It was a fun day at the Fall Faire this year and a special one for local resident Don McTighe who received the Diamond Jubilee Medal from Member of Parliament David Wilks.
McTighe has been a long time resident in the area and been involved in many different aspects of life in Golden.
Craig Ward from Alpine Helicopters spoke about McTighe and his contributions to the area over the years.
It was Alpine Helicopters who nominated McTighe for the award.
Ward said he has known McTighe for many years while growing up in Golden. Ward has worked with McTighe for the past eight years and said that his history in the area made him a great choice for this award.
“He was your only way to get to the back country to go skiing, build a lodge, fight fires, and to pick you up when you were injured.”
He added that in the world of helicopters he was a great name.
“He always made sure his customers were taken care of first,” he said.
“We always said our customers were not calling company X but they were calling Don McTighe.”
He also thanked McTighe on behalf of many of the pilots who he guided over the years.
“When you leave here, know you helped build an industry in the back country. You have put smiles on people’s faces who would have never been able to touch the mountains, and, most importantly, have saved lives,” Ward said.
Next to the podium was MP David Wilks. Wilks has known McTighe for many years and spoke fondly of their time living and working together in Golden.
“Congratulations to Don on this important day,” he said. “I remember many a night driving up and down the Trans Canada (with Don) having some fun.”
Wilks said he will always remember McTighe as a helicopter pilot in the area and, in his opinion, there was no one more deserving to receive the award.
After the presentation McTighe said, “It was a bit odd because we do this as a team. We do this with Golden Search and Rescue, the ambulance, the police, Golden fire. We are always a team. It is a great honour but it is always a team effort.”
The kind words shared about him during the presentation hit home for McTighe. “It is touching to listening to your friends and co-workers.”
Being the centre of attention at the event was tough for McTighe who is not one to be centre stage.
“We just do our jobs,” he said. As for the people who nominated him for the award, McTighe thanked them but wanted to stress the group operates as a team.
“Golden is so fortunate to have dedicated Search and Rescue, park wardens, mountain guides. I am just fortunate that I was part of that team…I had good people with me all the time.”