Jeanne Clarke Local History Award, 2019

Jeanne Clarke Local History Award, 2019


Trelle Morrow, retired architect, and historian, was honoured with the Jeanne Clarke Local History Award for Service on Sunday evening at ceremonies held in the Bob Harkins Room of the Prince George Public Library.


Morrow was born in Fernie, BC during the dirty thirties but moved to Salmon Arm for grade school. After high school, he headed off to UBC where he studied architecture. After graduation in 1953, he married Allison Gilbert and then moved to Prince George the following summer. 


Today, Morrow is an active member of Prince George's Heritage Commission, and his architectural career in the region has spanned 40 years. This career includes the design of the former Prince George Citizen building on Brunswick Street and the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Patricia Boulevard. This information was offered in a prepared statement by Amy Dhanjal, library communications coordinator.


Morrow was introduced by Valerie Giles, herself a two-time winner of the publication award; one for her book about the Moffatt family and Northern Hardware and the other for a weekly history column in the Prince George Citizen.


Giles said that Morrow was a representative of the mid-century modern style of architecture. She noted that the citizens of Prince George know more about the city's history because of his work.


In his acceptance speech, Morrow said, "Documentation is so important. We must emphasize the importance of the continuity of heritage values, and you as residents must record your own interest in the city.”


To an audience of about 80 people attending the 34th annual event, the library presented three publication awards this year. 


The first award went to Helen Raptis along with members of the Tsimshian Nation for What We Learned: Two Generations Reflect on Tsimshian Education and Day Schools. Raptis traveled from Victoria to attend the event and accept the Publication Award (Regional). The book explores the influence of day schools on the lives of a group of Tsimshian people who originally lived near Prince Rupert.


"I'm very grateful for this award," Raptis said in addressing the audience. "I strive to take previously marginalized voices and move them to the center.”

The second Publication Award (Regional) went to Aaron Williams for his book Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir. It details the author's time and experience as a professional firefighter in Northern B.C. and focuses on the 2014 fire season. The book contains information on how to read smoke, and it documents how some people at the scene can torment rookie firefighters.



Williams, involved in the care of an infant son, was unable to attend but provided an acceptance speech by video. "I didn't think it was especially historical, but it is a snapshot of firefighting in the 21st century," Williams said. "Hopefully things will improve and it will become a relic of merely historical interest in the future."


The third Publication Award (Local) was granted to John and Gwen Reimer for Ness Lake Bible Camp: A Statement of Faith. The book documents the founding of the camp and its contribution to the community of Prince George. A photo of the cover is not available at the time of this posting.


"The first year they had a camp was in 1953," John Reimer told the audience. "Ninety-five students came out, but that year it was just in August. Over the years the Ness Lake Bible Camp has hosted 65,000 students,” he said.


The Jeanne Clarke Award is presented annually to individuals or groups for outstanding contributions in the preservation and promotion of local and regional history, Dhanjal said in her press release. They are awarded in the categories of Publication and Service. The Award was established by the library board in 1985 in memory of former library board chair Jeanne Clarke. Clarke was a founding member of the Prince George Public Library's Local History Committee and played a key role in establishing the library's local history collection.


Author's Bio

Paul, in his 28 years as a full-time journalist and 6.5 years as a freelance journalist, Paul has worked for newspapers in Nevada, Medicine Hat and Prince George. Besides being an investigative reporter, he is a poet, a short story writer, and an essayist. He presently resides in Prince George and haunts all the literary scenes that appear in town.