Steadfast Lou takes top honour

Lou Beaubien's credo: "I always like to see things through . that's my style," may have something to do with his latest accomplishment.

On May 24, about 50 years of volunteer work will be recognized. This year's Kushiro Cup for the 2012 Outstanding Citizen of the Year is going to Beaubien for being a "tireless volunteer and enthusiast," according to a Burnaby city report.

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"It's a great honour," Beaubien told the Burnaby NOW in a phone interview, after learning he had won the award. "I learned to volunteer from my parents."

Beaubien's parents were recipients of the Good Neighbour Award when his family lived in Coquitlam in the '80s.

"They went around to all the senior citizens' facilities," he said. "They were Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus for many years."

His parents would make lunch for seniors, and Beaubien said his father would often

give away his lunch ticket to someone in need.

"He bought another ticket of course, but those are acts of kindness that really work," he said.

Beaubien is being recognized for volunteering for the Burnaby Amateur Radio Club and playing a major role with radio equipment and antenna work in the planning of both the old and new Edmonds Community Centres, works with the BRACES radio emergency group and the Burnaby area Radiosport Fox Hunt. He also established an active emergency amateur radio station at Burnaby Red Cross and he is an advocate of the Knights of Columbus Council 5423.

Beaubien has been a resident of Burnaby for 58 years. He was the chair of the Courtesy Car Division for the 2012 B.C. Seniors Games. This involved a large group of volunteers, and he also set up radio communications for all the vehicles.

Beaubien is one of the longest serving volunteers of the Vancouver Sun Run and has sat on the committee for 21 of its more than 25 years.

Radio amateurs provide communications in cases of medical emergencies and lost children, as well as providing traffic control.

"We had a motto," he said. "If somebody takes a fall during the 'run', we've reported it before they hit the ground. It makes people stand up and take notice that amateur radio is important and they can do a good job when they need to."

Beaubien said he also took the time to speak to the police officers at his location to make sure they understood the problems that exist, and they're prepared for the event.

"It could be raw recruits," he said. "And if they don't deal with it, they could have so much trouble you won't want to go to work on Monday."

Beaubien has been a member of the amateur radio club since 1977 and has a radio set up at his home. For the last 15 years, he has been an assistant director representing British Columbia with the Radio Amateurs of Canada.

When his son Chris was young, Beaubien was involved with the Scouts in Burnaby as a leader and spent 15 years with the equipment committee as a quartermaster.

Beaubien spent 33 years working with Canadian General Electric, and spent 20 of those years as a factory service specialist of appliances and service.

"I was always in the service business," he said. "I was a service specialist representing B.C. and Alberta for 33 years."

He married his wife Joyce in 1965 and they moved to their house in the Brentwood area soon after. They have a daughter, Michelle, and a son, Chris, who also live in Burnaby.

"Same house, same girl," he added.

After his time with Canadian General Electric, Beaubien spent four years teaching appliance servicing at BCIT, until the course moved to Kwantlen University College where he spent another nine years as an instructor.

Beaubien now spends a lot of his time doing technical writing, when he can find time from his volunteer work.

"I've been published in amateur radio magazines three times in the last year," he noted. "I've got a couple of projects on the go right now. I like to write about people and things."

Beaubien also spends his spare time helping friends who are limited by disabilities, taking them to medical appointments or out for coffee "with the boys."

The Kushiro award will be presented on May 24 at the city's annual City Appreciation Dinner held at Edmonds Community Centre.

For the extended version of this story, go to www.bur nabynow.com.

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