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Freemen of Burnaby

In the mid-1960s, an amendment to the BC Municipal Act extended to all municipalities the special ability to recognize the achievements of outstanding individuals. If a municipal council felt that a person was of an exceedingly high merit, they could vote to bestow upon him or her the title of "Freeman." Freeman individuals would have served their communities with a commitment and dedication that set them apart from others.

Until the 1960s, only certain classes of municipalities had the right to offer this award according to the Municipal Act., but when the amendment was enacted  the Municipality of Burnaby was granted the authority to name "Freemen".

Prior to this, Burnaby had created its own award of merit which was to served as the local equivalent of the "Freeman" honour. This distinction was known as the "Gold Key" award and it was presented to only four Burnaby men in recognition of the excellent work - both paid and volunteer - they did on behalf of the citizens of Burnaby. The Gold Key award was also presented to Her Majesty the Queen, as Princess Elizabeth during her visit to Burnaby in 1951 as well as to Princess Margaret when she came to the municipality in 1958.

Since being granted the right to bestow the title of "Freeman" – which is now the highest award given by the City of Burnaby – the Municipal Council has extended the honour to only sixteen individuals in our community. The criteria for naming a Burnaby Freeman states that the title of Freeman be conferred sparingly and only upon an individual who has given outstanding community and/or public service within the general community over a sustained period of time.

In alphabetical order, the Freemen and Gold Key recipients of Burnaby are:

Icon - Key = Gold Key recipient

Icon - Heart = featured in the multimedia project "From The Heart: The Freeman Legacy"

Icon - Poppy = Freemen who also are veterans

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