When Mayor Linda Hepner announced that James Good, 91, would be getting a bench dedicated in his name at Dart’s Hill Garden, he was at a loss for words.
“I had nothing to say. I was so wonderfully surprised. I don’t know whether it’s humility or humble. I just think that it’s a great honour,” Good told Peace Arch News this week.
Good is to receive the bench as recgonition for being named as Surrey’s Good Citizen of the Year, a distinction which was announced by the city on July 20.
Good, who spent 30 years volunteering in the city, was instrumental in creating the Dart’s Hill Garden Conservancy Trust Society and is now an official life member of the society.
He and his wife, Monique, have jointly volunteered for the Peace Arch H-2-H- Program by providing rides home for seniors who have no safe means of transportation after being discharged from hospital.
Good is also one of the pioneer members of the Semiahmoo Peninsula Affordable Housing Society; notable projects from the society include the Rosemary Green and Newton Green housing developments.
A resident of South Surrey, Good spent years growing vegetables for the Sources White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank under the South Surrey Garden Club, and he helped maintain and beautify part of Heron Park at the entrance of Crescent Beach.
Good moved to Surrey after he retired 30 years ago – to get away from the snow and summer humidity – and started volunteering shortly after.
He said he’s made lifelong friends through volunteering.
“I just enjoy something other than twiddling my thumbs… and enjoy doing it for others,” he said.
For the past two-to-three years, Good said his friend had been pushing him to throw his name in the running for citizen of the year.
“I said no, no, no, that’s not me. He wouldn’t take no, so he nominated me,” Good said.
He said the recognition “feels nice.”
“Hearing the word congratulations on a fairly regular basis is rewarding.”