Three North Shore residents have been named members of the Order of British Columbia, an honour extended to those who have excelled in any field benefiting their fellow British Columbians.
West Vancouver’s Yuri Fulmer earned his medal for both his remarkable business acumen and his eagerness to turn his attention from commerce to philanthropy. Fulmer began with a single A&W restaurant franchise and in only 13 years, built a company generating $55 million in annual revenues. Last year, at age 37, Fulmer sold his main business, allowing him to concentrate his work on charity fundraising. The United Way, Vancouver Foundation, Surrey Food Bank, Kwantlen University, Boys and Girls Clubs and the Vancouver Opera have all benefited from his work.
In addition to donating more than $2 million of his own money, Fulmer has raised more than $100 million for various causes.
Anyone who has ever been caught in a tough spot on the North Shore mountains has heard of Tim Jones, the second local man named to the order. Jones is a veteran of more than 20 years volunteer service with North Shore Rescue and more than 1,400 operations. As part of the team’s leadership core, Jones has also helped raise more than $1 million to help save the lives of those in peril.
“I really appreciate it. It’s a great honour,” Jones said. “But you have to take a step back and realize there’s dozens of guys out there in search and rescue that do what I do in terms of time commitment. This is really a shot in the arm for search and rescue in B.C. It puts us more on the map and rightly so. We do make a huge difference, asking little in return. We’re all volunteers and this is an honour I share with the other volunteers in this province.”
Jones noted that a Nelson SAR volunteer lost her life during a river rescue this year.
“The teams are not an inexhaustible resource,” he said. “They’ve got jobs, they’ve got families, they go on holidays, they get sick, they get hurt. There’s training, there’s fundraising, there’s so many hours that go into just getting a team in the field. And there’s the odd time someone loses their life. So this really honours all of those 2,500 volunteers, and those who gave their lives.”
Jones also saluted the other first responders his team often works alongside, particularly volunteer firefighters and his employer, B.C. Ambulance Service.
West Vancouver’s James O’Rourke joins the order for his leadership the mining industry, one of the province’s economic mainstays. President of Copper Mountain Mining, he was instrumental in developing many of B.C.’s most successful mines, building trade with Pacific Rim nations, and also leading Mining for Miracles, which helps fund B.C. Children’s Hospital and other children’s charities.