Ben Williams, second from left, receives the Rotary Club of Duncan Student of the Month Award for September from club president Gregg Perry and Student of the Month program coordinator Kim Barnard. To the left is teacher sponsor Tom Veenstra. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Ben Williams, second from left, receives the Rotary Club of Duncan Student of the Month Award for September from club president Gregg Perry and Student of the Month program coordinator Kim Barnard. To the left is teacher sponsor Tom Veenstra. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Duncan Christian standout is Rotary Student of the Month for September

Ben Williams has made an impression at DCS since day one

It didn’t take long for Ben Williams to make an impression at Duncan Christian School.

Just nine days after starting at the school in September 2019, he embarked on the school’s annual Grade 11 hike on the West Coast Trail.

“It started to become obvious to all of us that Ben was a natural leader,” DCS teacher and athletic director Tom Veenstra recalled. “He is always positive in his words to adults and peers. On the hike, he always took on extra things to carry if someone needed a hand. He volunteered to share devotions and leadership talks on the trail. It was like he was a chaperone for our seven-day adventure.”

Just over a year later, Williams was named the Rotary Club of Duncan’s Student of the Month for September 2020. The staff at DCS were asked to submit a name to the Rotary Club for consideration, and Williams was a natural choice. Students are usually presented with the award in person, but due to COVID-19, Williams, his family, and Veenstra joined the club for a virtual visit via Zoom on Sept. 28. Rotarians learned about his talents, including leadership, athletic ability, performing arts, and even mechanical aptitude, as demonstrated by a clever Rube Goldberg device he built for a challenge Veenstra created during the first weeks of COVID lockdown.

Unrelated to his selection as Student of the Month, Williams has also competed in the Rotary Club Hector McIntosh Speaking Competition, winning it three times.

Kim Barnard, the program coordinator for the Rotary Club of Duncan, spoke highly of Williams’s virtual interactions with the club.

“Undeterred by the unfortunate program limitations necessary this year, Ben Williams has a bright outlook and spoke highly of his school and opportunities there to serve and grow,” she said.

Williams received a certificate sponsored by Duncan PrintCraft and a cheque for $100 from the Rotary Club.

“I’m grateful to my teachers and to the school for being so accommodating, especially during COVID,” Williams said. “They’ve been willing to adapt to the scenarios we have and still provide a healthy learning environment.”

Reflecting on the recent death of a friend of a friend, Williams said the “impermanence of life” is what keeps him motivated to do so many different things.

“Life should be taken in full and not taken for granted,” he said. “Even in your younger years, you should still be doing things and making a difference in the world.”

EducationRotary

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Richmond family, owners of the 49th Parallel grocery store chain in the mid-Island, were on hand for the opening of the company’s fifth location at Berkey’s Corner on March 2. Pictured, from left, are Peter, the company’s CEO, his mother Harmina, sister Kathy and father Wayne in front of the new store. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Business notes: 49th Parallel opens new location at Berkey’s Corner

What’s happening in the Cowichan Valley business community

Holly the stuffed Rottweiler has been missing from the front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb. 24. (Submitted photo)
Holly the stuffed Rottweiler is missing from Duncan shop

Toy dog missing from front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb.24

Martha Jane McHardy displays her knitwear in one of the windows at Imagine That! in Duncan this month. (Submitted)
Arts and Entertainment column: Lots to see in Duncan in March

Funding success, painters show, folk art, tell your COVID story

The Kinsol Trestle in Shawnigan Lake is a sight to behold. Funding for the expansion of the Shawnigan Museum celebrates its 100th anniversary. (Citizen file)
Shawnigan Museum expansion gets $480,000

Funds from Government of Canada Legacy Fund - Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
Cowichan Valley mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Most Read