
Masters was an administrative sergeant in London, England during the Second World War. Not surprisingly, she is a regular at Remembrance Day services.
Masters gave 18 acres bordering the Puntledge River to the regional district as a greenway and wildlife sanctuary. The value of this property in 2004 was estimated to be at least $1.5 million. With this donation, wildlife continue to wander freely.
From the office of the Governor General, commemorative diamond jubilee medals were created to mark celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The medals honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.