White Rock honours ‘Outstanding Canadians’

White Rock Outstanding Canadian Ellen Kennett and husband Howard Kennett at the award ceremonies on July 1 at White Rock Beach. - Contributed photo
White Rock Outstanding Canadian Ellen Kennett and husband Howard Kennett at the award ceremonies on July 1 at White Rock Beach.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Three White Rock residents were honoured by the city for their contributions to the community earlier this month at a special presentation during Canada Day celebrations on the waterfront.

Ellen Kennett, Joe O’Malley and the late Elizabeth Keeling were named the 2011 Outstanding Canadians on the Peninsula by Mayor Catherine Ferguson and council July 1.

Kennett – mother of Coun. Lynne Sinclair – was nominated by Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation in recognition of the more than 50 years of volunteer services she has provided to the hospital.

Among her many roles with the hospital, Kennett served as president of the hospital auxiliary, trustee of the Peace Arch Hospital Board and board chair of the PAHCHF.

O’Malley, who taught at White Rock Elementary for 35 years, was honoured for the thousands of extra hours he spent coaching soccer, volleyball and track and field and organizing various sports tournaments. Although now retired from full-time teaching, O’Malley teaches one day a week for the Surrey School District and continues to coach at White Rock Elementary.

Keeling moved to White Rock in 1950 after extensive study at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. Over the next 50 years she was involved in numerous arts groups around the Peninsula including the White Rock Choral Society, Peace Arch Weavers Guild, White Rock Historical Society and The Elizabeth Foundation (now called the Peninsula Arts Foundation).

Keeling passed away in 2003.

For more on this year’s award recipients, visit

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